GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Opera and Vocal => Topic started by: Manon on August 22, 2007, 08:11:22 AM

Title: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Manon on August 22, 2007, 08:11:22 AM
I saw polls for composers (like Bach vs. Beethoven) Now here is an another poll.  :)

Puccini vs. Verdi
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: 71 dB on August 22, 2007, 08:12:35 AM
Puccini!
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Manon on August 22, 2007, 08:13:40 AM
Puccini!

I agree with you

Puccini!!
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: karlhenning on August 22, 2007, 08:14:00 AM
I voted, only because it was possible here to vote for both  8)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Wendell_E on August 22, 2007, 08:14:33 AM
Verdi!!
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: dtwilbanks on August 22, 2007, 08:15:33 AM
I haven't heard enough to make a selection.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Larry Rinkel on August 22, 2007, 08:37:25 AM
Quote
Which one is your favourite?
You may only select up to 2 options.


???

I voted for both.

Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Manon on August 22, 2007, 08:41:35 AM


???

I voted for both.



I made 2 options to select because some people can like both of them  ;)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: dtwilbanks on August 22, 2007, 08:42:27 AM
*slaps forehead*
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: JoshLilly on August 22, 2007, 12:33:08 PM
Ha, this got moved into Opera and Vocal, and I was just thinking that probably my favourite complete work by either is Verdi's String Quartet in E minor. Note: string quartets are not operas, or vocal works.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Mozart on August 22, 2007, 12:33:43 PM
Puccini doesn't even stand up to Verdi's toes. He is a terrible composer with a grotesque moustache. Verdi all the way!
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Mozart on August 22, 2007, 12:39:44 PM
Ha, this got moved into Opera and Vocal, and I was just thinking that probably my favourite complete work by either is Verdi's String Quartet in E minor. Note: string quartets are not operas, or vocal works.

And my favorite work by Beethoven is Fidelio, but they insist on talking about him in the classical sections.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Siedler on August 22, 2007, 02:38:20 PM
I voted, only because it was possible here to vote for both  8)
Me too!  ;D
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: BachQ on August 22, 2007, 02:46:52 PM
Wagner
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: yashin on August 22, 2007, 04:59:07 PM
Head tells me Verdi was a truly great composer.  My heart tells me that i love Puccini. 
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: uffeviking on August 22, 2007, 06:45:32 PM
Verdi's String Quartet in E minor. Note: string quartets are not operas, or vocal works.

The classifications are not chiseled in stone! Verdi is known by 99.9% of music lovers as an opera composer. He is much more comfortable here, surrounded by other opera creators and singers.  ;)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Heather Harrison on August 22, 2007, 06:54:23 PM
Head tells me Verdi was a truly great composer.  My heart tells me that i love Puccini. 

I agree.  Since I listen to my head and my heart, I chose both in the poll.  Puccini pulls at my emotions in an immediate and overt way; that is his style, and he was very, very good at it.  I know I am being manipulated emotionally, but I love it anyway.  On an intellectual level, I find Verdi to be more interesting, although at times he can also play with my emotions (but generally not with the same intensity and immediacy as Puccini). 

Heather
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: yashin on August 22, 2007, 07:27:59 PM
I would also say that i have far more Puccini in my cd collection than Verdi-a window on our shopping psych. -shop with you heart or your head?
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Heather Harrison on August 22, 2007, 07:48:22 PM
My collection contains a lot of both composers.  I haven't counted everything up, but I think I have a bit more by Verdi.  Of course, Verdi was more prolific, so since I actively collect music by both composers, it is statistically likely that I will have more by Verdi.  I also listen to both fairly often, but I probably listen to Puccini a bit more.

Heather
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Hector on August 23, 2007, 06:16:25 AM
My collection contains a lot of both composers.  I haven't counted everything up, but I think I have a bit more by Verdi.  Of course, Verdi was more prolific, so since I actively collect music by both composers, it is statistically likely that I will have more by Verdi.  I also listen to both fairly often, but I probably listen to Puccini a bit more.

Heather

Verdi lived longer.

VERDI, always Verdi, Victor Emmanuel, Re d'Italia. Poor sod even got lumbered with that by 19th century graffitiists.

What did Puccini ever have to put up with, smudges on his white suit?
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Wendell_E on August 23, 2007, 06:46:31 AM
Puccini doesn't even stand up to Verdi's toes.

I like Puccini more than that.  I think he stands up about to Verdi's navel, but not quite to the level of his heart.   ;)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: 71 dB on August 23, 2007, 08:03:44 AM
Verdi is one of the "great" composers I really do not get. I don't see anything good in the music, in fact I find it annoying and clumsy. Puccini's music however is always wonderful...

...maybe I am just too stupid for Verdi?
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: beclemund on August 23, 2007, 08:41:47 AM
Verdi is one of the "great" composers I really do not get. I don't see anything good in the music, in fact I find it annoying and clumsy. Puccini's music however is always wonderful...

...maybe I am just too stupid for Verdi?

Well, you cannot like everything, so there will be those composers who just do not do it for you. I do enjoy the works of both composers immensely, and work by both are essential parts of the standard repertoire, so there is no need to pick just one as you can go for a night out at the opera and enjoy either. :)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: marvinbrown on August 23, 2007, 08:45:56 AM


  Verdi of course.  As much as I like Puccini, Otello and Aida tipped the scale in favor of Joe Green!
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Haffner on August 23, 2007, 11:59:44 AM
Oh, Verdi!
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: zamyrabyrd on August 23, 2007, 12:27:31 PM
I enjoy both but Verdi is the greater composer and musician by far, with regard to complexity and depth.

Madame Butterfly and Tosca are most probably the best two examples of overall construction by Puccini. Verdi by comparison has at least 20 out of 30 tightly constructed works that just get better and better toward the end of his career -- ie, Aida, Forza, Don Carlo, Othello and Falstaff. Both understood the human voice intimately and wrote well for it. Although Verdi's roles in general demand a great deal of stamina from his singers, perhaps more than Puccini, Wagner should have been so kind.

The problem with verismo however is having to up the ante in terms of shock value. This bothers me with Puccini's works. It does start to get manipulative. There is a subtle difference when the emotion is well embedded in the music. In other words, high notes don't have to be screamed in order to convey emotion because the music carries it along.  In verismo actual cries under duress are OK as in Cavaradossi's questioning and the shrieks in Tabarro.

ZB
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Haffner on August 23, 2007, 12:34:18 PM
I enjoy both but Verdi is the greater composer and musician by far, with regard to complexity and depth.

Madame Butterfly and Tosca are most probably the best two examples of overall construction by Puccini. Verdi by comparison has at least 20 out of 30 tightly constructed works that just get better and better toward the end of his career -- ie, Aida, Forza, Don Carlo, Othello and Falstaff. Both understood the human voice intimately and wrote well for it. Although Verdi's roles in general demand a great deal of stamina from his singers, perhaps more than Puccini, Wagner should have been so kind.

The problem with verismo however is having to up the ante in terms of shock value. This bothers me with Puccini's works. It does start to get manipulative. There is a subtle difference when the emotion is well embedded in the music. In other words, high notes don't have to be screamed in order to convey emotion because the music carries it along.  In verismo actual cries under duress are OK as in Cavaradossi's questioning and the shrieks in Tabarro.

ZB





I agree with much of this, not solely due to the fact that it is well thought out and presented.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Tsaraslondon on August 23, 2007, 02:08:01 PM
I enjoy both but Verdi is the greater composer and musician by far, with regard to complexity and depth.

Madame Butterfly and Tosca are most probably the best two examples of overall construction by Puccini. Verdi by comparison has at least 20 out of 30 tightly constructed works that just get better and better toward the end of his career -- ie, Aida, Forza, Don Carlo, Othello and Falstaff. Both understood the human voice intimately and wrote well for it. Although Verdi's roles in general demand a great deal of stamina from his singers, perhaps more than Puccini, Wagner should have been so kind.

The problem with verismo however is having to up the ante in terms of shock value. This bothers me with Puccini's works. It does start to get manipulative. There is a subtle difference when the emotion is well embedded in the music. In other words, high notes don't have to be screamed in order to convey emotion because the music carries it along.  In verismo actual cries under duress are OK as in Cavaradossi's questioning and the shrieks in Tabarro.

ZB

ZB

As usual you put it very well. I too think Verdi the greater musician and composer by far. His emotional range is also far greater. And the humanity of the man comes through in every bar. We note that in Verdi there are very few completely unsympathetic characters, or at least very few for whom he cannot find some sympathy. Think of Paolo's confession in Simon Boccanegra, which is peculiarly touching.

However, Puccini's operas rarely fail in the theatre, and can survive even some fairly awful productions. I enjoy them enormously, but they don't give me the musical and intellectual stimulus that Verdi gives me.

And, to take two uncharacteristic of both composers, their two comedies Gianni Schicchi and Falstaff. Schicchi works wonderfully well in the theatre, its cameos beautifully realised. It is also very funny, but the humour is of a rather cruel, black quality. Where is there the humanity we find in Falstaff? And the whole opera is a miracle of construction, which transcends its source The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: yashin on August 23, 2007, 05:45:52 PM
I think Verdi showed us with La Traviata and Aida what he can do with a tragic Heroine story.
There can be no two better endings in opera than the ending in the tomb in Aida and the death of Violetta.
Think-Jussi Bjorling and Zinka Milanov for Aida and I love Valarie Masterson and John Brecknock in La Traviata. Genius.

What i find is that i love to listen to Puccini, but i prefer to watch Verdi.  Take Simon Boccanegra for example, I enjoy watching this opera but i never really listen to it.  Maybe i should.  The only way i have done is with the libretto in my hand-hence the reason i prefer on DVD.

I recently bought Luisa Miller with Domingo and Scotto (DVD) -it was going fairly cheap.  Now, i would never buy this on cd as it is just not that interesting for me.  However, i quite enjoyed the DVD and would buy another.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: zamyrabyrd on August 24, 2007, 12:01:39 AM
Thanks. I tried to be brief but knew I was leaving out an awful lot. There's more than enough material for a thesis here. I want to chime in with Tsaras about the benign compassion of Verdi that pervades his entire output. One can make a case for the 'moral force' in music if it informs the composer without words (like much of Beethoven and Brahms) or those for whom words and music are practically inseparable. Mozart also stands high in the pantheon of composers and writers who in their art, embraced humanity.

ZB
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Hector on August 24, 2007, 04:12:46 AM
Let's not forget 'Simon Boccanegra' a dark and gloomy work but with a tremendous prologue punctuated with the music for the chorus of people celebrating a pleb victory that comes as a bit of a shock after all that has gone before and not liked (understood?) by some Verdi scholars I have read.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Larry Rinkel on August 24, 2007, 05:24:59 AM
I enjoy both but Verdi is the greater composer and musician by far, with regard to complexity and depth.

Madame Butterfly and Tosca are most probably the best two examples of overall construction by Puccini. Verdi by comparison has at least 20 out of 30 tightly constructed works that just get better and better toward the end of his career -- ie, Aida, Forza, Don Carlo, Othello and Falstaff. Both understood the human voice intimately and wrote well for it. Although Verdi's roles in general demand a great deal of stamina from his singers, perhaps more than Puccini, Wagner should have been so kind.

The problem with verismo however is having to up the ante in terms of shock value. This bothers me with Puccini's works. It does start to get manipulative. There is a subtle difference when the emotion is well embedded in the music. In other words, high notes don't have to be screamed in order to convey emotion because the music carries it along.  In verismo actual cries under duress are OK as in Cavaradossi's questioning and the shrieks in Tabarro.

ZB

Very well put, and I agree entirely. Puccini's more manipulative side is continually revealed in his characters' tendencies to sadism and self-pity (and not just Scarpia vs. Tosca; look at the actual words in "O mio babbino caro," for instance). For this reason, I tend to find "Fanciulla del West" much more satisfactory as a drama than the big 3-handkerchief operas, even though melodically it lacks their freshness. Verdi is less manipulative and more distanced emotionally, while being equally if not more moving as a result. And if only for the miracle of "Falstaff" alone, an utterly unprecedented 2-hour scherzo for voices and orchestra, I would have to rate Verdi among the outstanding figures in later 19th-century music.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Tsaraslondon on August 24, 2007, 05:36:38 AM


What i find is that i love to listen to Puccini, but i prefer to watch Verdi.  Take Simon Boccanegra for example, I enjoy watching this opera but i never really listen to it.  Maybe i should.  The only way i have done is with the libretto in my hand-hence the reason i prefer on DVD.



And oddly enough I find the reverse. As I said before, Puccini was something of a theatrical wizard and his operas rarely fail in the theatre. But Verdi I can appreciate for his purely musical values, which is not to say that he wasn't also a great stage technician. But is is enough for me to sit down and listen to one of his operas, libretto in hand, and let him create theatre for the mind's imagination.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: knight66 on August 24, 2007, 12:36:18 PM
Just a flawed thought here. I wonder if there is any mileage in suggesting that Puccini's operas are propelled by emotion and Verdi's by drama.

Verdi is looking at the specific, but his sources were often excellent and were looking as much at the general human condition as at the individual as an example. I get the feeling that Puccini is looking always to engage the emotions through a display of emotion and his stories seem more specific to the characters and miss that element of universality.

What do you think...any sense in it?

Mike
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Tsaraslondon on August 24, 2007, 02:39:32 PM
Just a flawed thought here. I wonder if there is any mileage in suggesting that Puccini's operas are propelled by emotion and Verdi's by drama.

Verdi is looking at the specific, but his sources were often excellent and were looking as much at the general human condition as at the individual as an example. I get the feeling that Puccini is looking always to engage the emotions through a display of emotion and his stories seem more specific to the characters and miss that element of universality.

What do you think...any sense in it?

Mike

This is an interesting point. I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that Illica showed Verdi the original libretto of Tosca. At that time, Cavaradossi's aria at the beginning of Act 3 was a philsophical farewell to life, which Verdi found most moving. Puccini, however, thought it was all wrong and insisted that Cavaradossi must think of nothing but Tosca in his final moments. I believe the words e muoio disperato were actually Puccini's. This rather backs up your theory.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: marvinbrown on August 25, 2007, 05:38:17 AM
This is an interesting point. I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that Illica showed Verdi the original libretto of Tosca. At that time, Cavaradossi's aria at the beginning of Act 3 was a philsophical farewell to life, which Verdi found most moving. Puccini, however, thought it was all wrong and insisted that Cavaradossi must think of nothing but Tosca in his final moments. I believe the words e muoio disperato were actually Puccini's. This rather backs up your theory.


  Yes there is a lot of truth in that. ;  Puccini seems obsessed with the emotions of his fallen heroines- the tragic fate that befalls his protagonists (usually women in distress) is the driving force behind most of his operas (let's see: Tosca, Manon, Mimi, Madam Butterfly).  With regards to Madam Butterfly for example, the idea behind the opera came from an American play which Puccini attended in London.  Puccini who could not speak a word of English was able to empathize with the sadness and suffering of Madame Butterfly that he saw on stage. It is this suffering and sadness that he wished to convey in his opera.

Yes I would agree with Knight that with Verdi emotions are often propelled by drama (events) as opposed to conditions and feelings of characters in his operas.

  marvin 
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: calbo on August 29, 2007, 04:45:42 AM
Madame Butterfly and Tosca are two beautifuls opéras but I really prefer Verdi's opéras as, for example, Nabucco, La traviata, Don Carlo, Oberto and Falstaff.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Hector on August 30, 2007, 04:25:59 AM
Just a flawed thought here. I wonder if there is any mileage in suggesting that Puccini's operas are propelled by emotion and Verdi's by drama.

Verdi is looking at the specific, but his sources were often excellent and were looking as much at the general human condition as at the individual as an example. I get the feeling that Puccini is looking always to engage the emotions through a display of emotion and his stories seem more specific to the characters and miss that element of universality.

What do you think...any sense in it?

Mike

I think that Verdi chose the subjects of his operas because of there dramatic potential.

So many of them are based on plays: Macbeth, Luisa Miller, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Otello and Falstaff and the list of playwrights include Byron, Hugo, Schiller and, inevitably as Verdi was one of a number of Romantics to fall under the spell, Shakespeare!
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Sarastro on December 20, 2007, 11:04:05 PM
Puccini is so sensitive, tender...making me cry...And Verdi...well, I'd rather abstain.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: knight66 on December 21, 2007, 11:51:25 AM
Once upon a time I used to think that Tosca was the best of all operas. I was still at school and completely exasperated my teacher in conversation while I rubbished music I now hold so high. Puccini does all the work for us; you just sit back and let it happen.

Mike
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Haffner on December 21, 2007, 11:55:16 AM
Puccini does all the work for us; you just sit back and let it happen.

Mike



A really thought provoking post, Mike. One could say the same thing about Wagner, R. Strauss...
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: knight66 on December 21, 2007, 12:09:36 PM
Oh, I am not sure about Wagner on that one, I find him very hard work indeed. Another difference would be that when I work at Wagner, it yields more to me, but Puccine, much as I enjoy him, I don't feel I an constantly discovering new things.

I am not denegrating Puccini, he was brilliant at what he did. But it is a different beast from Wagner.

Mike
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Haffner on December 21, 2007, 12:14:55 PM
Oh, I am not sure about Wagner on that one, I find him very hard work indeed. Another difference would be that when I work at Wagner, it yields more to me, but Puccine, much as I enjoy him, I don't feel I an constantly discovering new things.

I am not denegrating Puccini, he was brilliant at what he did. But it is a different beast from Wagner.

Mike




I think you said it all there, Mike, and quite well.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Jules Vivier on November 17, 2013, 10:42:16 PM
ZB, you are correct, there is enough material here for a thesis, and thank you, I will do just that for my final year of my Masters in Music. : )~
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: jochanaan on November 18, 2013, 10:21:30 AM
If forced to name a "greater" composer, I would have to say that Verdi's body of work is greater, although more uneven; clips I've heard of the early operas don't impress me, but then there's Rigoletto, Traviata, Aida, Otello, Falstaff--enough said! ;D  But Puccini is definitely a worthy opera-monger too.  (Cue rant about ranking! :))
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: jochanaan on November 18, 2013, 12:36:42 PM
Puccini = heart

Verdi = head

 :)
An oversimplification.  Would anyone dare say that, for example, Rigoletto has no effect on the heart? :)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: jochanaan on November 18, 2013, 01:29:31 PM
...And I love both.
That works for me. :)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Alberich on December 29, 2013, 10:52:19 AM
As much as I love Verdi... I feel that Puccini is superior. I think Puccini's greatest opera is la fanciulla del west, it has awesome setting (damn, I kind of think that this opera anticipates italian spagetti westerns and Morricone's excellent music) masterful combination of music and drama, morally ambiguous hero and very sympathetic antagonist and along with Tosca (my second favorite from him) it is most thematically strongest.

I also like Puccini's use of leitmotives (even though they don't develop in the same way as in Wagner operas). To me the most powerful moment in Tosca is during Scarpia's words "Gia mi dicon venal" etc. when leitmotive that I like to call "Scarpia's lust" or "rape" motive makes its first appearance. It never leaves me cold.

So, sorry, Verdi but Puccini takes the cake.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Tsaraslondon on December 29, 2013, 11:06:49 AM


So, sorry, Verdi but Puccini takes the cake.

Evidently not the case for most contributors to this thread, though.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: The new erato on December 30, 2013, 03:04:38 AM
It's very well put that Puccini does all the work for you. He knows how to pull at the heartstrings and push the right buttons, and it's very easy to wallow in. I like Puccini, but after listening to one of his operas, I always feel manipulated by a master puppetmaster, and slightly dirty, as if I've fallen for a woman my brain knows I have no business being with.

In my mind there's no doubt that Verdi is the far better (as in more cerebral, better plots, more varied, moving on several levels simultaneously, better structured music) composer, albeit one I seldom listen to. Who wants to be with a smart woman for a couple of hours entertainment when one can spend the same time with an attractive slut?  ;). There's also no doubt as to which one one would like to spend a lifetime with.

 
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Alberich on March 25, 2014, 01:26:51 AM
I agree that Verdi may be a better composer, but my heart is more with Puccini.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: The new erato on March 25, 2014, 02:52:53 AM
I agree that Verdi may be a better composer, but my heart is balls are more with Puccini.
Fixed.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: sabrina on April 07, 2015, 05:04:22 AM
I agree that Verdi may be a better composer, but my heart is more with Puccini.

the same :)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Mandryka on April 08, 2015, 10:50:53 PM
I don't believe that Puccini does all the work for you in his greatest opera, Fanciulla del West.

And in terms of drama, he's not second to Verdi, on the contrary. I'm thinking of the crowd scenes in Bohème, for example, or the way he uses Ping and Pong like a choral commentary in Turandot. And think of the skill in making an opera out of so little content as Butterfly. The character of Pinkerton too is interesting.


Verdi at his best - Act 3 of Otello for example - is fabulous. But there's not much at that level.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Mandryka on April 08, 2015, 11:03:48 PM
ZB

As usual you put it very well. I too think Verdi the greater musician and composer by far. His emotional range is also far greater. And the humanity of the man comes through in every bar. We note that in Verdi there are very few completely unsympathetic characters, or at least very few for whom he cannot find some sympathy. Think of Paolo's confession in Simon Boccanegra, which is peculiarly touching.

However, Puccini's operas rarely fail in the theatre, and can survive even some fairly awful productions. I enjoy them enormously, but they don't give me the musical and intellectual stimulus that Verdi gives me.

And, to take two uncharacteristic of both composers, their two comedies Gianni Schicchi and Falstaff. Schicchi works wonderfully well in the theatre, its cameos beautifully realised. It is also very funny, but the humour is of a rather cruel, black quality. Where is there the humanity we find in Falstaff? And the whole opera is a miracle of construction, which transcends its source The Merry Wives of Windsor.

In fact I think that Puccini is more realistic, less romantic, more true. Real people are as nasty as Scarpia. This is something Shakespeare knew when he wrote Otello - people are as nasty as Iago, as stupid and gullible as Othello. But Verdi couldn't handle it, had to mess it up with the stupid creed. Verdi didn't have the courage to hold a mirror to the audience and show them the baseness of humanity - instead he turned Iago into a cartoon caricature.

I think Verismo in Puccini is a strength. It's visionary, modern, anti romantic and true. It saves Puccini operas from being fundamentally  just a lie, from being romantic consolation. It also brings the working class, and ordinary life, into centre stage, and that's modern, visionary too.

So I vote Puccini. Except I haven't voted.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: king ubu on April 20, 2015, 04:45:09 AM
So I vote Puccini. Except I haven't voted.

Same here. Don't know either ones complete oeuvre yet, but I tend to favour Puccini - how should I put it, there's something too easy about Verdi's music sometimes, a "play it for the people" quality that puts me off every now and then (I guess ultimately I still vote Mozart anyways  ;))
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on April 20, 2015, 07:04:06 AM
The complicating factor is early Verdi.
Suppose Verdi had died in 1850, just before starting Rigoletto. Would we even remember him? He already had composed a dozen or so operas, mainstream fare of that era, of which three get put on the boards with any sort of regularity....Nabucco, Ernani, Macbeth, and the last he extensively rewrote in 1865.   Perhaps Luisa Miller can be added to that.  The string of famous operas begins then, and what I would call his great operas even well after that (for me at least: the Requiem, the revised version of Simon Boccanegra, Don Carlo, Aida,Otello, Falstaff).

Puccini wrote fewer operas, of course,  but put aside the first two, all of them are regularly produced, and they are equal to anything from Verdi's middle period, and many of them equal to Verdi's best operas.  But Verdi's great operas are equal in number to all of Puccini's!

But as a matter of consistent quality across a career, I would pick Puccini.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Jo498 on April 20, 2015, 09:59:25 AM
so would you tend to hold the early stuff "against" Verdi although he composed enough mature works to match Puccini in quantity and quality? Or do you think because of the latter, the quality of the early stuff is a moot point?
(that's trying to understand your remarks, I don't care much for Puccini but do not know enough of his music well enough to really have an opinion)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: sanantonio on April 20, 2015, 10:04:32 AM
I just watched Act I of Macbeth, from the Met's Opera on Demand (http://newyorkclassicalreview.com/2014/09/netrebko-tears-it-up-in-mets-riveting-well-sung-macbeth/) service.  Anna Netrebko is fantastic as Lady Macbeth, and the production (aside from some distracting elements e.g. witches being turned into a comic gaggle of women and the overall period appearing to be 1930s Depression Era) is very good.

Verdi, even in this early-ish work, is great.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: knight66 on April 21, 2015, 04:52:27 AM
I have read that Puccini did not compse arias that would exceed the possible timing of a 78. Which could indicate his mindset of commercial and crowd pleasing intent rather than prioritising art.

Mike
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: king ubu on April 21, 2015, 05:04:29 AM
Hm, well ... not really on topic here, but 99% of the glories of recorded jazz up to the late forties adapted to the format as well. And yet, the glories of early Louis Armstrong, of Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington, or Charlie Parker - would you describe adaptation to a format as an indication of a commercial mindset? Not sure, but at least in jazz I would tend to take an opposite stance (yet obviously I'd love to hear the extended playing that took part in jam sessions at the very same time that in studios they developed that mastery of conciseness).

On the other hand, regarding classical I don't know - who were the first composers that actively dealt with their work being preserved on records? What were their reactions? Are there any studies about this? Fascinating topic for sure!

(PS: Netrebko doesn't qualify for the BPO job, either ;))
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: knight66 on April 21, 2015, 05:20:00 AM
I don't see the need for a head to head over who is greater. If a composer was to be successful in opera, they needeed to crowd pleease up to a point. I do think it significant that if indeed Puccini kept his arias to a short span to fit one side of a 78, then he decided to restrict himself for reasons that were not artistic. He certainly created a number of memorable arias. I often though get more from a longer journey.

Mike
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on April 21, 2015, 08:19:15 AM
I have read that Puccini did not compse arias that would exceed the possible timing of a 78. Which could indicate his mindset of commercial and crowd pleasing intent rather than prioritising art.

Mike

Perhaps he did so  in the later half of his career, but recordings were just beginning to come into their own c. 1900.  Probably La Boheme and Tosca were written with the assumption that sheet music was the way people would hear his music outside the opera house.
Of course that merely transfers the question to the impact of piano transcription, sheet music versions, etc.  but would apply to most composers of the 19th century, and not just in opera.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on April 21, 2015, 08:29:04 AM
so would you tend to hold the early stuff "against" Verdi although he composed enough mature works to match Puccini in quantity and quality? Or do you think because of the latter, the quality of the early stuff is a moot point?
(that's trying to understand your remarks, I don't care much for Puccini but do not know enough of his music well enough to really have an opinion)

I was in fact pointing out how that muddies the water.    If you include the early operas, his stature as a great composer is not so obvious.

I just watched Act I of Macbeth, from the Met's Opera on Demand (http://newyorkclassicalreview.com/2014/09/netrebko-tears-it-up-in-mets-riveting-well-sung-macbeth/) service.  Anna Netrebko is fantastic as Lady Macbeth, and the production (aside from some distracting elements e.g. witches being turned into a comic gaggle of women and the overall period appearing to be 1930s Depression Era) is very good.

Verdi, even in this early-ish work, is great.

Notice I pointed to Macbeth as one of the few early operas which still gets produced regularly. And even that is  complicated by the fact that it was, like Simon Boccanegro, revised later.  The review does not mention if the revised version was used.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Jo498 on April 21, 2015, 11:41:49 PM
I was in fact pointing out how that muddies the water.    If you include the early operas, his stature as a great composer is not so obvious.
I think we  should "judge" a composer by his best works. Verdi was in his late 30s when he composed Rigoletto and he wrote a lot of justly famous operas in the rest of his live. Altogether at least 15 undoubtedly famous and mature (and the Requiem) which is more than Wagner or Puccini can offer.

If e.g. Bruckner had died with 40 we would not even have the first symphony, only the f minor, clearly nothing comparable to Macbeth or Rigoletto. He would be completely forgotten. Similarly for e.g. Janacek, Elgar and others. Almost all of their major works were composed past the age of 40.

And there are composers who besides great works just composed a whole lot of "fluff", independently of age...
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: knight66 on April 21, 2015, 11:48:14 PM
That all makes sense to me.

Mike
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: DavidA on June 30, 2015, 09:49:28 PM
Puccini doesn't even stand up to Verdi's toes. He is a terrible composer with a grotesque moustache. Verdi all the way!

Sorry mate but your statement appears to be as much based on his moustache as much as his music. Whether you like. Him or not Puccini was an incredibly skilled composer and man of the theatre.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Alberich on July 26, 2015, 05:40:19 AM
As a human being, I like Verdi more. He has amusingly sharp tongue, several witty, insightful and delightfully sarcastic remarks. He has so many requirements to be a good author that I actually wonder why he never wrote his own librettos.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: zamyrabyrd on October 27, 2015, 06:51:47 AM
I do think it significant that if indeed Puccini kept his arias to a short span to fit one side of a 78, then he decided to restrict himself for reasons that were not artistic.
Mike

Is that a fact about 78's??? I thought Puccini was trying to avoid the conventional long monologue arias.
(I found this thread on page 2, looking for interesting subjects.)
ZB
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: sanantonio on October 27, 2015, 07:14:20 AM
Is that a fact about 78's??? I thought Puccini was trying to avoid the conventional long monologue arias.
(I found this thread on page 2, looking for interesting subjects.)
ZB

Nothing I've read about Puccini would indicate that he wrote his arias to fit on a 78 rpm disc.  He was a consummate craftsman, but his primary concerns were musical and theatrical.  This accusation sounds like yet another cheap shot.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: knight66 on November 17, 2015, 02:17:44 PM
I have read it more than once, though I don't recall where, it was years ago. It was referencing some comment in his correspondence. I am aware of the shabby shocker kind of attitude of a number of critics, so it might be about maligning him. He was quite commercially aware and each of his arias do mostly fit onto one side of a 78 disc.

Mike
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: jochanaan on November 17, 2015, 05:01:13 PM
Well, it is possible to be a consummate craftsman in the space of three minutes. ;D
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 17, 2015, 05:39:03 PM
Well, it is possible to be a consummate craftsman in the space of three minutes. ;D
Ah, but which are you talking about? Verdi has short arias too! :)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: jochanaan on November 17, 2015, 06:24:41 PM
Ah, but which are you talking about? Verdi has short arias too! :)
That's why I did not specify a particular composer. :)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: BitPerfectRichard on January 07, 2016, 01:01:38 PM
Last week:   Puccini 0-1  Verdi
This week:   Verdi   1-2  Puccini

Puccini wins on away goals (tenor arias) rule  ;D
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: knight66 on January 07, 2016, 01:04:20 PM
Well, not in this house, Sops and ensembles...so it's Verdi here.

Mike
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: LeRichard on April 22, 2017, 02:04:01 PM
Puccini is better. Verdi was talented theatrically, but in my opinion, his orchestration is underwhelming and can even sound kind of whimsical at times.

People here have said things like, "Verdi may have been the better composer, but my heart goes with Puccini." I find this thought kind of silly. It's sort of like saying, "I should prefer Verdi, but I prefer Puccini. But, because I should prefer Verdi, Verdi is the better composer." The composer's job is to win over your heart -- not to write music that is somehow objectively better.

Puccini's operas are sappy, and Verdi was much more prolific, but Puccini is better able to move the listener with his music.

In my opinion, Puccini's masterpiece is Madama Butterfly. It's this opera that tips the scale toward him.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: zamyrabyrd on April 22, 2017, 11:36:53 PM
Puccini is better. Verdi was talented theatrically, but in my opinion, his orchestration is underwhelming and can even sound kind of whimsical at times.
People here have said things like, "Verdi may have been the better composer, but my heart goes with Puccini." I find this thought kind of silly. It's sort of like saying, "I should prefer Verdi, but I prefer Puccini. But, because I should prefer Verdi, Verdi is the better composer." The composer's job is to win over your heart -- not to write music that is somehow objectively better.Puccini's operas are sappy, and Verdi was much more prolific, but Puccini is better able to move the listener with his music.
In my opinion, Puccini's masterpiece is Madama Butterfly. It's this opera that tips the scale toward him.

WOW!!!
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: 71 dB on April 23, 2017, 01:05:37 AM
Puccini is better. Verdi was talented theatrically, but in my opinion, his orchestration is underwhelming and can even sound kind of whimsical at times.

People here have said things like, "Verdi may have been the better composer, but my heart goes with Puccini." I find this thought kind of silly. It's sort of like saying, "I should prefer Verdi, but I prefer Puccini. But, because I should prefer Verdi, Verdi is the better composer." The composer's job is to win over your heart -- not to write music that is somehow objectively better.

Puccini's operas are sappy, and Verdi was much more prolific, but Puccini is better able to move the listener with his music.

My ears are incompatible with Verdi's music. I simply don't like it at all. I think it is the way Verdi emphasizes melody over harmony. That's why Verdi's music is easy to whistle and is popular among masses, but for those who want more complex structures Verdi's "melodies" are a nightmare.

My ears are compatible with Puccini's music. That's a balance of musical dimensions and structures that work for me!  :)

So, I don't care who is "better" (how do you objectively measure that?). I simply listen to music I am compatible with.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Spineur on April 23, 2017, 01:36:32 AM
What interest me is the tandem Composer-Librettist.  On that count I would say it is a tossup.
The relation between Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica and Giacomo Puccini is one of the most successful in opera history.  What characterizes his opera is the effectiveness of each phrase and the music chiselled for it.
Piave and Boito did marvel for Verdi.  A number of their libretti were also revised further to enhance the opera effectivness.

Although most Czech composers did write nice music for their operas, they made the fatal mistake of writing their libretti themselves.  Nothing beats teamwork.  What would Mozart operas be without da Ponte ?
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: zamyrabyrd on April 24, 2017, 08:00:13 AM
My ears are incompatible with Verdi's music. I simply don't like it at all. I think it is the way Verdi emphasizes melody over harmony. That's why Verdi's music is easy to whistle and is popular among masses, but for those who want more complex structures Verdi's "melodies" are a nightmare. My ears are compatible with Puccini's music. That's a balance of musical dimensions and structures that work for me!
So, I don't care who is "better" (how do you objectively measure that?). I simply listen to music I am compatible with.

I didn't answer the original smear on Verdi as his music is too important for me, I might get too emotional.

First of all, "easy to whistle", wow, just try some of his later works: Othello, Falstaff. If pleasing some of the masses is a fault, then one could blame Wolfgang Mozart who wasn't so much of a snob as not to appeal to less educated listeners as well as sophisticated ones.

Giuseppe Verdi was an absolute genius of orchestration. If you think that accompanying all combinations of voices is easy, it is not, except if one expects the oom pah pah of some early Romantic opera writers. He was a master colorist, his building up of dramatic tension as in Rigoletto is unmatched.

His music is not easy to sing as the operas themselves were crafted with certain very accomplished singers in mind as were those of Rossini, nothing new. His roles demand skill and endurance.

There is also a moral force in his works, a deep compassion for humanity that is much less expressed by Puccini's.

Please give me a break and not be so dismissive of one of the greatest composers of all time. Just because he did not write symphonies and concertos doesn't make him less than those who did.

ZB
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2017, 10:38:14 AM
Please give me a break and not be so dismissive of one of the greatest composers of all time.
Are you saying I HAVE TO like Verdi, because he is considered one of the greatest opera composers? Give me a break.  ::)

I am not smart enough for Verdi's genius so I listen to Puccini. Sorry.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: zamyrabyrd on April 24, 2017, 10:13:12 PM
Are you saying I HAVE TO like Verdi, because he is considered one of the greatest opera composers? Give me a break. 
I am not smart enough for Verdi's genius so I listen to Puccini. Sorry.

It has nothing to do with "smart" or not.
It is only about stating a fact like "Beethoven, Michelangelo and Shakespeare were great".

ZB
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2017, 11:26:33 PM
It has nothing to do with "smart" or not.
It is only about stating a fact like "Beethoven, Michelangelo and Shakespeare were great".

ZB

So Beethoven's, Verdi's, Michelangelo's Shakespeare's greatness is an absolute fact and can never be questioned? I don't like that, because I question things. I don't enjoy Verdi's music so I am incompatible with it. He's greatness is meaningless to me. It's my problem and loss when all that great music is meaningless to me. Fortunately there is tons of music out there which is meaningful to me, music I am compatible with so there is no reason to be miserable.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: zamyrabyrd on April 24, 2017, 11:34:33 PM
So Beethoven's, Verdi's, Michelangelo's Shakespeare's greatness is an absolute fact and can never be questioned? I don't like that, because I question things. I don't enjoy Verdi's music so I am incompatible with it. He's greatness is meaningless to me. It's my problem and loss when all that great music is meaningless to me. Fortunately there is tons of music out there which is meaningful to me, music I am compatible with so there is no reason to be miserable.

There are objective criteria for greatness in the arts and sciences. Otherwise, prestigious prizes could be given to anyone.  But really, don't be miserable, be happy!
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: knight66 on April 24, 2017, 11:48:38 PM
71 dB, I think that if you want to be an iconoclast, you need to provide evidence rather than opinion. That might give you a chance of standing against the generations of experts who have reasoned their way through likes and dislikes to provide a list of great artists and their works. On occasion some musicologist or other can indeed buck the trend. But the sort of 'reasons' you provide don't stand up and are really just opinion that is dressed up. By all means go down that route, but don't assume folk here will agree.

Had you left it by initially saying that, I don't connect with Verdi, I don't like his music....there would be no issue. The problem, which we have discussed before, is where you start to provide opinions as to what is wrong with music you don't like and imagine we will all nod at the validity of your supposed critique.

I have never liked these topics that set one great composer adversarially against another.

Mike

Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2017, 11:56:15 PM
There are objective criteria for greatness in the arts and sciences.
In sciences maybe, not so much in arts. In 1800 J. S. Bach wasn't considered that great, at least as great as his son C.P.E. In 1900 he was considered one of the greatest. Were people wrong in 1800 or 1900? For example, did they fail to use these objective criteria in 1800? No, I believe there are only weak guidelines in arts for greatness and most of it is subjective.

Otherwise, prestigious prizes could be given to anyone.
So you think the Oscars always go to the right address?  ;D

But really, don't be miserable, be happy!
I am tired because of the pipe repair in my house, I'm struggling to get a new job and my mother has a serious illness so happiness is a bit challenging, but it's not Verdi's fault!  ;)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: zamyrabyrd on April 25, 2017, 01:27:59 AM
Taking only from the top of my head (there should be a list somewhere), criteria for greatness in the arts or literature can be:
1) prodigious output (think of Dickens, Balzac)
2) universal themes (Tolstoy, Hugo)
3) skill and mastery of one's craft (Verdi, Monteverdi)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Tsaraslondon on April 25, 2017, 01:39:26 AM
3) skill and mastery of one's craft (Verdi, Monteverdi)

It's interesting, don't you think, the majority of popular opera composers, those whose works form the backbone of the regular repertoire of any opera house, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Puccini for instance, all took a while to get it right.

Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Jo498 on April 25, 2017, 01:41:54 AM
I know very little Puccini and also have major gaps in my knowledge of Verdi's music. I tend to prefer Verdi and I don't find Puccini more "complex" although he is obviously more "advanced/modern" in some respects as is only to be expected, after all his music is contemporary of Strauss and Schönberg, not of Schumann, Brahms or Wagner. Puccini is often too sentimental and overblown for me although one can hardly deny his skill in evoking striking (sometimes exotic) atmospheres.
While Verdi (like Mozart) cannot reduced to pretty melodies, I see nothing wrong with having catchy and impressive melodies (and I find Verdi more successful here than Puccini).
Have you tried Verdi's Requiem? It does have complex instrumentation and polyphony (although I find some things admittedly irriating, e.g. the "banda" interjections in the Sanctus fugue, this is too gross a juxtaposition for my taste, it is a very impressive piece.)
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Jo498 on April 25, 2017, 01:48:03 AM
It's interesting, don't you think, the majority of popular opera composers, those whose works form the backbone of the regular repertoire of any opera house, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Puccini for instance, all took a while to get it right.
I am going out on a limb here but I think that Verdi, Wagner and maybe also Puccini were probably not as prodigiously gifted as some other composers and therefore needed a lot of hard work until they hit their stride. There is of course also the general difficulty of opera as musical drama and the restrictions of the opera business of their (or any) time. Especially Wagner also needed to experiment with several styles and types of opera until got closer to his visionary ideas of musical drama, so a few clunkers are to be expected.

Mozart was a prodigy and could imitate successful composers of his time (like Johann Christian Bach) as a teenager. He was around 25 when he wrote what was maybe the greatest Opera Seria ever, Idomeneo, and the musically most daring Singspiel, the Abduction. So I'd say he got it right fairly quickly.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 25, 2017, 02:35:45 AM
I am going out on a limb here but I think that Verdi, Wagner and maybe also Puccini were probably not as prodigiously gifted as some other composers and therefore needed a lot of hard work until they hit their stride. There is of course also the general difficulty of opera as musical drama and the restrictions of the opera business of their (or any) time. Especially Wagner also needed to experiment with several styles and types of opera until got closer to his visionary ideas of musical drama, so a few clunkers are to be expected.

Mozart was a prodigy and could imitate successful composers of his time (like Johann Christian Bach) as a teenager. He was around 25 when he wrote what was maybe the greatest Opera Seria ever, Idomeneo, and the musically most daring Singspiel, the Abduction. So I'd say he got it right fairly quickly.
Um, this males no sense to me. Your premise is flawed. Don't forget, there 12 operas before Idomeneo. Age isn't important here - experience and maturity are (something I'd say in general for other arts too). 
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Tsaraslondon on April 25, 2017, 02:53:53 AM
Mozart was a prodigy and could imitate successful composers of his time (like Johann Christian Bach) as a teenager. He was around 25 when he wrote what was maybe the greatest Opera Seria ever, Idomeneo, and the musically most daring Singspiel, the Abduction. So I'd say he got it right fairly quickly.

Well yes, Mozart was a prodigy, but his earliest operas, of which there are quite a few, are not really that distinguished, even if there are flashes of the genius which was to flower later.
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: zamyrabyrd on June 24, 2017, 07:08:38 AM
I just read a most intriguing book about "Puccini, the Keeper of the Seal". This epithet was given to him by none other than Verdi, who saw in him the continuation of Italian lyricism. The book itself had been shifted around for years, not bought by me. I never thought I would be interested in reading a biography about Puccini but his life occupies only one half of the book. It was written by Edward Greenfield, a paperback published by Grey Arrow in 1958 and has 3/6 on the cover.

With all due respect, opera composers are usually not the examples one meets in analysis class or even books, but the author makes a convincing case about the first acts of many of his operas to be first movement sonata form. Why is this significant? Because there is a musical unity below the surface. La Bohème and Tosca are really tight pieces of work with melodic connections all through. This description of the shape of many of his "Grand Tunes" speaks for itself.

(https://photos-5.dropbox.com/t/2/AABgzVBKI-0mvWLKSNa-NfKScmFOBiORbZeLm29j9jwe_A/12/40908115/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/Puccini%20Keeper%20of%20the%20Seal.jpg/EMrUnR8YhQQgAigC/1NOlrUj0-f7t9Vn4xC-shva-p6CwA3pGF3gmdSAHWJo?size=1024x768&size_mode=3)

There are other musical characteristics, too many to go into here but the augmented 4th is fairly recognizable in Butterfly, for instance. He was no mean harmonist or orchestrator either. He spent much time perfecting each detail. It is also known how much he penetrated the characters of the operas he liked the best. It was hard for him to find librettos that suited him (and he did fight constantly with his librettists) a reason there are so relatively few operas by him.

There is more in the book if anyone is interested...

ZB
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Tsaraslondon on June 24, 2017, 11:49:19 AM
I don't know Greenfield's book, but I do have a book by Charles Osborne called simply The Complete Operas of Puccini, which he wrote after completing The Compete Operas of Verdi. One gets the impression that Osborne has greater admiration for Verdi than Puccini, though he obviously likes Puccini too.

Neither book probes as deeply as Julian Budden's invaluable three volume The Operas of Verdi, and exhaustive study, which I would recommend to anyone interested in Verdi's music.



Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: zamyrabyrd on June 25, 2017, 12:58:35 AM
Hmmn, very interesting...

Charles Thomas Osborne (born 24 November 1927 in Brisbane, Australia) is a journalist, theatre and opera critic, poet and novelist. He was assistant editor of The London Magazine from 1958 until 1966, literature director of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1971 until 1986, and chief theatre critic of Daily Telegraph (London) from 1986 to 1991. He is the only author the Agatha Christie Estate has ever allowed to produce adapted works in her name. (Wikipedia)


The Complete Operas of Verdi, Victor Gollancz, London 1969
Wagner and his World, Thames & Hudson, London 1977 ISBN 0-500-13060-4
The Complete Operas of Puccini, Victor Gollancz, London 1981 ISBN 0-575-03013-5
How to Enjoy Opera, Piatkus, London 1982 ISBN 0-86188-144-3
The Dictionary of Opera, Macdonald & Co, London, 1983 ISBN 0-356-09700-5
The Complete Operas of Wagner, Victor Gollancz, London 1990 ISBN 0-575-05380-1
The Complete Operas of Strauss, Victor Gollancz, London 1992 ISBN 0-575-05379-8
The Complete Operas of Mozart, Victor Gollancz, London 1992 ISBN 0-575-03823-3
The Opera Lover's Companion, Yale University Press ISBN 978-0-300-10440-0
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Tsaraslondon on June 25, 2017, 01:37:14 AM
Hmmn, very interesting...

Charles Thomas Osborne (born 24 November 1927 in Brisbane, Australia) is a journalist, theatre and opera critic, poet and novelist. He was assistant editor of The London Magazine from 1958 until 1966, literature director of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1971 until 1986, and chief theatre critic of Daily Telegraph (London) from 1986 to 1991. He is the only author the Agatha Christie Estate has ever allowed to produce adapted works in her name. (Wikipedia)


The Complete Operas of Verdi, Victor Gollancz, London 1969
Wagner and his World, Thames & Hudson, London 1977 ISBN 0-500-13060-4
The Complete Operas of Puccini, Victor Gollancz, London 1981 ISBN 0-575-03013-5
How to Enjoy Opera, Piatkus, London 1982 ISBN 0-86188-144-3
The Dictionary of Opera, Macdonald & Co, London, 1983 ISBN 0-356-09700-5
The Complete Operas of Wagner, Victor Gollancz, London 1990 ISBN 0-575-05380-1
The Complete Operas of Strauss, Victor Gollancz, London 1992 ISBN 0-575-05379-8
The Complete Operas of Mozart, Victor Gollancz, London 1992 ISBN 0-575-03823-3
The Opera Lover's Companion, Yale University Press ISBN 978-0-300-10440-0

He's a critic I don't often agree with, probably because he didn't like Callas. His chapter on the various recordings of Lucia di Lammermoor in Opera on Record is almost laughable. For instance,

Quote
I have always found Callas's vocal failings a great stumbling block, especially in the bel canto operas, which, in the earlier part of her career, she liked to sing.

shows not only ignorance of Callas's career (in the earlier part of her career she was singing Turandot, Isolde, Brunnhilde, Aida and Tosca), but a somewhat imperfect grasp of the needs of bel canto opera.

Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on June 25, 2017, 06:27:00 AM
You might try the three books by William Berger on Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner

They are not meant to be exhaustive or deeply analytical (although they do cover every opera,  whether performed often or not), but they are entertaining and discerning.

https://www.amazon.com/William-Berger/e/B000APHTVS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1498400294&sr=8-2-fkmr1
Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: Tsaraslondon on June 26, 2017, 12:17:11 AM
You might try the three books by William Berger on Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner

They are not meant to be exhaustive or deeply analytical (although they do cover every opera,  whether performed often or not), but they are entertaining and discerning.

https://www.amazon.com/William-Berger/e/B000APHTVS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1498400294&sr=8-2-fkmr1

Thanks. I'll look them up.


Title: Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
Post by: johnniealvarez on July 25, 2017, 12:54:13 PM
I'm voting for Puccini and his mustashes!