Author Topic: Underrated operas  (Read 5097 times)

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Offline André

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Re: Underrated operas
« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2020, 01:11:54 PM »
Yes, times have changed. When I started collecting records in the early seventies, there was only one stereo version of Pelléas available (Ansermet) - nobody wanted to hear something in mono  ???. So it was Ansermet, period. Then came Boulez and Karajan. I don’t think it’s a figment of my imagination to say that many music lovers were taken aback by the fact that Lord Karajan had recorded Pelléas - it was so out of character. It’s fair to say that it was a milestone in the work’s fortunes. Recordings tumbled forth from there on.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Underrated operas
« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2020, 02:13:34 PM »
Maybe we are getting the words popular and underrated mixed up. I'd aver that Pelléas et Mélisande is highly revered and certainly has always been, at least as long as I have been interested in opera, which is around fifty years now. It also seems now to be increasing in popularity. On the other hand, many operas which were once very popular are not performed so often now, the OP's Thaïs being one such. I'd suggest that the reason for its comparative neglect is that it's not really very good and therefore can't be considered underrated.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Underrated operas
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2020, 04:07:17 AM »
Yes, times have changed. When I started collecting records in the early seventies, there was only one stereo version of Pelléas available (Ansermet) - nobody wanted to hear something in mono  ???.

I had to laugh at the mono today. Even today, Callas's mono Tosca is widely regarded as the best recording. Come to that, Roger Dessormiè 1941 Pelléas is often cited as the reference recording. And there's a very good live 1954 Rome Pelléas conducted by Karajan with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (!) as Mélisande. All that said, the Anserment stereo version (he also did an earlier mono version for Decca) was my first recording of the work, though by that time, the Boulez was also available.

Yeah, I've often thought this thread should be re-named "Operas *I* think should be performed more often". So I'll suggest Flotow's Martha. I'd much rather see that than another leaden revival of Die Fledermaus or The Merry Widow.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 04:16:25 AM by Wendell_E »
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Offline DaveF

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Re: Underrated operas
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2020, 07:08:08 AM »
If the rest of Berwald's Drottningen av Golconda is as good as the overture (which it may or may not be; there's no way of knowing) then it'll be wonderful.  (Although the fact that no revivals seem to have followed its 1968 première suggests otherwise.)
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline André

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Re: Underrated operas
« Reply #44 on: February 26, 2020, 08:06:10 AM »
This month I listened to extended excerpts from Peterson-Berger’s opera The Doomsday Prophets. I don’t think it’s ever been recorded, but if it ever does, I would be very happy. I found these 80 minutes of excerpts pure enchantment.