Author Topic: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #  (Read 690 times)

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Offline Leo K.

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Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2011, 07:18:17 AM »
Sometimes, I wish I could make an excerpts CD of parts from various Grétry operas and give it to people.  For example, the finale to Act 1 of La caravane du Caire, or the very interesting opening to Richard Coeur-de-lion... it starts out extremely dark and heavy, but then blurs into a pastoral, cheerful choral scene.  There's no standalone overture to that one, it's really a little jarring and strange, but it's really fantastic.

I also sometimes wish that no CD of Dittersdorf's symphonies had ever come out, since it gets people to avoid his operas (and chamber music, as well).  I like a few of his symphonies okay, but despite the large number of them, I think it was in his operas and chamber music that he shined.  Apparently, Joseph Haydn was a bit fan of his Il Barone di Rocca Antica, and I like it quite a bit myself... I not only have it on CD, but in a DVD as well.  I hesitate to recommend the DVD, since the choreography is utterly embarrassing as far as I'm concerned.  However, other than that, the performance is really, really good (it's almost worth the price alone just to see those period instruments in action before the stage).  There are several really star parts here, including the finales to both acts, which show a great skill for combining complexity and subtlety that would probably surprise the many Dittersdorf-bashers out there.

By the way, I also have that recording of Martín y Soler's Una cosa rara.  As a whole package, this is one of my absolute favourite operas.  I have to admit when I bought it, it was blind and mostly due to the references in Wolfgang Mozart's Don Giovanni.  Boy, what a lucky stab in the dark this was!  I've got it back out now, I almost forgot how amazing it was from start to finish.  In my opinion, I'm thinking Mozart might have had a hard time picking which music to borrow for his own opera, since there's a seriously large amount of very catch material here.

I wonder how many complete operas I have from the Classical Era.  I'm just looking through my collection, and geez.  I have 11 complete operas by Cimarosa alone (not to mention 3 separate recordings of Il matrimonio segreto, and 13 complete operas by Paisiello, and more (such as 3 complete operas by the relatively obscure Piccini).  I used to have a serious interest in Classical period Italian opera, and seeing this discussion has suddenly revived a bit of an itch in me.  I know what I'll probably be listening to a lot of the next few weeks!

Hey, awesome post. I've got a few of those in my collection as well! Not as much Cimarosa though (I only have four of those) ;) Thank you for your contribution, and I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts!

 8)




Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2011, 08:09:35 AM »
I usually prefer listening to the music of the Romantic era, I think it's much more involving and thrilling. But I really love Mozart's operas, especially Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, they're so beautiful and melodious!!  :)
Mozart's opera are definitely some of the finest pieces of music ever composed!  :)

Ilaria
"Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline Leo K.

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Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2011, 10:10:28 AM »
I usually prefer listening to the music of the Romantic era, I think it's much more involving and thrilling. But I really love Mozart's operas, especially Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, they're so beautiful and melodious!!  :)
Mozart's opera are definitely some of the finest pieces of music ever composed!  :)

Ilaria

I love the Romantic era too, probably just as much as I do the 18th Century...it is another wonderful world to explore...but the 18th Century is deepest in my heart  8)


Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2011, 10:25:09 AM »
I love the Romantic era too, probably just as much as I do the 18th Century...it is another wonderful world to explore...but the 18th Century is deepest in my heart  8)

As a matter of fact the Classical era is really amazing, full of greatest composers who deeply influenced of the other centuries......Bach, Händel, Haydn and Mozart are just few examples. I started to love classical music  listening to the 18th Century music.

Ilaria
"Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline Leo K.

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Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2011, 11:38:53 AM »




Listening to my second opera by Johann Naumann (1741-1801): Gustav Wasa (1786).

Fascinating! A very hypnotic musical journey from 18th century sweden! I'm still in the first act, but I LOVE what I'm hearing!

This recording sounds amazingly detailed and natural, nice bass, and no compression. Lovely!

 8)

From Groves:

NAUMANN, Johann Gottlieb (or GioVanni Amadeo), well-known composer in his day, born April 17, 1741, at Blasewitz near Dresden. Though the child of a peasant he was educated at the Kreuzschule in Dresden, and intended for a schoolmaster. He studied music by himself, until a Swedish musician resident in Dresden named Weestroem, happening to visit his home, was struck by seeing Bach's (probably Emanuel's) sonatas on the harpsichord, and determined to take him on a professional tour. Starting in May 1757, they first went to Hamburg, where they were detained ten months by Weestroem's ill health, and then to Padua, where Weestroem took lessons from Tartini, in which he did not allow Naumann toshare. His treatmentwasaltogether so bad that the young man left him, but was able to proceed with his training, as Tartini taught him for nothing, and an English musician named Hunt gave him pecuniary assistance. During his stay of three years in Padua he made the acquaintance of Hasse. He next went to Naples in 1761 with a pupil named Pitscher, to study dramatic music for six months ; and then, armed with a recommendation from Tartini, visited Padre Martini at Bologna, and received from him some instruction in counterpoint. During a lengthened stay at Venice he produced his first opera at San Samuele. In 1763 he returned home, and through the influence of the Electress was appointed court composer of sacred music. In 1765-68 he was again in Italy, composing 'Achille in Sciro' (1767) for Palermo, and 1 Alessandro nelle Indie' for Venice. In 1769 he produced 'La Clemenza di Tito' (Metastasio's text) in Dresden, and in 1772 'Solimanno ' and ' Nozze disturbate ' in Venice, 'Armida' in Padua (1773), and 'Ipermestra' in Venice (1774). On his return to Dresden in 1774 he declined a flattering invitation from Frederick the Great to Berlin, and in 1776 was rewarded by the Elector with the title of Capellmeister, and a salary of 1200 thalers. During a temporary residence in Stockholm (1776-78) he produced in Swedish 'Amphion' (1776) and 'Cora,' his best and most popular work, published for PF. in 1780. [He was again in Sweden in 1782-84, producing ' Gustav Vasa' in 1783.] In 1786 he was raised to the dignity of Obercapellmeister, with a salary of 2000 thalers, for his refusal of a brilliant position at Copenhagen. In 1793 he produced 'Protesilao,' an opera, at Berlin, and an oratorio 'Davidde in Terebinto' at Potsdam, for which he received a gold snuff-box with 400 Friedrichs d'or from the King Frederick William II., who also induced Hummel to take lessons from him. His last opera, 'Aci e Galatea,' was produced, April 25, 1801, at Dresden, where he died of apoplexy on the 23rd of the following October. For further particulars the reader is referred to Meissner's Bruchstiicke zur Biographic Naumann's (Prague, 1803-4).

Naumann was also a prolific composer of church music; thirteen oratorios, and twenty-one masses with Te Deums, and smaller church pieces, being preserved in Dresden. [See the Qucllcn-LcxHxm, for list.] The court chapel still performs some of his compositions, but the single work of his now known beyond Dresden is his setting of Klopstock's 'Vaterunser,' an effective composition for its day. Though a good musician, capable of turning his talents to account, he had not a particle of genius. Entirely uninfluenced by the works of Haydn and Mozart, he trudged on to the end of his life in the footsteps of Hasse and Graun. [He is reported to have composed the beautiful 'Dresden Amen,' immortalised in Wagner's ' Parsifal.']

The Library of the Royal College of Music contains a Mass of his(inG) publishedin London, with an accompaniment arranged by Edmund Harris; and'ThePilgrimsattheHolySepulchre,' an oratorio, edited with a biography by Mainzer. By his marriage with the daughter of Admiral Grotschilling he left three sons, the eldest of whom, Karl Friederich, became a woll-known mineralogist, whose son Ernst, born August 15, 1832, studied the organ with Johann Schneider, and composition with Hauptmann, and was from 1860 organist and musikdirector at Jena, and from 1877 professor. He published an excellent treatise, Ueber die verschiedenen Bestimmungen der Tonverhaltnisse (Leipzig, 1858), as well as some music, among which may be named two string quintets, and a serenade for strings and wind.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 11:44:34 AM by Leo K »

Offline Leo K.

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Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2013, 10:27:34 AM »


Hasse's "Cleofide". Highlights.

The COMPLETE opera is a listening experience of excitement and beauty, but the advantage of the highlights is, of course, that you need not listen to all of the recitatives, but truthfully I haven't minded even doing that at all. This approach is a great way to give you some idea of the entire opera. Rich and full. It would have to be very difficult to take from four discs of excellent arias and pick the 'best', but I think this recording presents a fair picture of the singers and what they did in 'Cleofide' (still available in the marketplace if you are interested). Anyway since not much unwittingly on his part. There are six main characters in this opera, all of whom perform their characterizations superbly. One may think that with all these basically teble voices, that confusion would exist in the listening process, but the quality of each of them is so unique and so abviously different from one another it does not really present a problem. Those of you who have heard each or all or some of them will easily detect to whom you are listening. For example Visse's male alto voice is a bit rough and reedy whereas Cordier is somooth, becoming one of the most powerful exponents of the Italian operatic style in Germany.

'Cleofide' was first performed in Dresden in September of 1731. Essentially, this work is based on the subject of jealousy, and has in general to do with conquest and the desire to be sole possessor of women and of kingdoms. This story idea is very reminiscent to me of the Gluck opera 'Iphigenie en Tauride'. In that opera the character 'Thoas' could be compared to Alexander in 'Cleofide', and in Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas' we would have to equate Aeneas to that role, albeit Johann Hasse (1699-1783) studied with Porpora in Naples. He was the first composer to set many of Metastasio's texts, and his music reflects the neo-classical ideal of Metastasio's style. A powerful dramatist, he was renowned for his careful use of the accompanied recitative (this is evident in 'Cleofide'. Hasses's long career covered the period around the middle of the eighteenth century, and his later works reveal attempts at overall unity by means of tonal planning and a reaction against the 'da capo' aria like those of Gluck. In 1734, he became composer for the court of Dresden.


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Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
« Reply #46 on: April 19, 2017, 10:05:18 AM »
After the wonderful Amadis de Gaule, the opera in french composed by Johann Christian Bach I had to get his Zanaida



David Stern (son of Isaac the violinist) discovered a complete score of this opera in the library of an American collector in 2010 and decided to exhume this interesting opera and record it. Compared to Amadis which is firmly classical, this leans a bit toward the baroque with Mozartian idioms.  I love the musical style of this period, where elegance was always at the forefront.




Spineur

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Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2017, 09:03:57 AM »
Beside Zanaida (posted above), I recently listened to la Clemenza de Scipione, but in term of recorded operas of J.-C. Bach, my clear favorite is this Amadis de Gaule.  There is so much energy in it, it is a truely uplifting moment for me.


Spineur

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Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2018, 04:23:48 PM »
Dug out this version of Orfeo ed Euridice with Franco Fagioli as Orfeo and Laurence Equilbey directing the insula orchestra on period instruments



This music of Gluck is so dramatic that it becomes thrilling.  The mixing of the Viennese and Paris versions is a strange idea especially considering the cuts made.  But I enjoyed it for the score and the commited performance.

Offline Que

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Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2020, 05:24:22 AM »
Listening now, after it lingered unopened on my shelves for quite a while:



An opera seria from 1765, premiered in Mannheim, by Neapolitan composer Gian Francesco de Majo.

Q

PS  This has been really interesting and enjoyable!  :)
De Majo was very orginal and innovative and Mozart was very complimentary on his music. And listening to this you can tell why and you will hear little motives and techniques that will sound oddly familiar.
A review on Amazon complains about two things: the fact that this is a "cut" version without the recitatives and the quality of the performance. Well, if you read the notes you'll find that all the recitativi secci were lost. So was the overture, but that has been replaced by one from another opera. I find the performances by the solists and the orchestra more than adequate. Given the quality the music, a star studded performance would obviously do well,  but there is plenty to enjoy even if the orchestpa occasionally sounds a bit "rustic". The opera was written for the court orchestra in Mannheim, so the scoring includes horns - a treat.  :)

Gian Francesco de Majo wrote 17 operas before he succumbed to tuberculosis at 38 years old.
Judging from this recording, record companies have plenty of treasures to dig out.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2020, 01:08:37 PM by Que »