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# Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #

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Leo K.:

--- Quote from: JoshLilly on September 20, 2011, 02:44:50 PM ---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!

--- End quote ---

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)



Lisztianwagner:
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

Leo K.:

--- Quote from: Lisztianwagner 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

--- End quote ---

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)

Lisztianwagner:

--- Quote from: Leo K on September 24, 2011, 10:10:28 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)

--- End quote ---

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

Leo K.:




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.

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