Author Topic: Die tote Stadt  (Read 2618 times)

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Offline Anne

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Die tote Stadt
« on: November 12, 2007, 09:13:54 AM »
I am listening to Korngold's Die tote Stadt (Naxos) and besides noting that it reminds me of the orientalism in Puccini (Turandot or Madama Butterfly, for example), it also sounds very much like US musicals.  All the roles are sung.

I guess I'm asking what makes an opera as opposed to what makes a musical?  How does Die tote Stadt fit either of the categories?  Is it Korngold's style of writing?  In the beginning of the work, the music sounds like a motion picture is about to begin.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 09:56:22 AM by Anne »

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Die tote Stadt
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2007, 09:53:44 AM »
It was written before Korngold's move to the US, so I doubt there is much related to musicals in it, although I'm not an expert. It reminding you of movie music could be because Korngold was one of the first Hollywood film composers, and essentially, a lot of the Hollywood sound in movies from the 40s and 50s was pioneered by Korngold and immitated by others. It is his own style, rather than being derivative of anything.

IMO his early operas fit well into the post-Wagner musical landscape of Europe, with composers such as Strauss and Zemlinsky, and Puccini was strongly influenced by Wagner as well. Operas from the early 20th century are interesting for how each composer deals with the Wagner question...
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Anne

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Re: Die tote Stadt
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2007, 10:01:39 AM »
It was written before Korngold's move to the US, so I doubt there is much related to musicals in it, although I'm not an expert. It reminding you of movie music could be because Korngold was one of the first Hollywood film composers, and essentially, a lot of the Hollywood sound in movies from the 40s and 50s was pioneered by Korngold and immitated by others. It is his own style, rather than being derivative of anything.

IMO his early operas fit well into the post-Wagner musical landscape of Europe, with composers such as Strauss and Zemlinsky, and Puccini was strongly influenced by Wagner as well. Operas from the early 20th century are interesting for how each composer deals with the Wagner question...

Thanks, Lethe.  Your answer was very interesting and informative.

Sean

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Re: Die tote Stadt
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2007, 11:44:07 AM »
Anne, it's a dodgy piece, eclectic in all the wrong ways, occupying a mushy space between Puccini and Strauss.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 12:05:45 PM by Sean »

Offline Anne

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Re: Die tote Stadt
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2007, 12:01:21 PM »
"Operas from the early 20th century are interesting for how each composer deals with the Wagner."

Lethe,

That would make a great thread!  I'll start it and see if anything happens.

Sean, thanks for your thoughts on Korngold.  I feel like he's not as much up to par as other opera composers but can't figure out "why."

Offline yashin

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Re: Die tote Stadt
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2007, 03:12:01 AM »
Its got some of the most beautiful music in opera in my opinion- mushy or not.  The music is heartbreaking at times-just listen to Marie sing "our love was, is and will be" - it sends my flying everytime.

I don't think that there is anything wrong with mushy....many think Puccini as mere mushy but many of us like his operas because they affect our emotions so strongly.  Other 'great' composers make you think more but leave you cold at the end.  Puccini, Korngold and Strauss tug at the heartstrings.

Kullervo

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Re: Die tote Stadt
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 06:59:44 AM »
That would make a great thread!  I'll start it and see if anything happens.

I started a similar thread a few months ago, but it has died off a bit since then. Still, there are some great suggestions.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,2364.0.html


Offline Anne

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Re: Die tote Stadt
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2007, 05:49:44 PM »
Thanks for the link, Corey.

Offline Anne

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Re: Die tote Stadt
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2007, 11:23:57 AM »
Its got some of the most beautiful music in opera in my opinion- mushy or not.  The music is heartbreaking at times-just listen to Marie sing "our love was, is and will be" - it sends my flying everytime.

I don't think that there is anything wrong with mushy....many think Puccini as mere mushy but many of us like his operas because they affect our emotions so strongly.  Other 'great' composers make you think more but leave you cold at the end.  Puccini, Korngold and Strauss tug at the heartstrings.

yashin, I don't know how I missed your post before.  You make a good point about the heartstrings.  Thanks for replying.