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Subject: Humperdinck's inspiration
From: Regina Merwin <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Wed, 15 Nov 2006 02:31:42 -0500

text/plain (83 lines)

 Hi all,

Does anyone know if Englebert Humperdinck drew his musical inspiration from German folk songs, as the Grimms recorded their stories from folk tales?  Someone told me that the little game song the kids sing in Act 1 as they are goofing off is a traditional children's tune.  Are there others in the opera that are traditional? Or did I misunderstand?

I know he worked for Wagner.

Thanks for any help you can give me.


Regina Merwin
Operagraphics Hand-held Opera
Operatic Floaty Pens
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 10:24 PM
Subject: Re: Flawed=Exciting????

Donald Kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote: The flawed singers are easy to name,
the list would be long
and would include favorites of every description.

But how about flawless?  Any nominations for that honor?

Couldn't even imagine such a singer, or if one existed that I would want to hear
them.  As a matter of fact, the more nearly "perfect" singers are, the more the
things that aren't "perfect" stand out.  In the face of so much excellence, the
tiniest things can provoke an indulgent smile or disapproving frown.

 When it comes to the obviously "flawed" singers, they are either to your taste
or not.  Can you get by the flaws?  Everybody has their favorite flawed singers.

 It's when you get to Caruso, McCormack, Ponselle, Melchior, Flagstad, Tucker,
Bjorling, Warren, Merrill, Caballe, Pavarotti et al.....  That's when the
battles get fierce.  Especially on recordings, where the smallest of mannerisms
show up, repeated listenings can provoke a reaction of "Stop doing that! Enough

 I've sometime wickedly fantasized about producing a thesaurus of negative terms
describing the faults of super great singers, so that no one would be at a loss
for words.  "Quit scooping, quit whining, quit woofing, show some guts, quit
showing off, quit kvetching" and the like, say, 5-6 negative phrases for each
singer, to sort of "cover the waterfront" so to speak.

 If I wanted to hear perfection, maybe I could listen to a perfectly beautiful
organ stop.  But wait, it would have to be played by a human being: SO, "How
unmusical, that's not legato, dull as dishwater, sounds like mush to me!"

 Seriously, the thrill of hearing "nearly flawless" singers exists in their
tremendous struggle to attain "perfection", and their inability to do just that.
The closer they come, the more thrilled we are.  A very human process.


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