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Subject: favorite scenes
From: kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 4 Dec 2016 09:20:38 -0600

text/plain (32 lines)

This post started out as a brief list of some of my favorite opera scenes. Unfortunately, however, I immediately realized that there’s no such thing as a short list. But I’ll keep it down to just a few and hope that others can contribute their own favorites.

1. The idea occurred to me as I was walking this morning and listening to the Antonia act from Hoffmann which has two of my favorites: both trios. Hoffmann is by far my #1 favorite French opera and I think the trios with Hoffmann, Miracle and Crespel and Miracle, Antonia and the Mother’s Voice are truly the opera’s high points.

2. The section of Suor Angelica that begins with “La grazia e discesa dal cielo” never fails to thrill me. For me, this is some of the best music Puccini ever composed. I had the pleasure of seeing Sondra Radvanovsky in the role several years ago and I must say it was among the greatest nights in the 65+ years I’ve been going to the opera.

3. The finale of Eugene Onegin combines beautiful music with intense drama.

4. The final trio from Rosenkavalier. For me, this is the single most beautiful piece of music ever composed. (My father and I used to argue about this; his choice was the Presentation, which is certainly magnificent, but nothing tops the trio for me).

5. The Filippo / Grand Inquistor scene in Don Carlo. When this is done well it sounds like it could be the “War of the Worlds.” The best version, for me, is from the set with Christoff and Giulio Neri.

Hoping to hear about more favorites,

Kurt Youngmann

"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies." - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

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