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Subject: Re: "la favorite" vs "la favorita"
From: John Rahbeck <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Thu, 15 Dec 2016 21:03:02 -0500
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Personally I prefer Favorite in French, and Don Carlo in Italian. In the  
case of the Favorite, the Italian obliterates the beautiful  poetic  elegance 
for which the music is so beautifully  set. Not only does  the Italian 
version often generalize these poetic phrases turning it into a  second rate 
libretto, it also introduces many dotted rhythms which  disrupts the intricate 
and elegant musical and poetic interplay,  and the most effective wonderful 
musical expressiveness  is lost.
 In the case of Don Carlo, the French version does a better job of  filling 
out the scenes that make the drama more complete, for example, the  
exchange of the veils, and the extra act in the  five act version explains  the 
plot better, but Verdi was not able to catch the nuance and elegance of  French 
the way Donizetti could, and I find the Four act Italian version of  Don 
Carlo preferable and  more effective. The French version just  seems too 
cluttered, but the four act version reveals Verdi's genius   better in my 
opinion. There is simple elegance to the four act version, and  the Italian text is 
so economic and yet so nuanced, and the marriage between  text, drama and 
music is brilliantly achieved in a way that the French version  never seems 
to quite reach.
 I am convinced that Verdi got inspiration for Forza and Don Carlo  from 
Favorite. One can see many influences and an interesting transition from  one 
style into the next. It's almost as if he took Favorite and made it better,  
in an Italian way.
John Rahbeck
     
 
 
In a message dated 12/14/2016 11:59:48 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

In the  current issue of Opera News there’s a review of a recent 
performance of “La  Favorite” in Munich, sung in the original French version. The 
reviewer regards  the Italian version as an inferior and “… inaccurate, 
trivialized  adaptation…”

My early experiences with the opera were in the Italian  translation with 
the remarkable cast of Fiorenza Cossotto, Alfredo Kraus and  Sesto 
Bruscantini (later Piero Cappuccilli) and, even though I have several  recordings of 
the French version (which I do prefer), I don’t think the  Italian one is all 
that bad. Certainly I find that “Don Carlos” (French) is  marginally 
superior to “Don Carlo” (Italian).

Anyone want to chime in  with opinions?

Kurt Youngmann 

"Anti-intellectualism has been a  constant thread winding its way through 
our political and cultural life,  nurtured by the false notion that democracy 
means that 'my ignorance is just  as good as your knowledge.'” -
Isaac  Asimov



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