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Subject: Re: "I Am Always Sad Listening To It"
From: London Tier <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:London Tier <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12:19:52 -0800
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I prefer Bohème, too, but I don't see any reason to disparage other
people's preferences. I agree that the music in Turandot, while colourfully
orchestrated, can be predictably structured at times. But sometimes a
primitive, predictable structure (Mr. Innaurato references the sequences in *In
questa reggia*) can be quite effective in the theater. I caution my
students not to judge an opera by recordings, but rather the live
experience in the auditorium. If one considers the context in which Puccini
wrote the opera, one can hear the fear and violence of the political/social
situation in Europe at the time, and his own excruciating pain. It is a
dark work for a dark time. Look at the visual arts (particularly the
propaganda posters of the period.) A pastiche of styles and themes: from
sentimental neo-impressionism to violent expressionism.

Perhaps we are entering a dark, divisive period in our own history and
society as well. And the arts seem to be completely fragmented in terms of
style, content and purpose.



On Friday, January 20, 2017, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> "Music came into the world to give pleasure".  - Thornton Wilder.
>
> dtmk
>
> On Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Genevieve Castle Room
> <[log in to unmask] <javascript:;>> wrote:
> > Albert Innaurato wrote:
> >
> >
> >>"I am always very suspicious of people who 'like' Turandot, especially
> > more than the earlier work. Puccini was always a derivative composer. He
> > was a clever lifter of ideas from elsewhere, but he had the knack of
> making
> > them his own usually, as he does in La Boheme. But Turandot, although it
> > obviously entailed a lot of intellectual heavy lifting and sheer work, is
> > made up of appliqued shreds and patches from elsewhere right down to
> > [Schoenberg's] Pierrot Lunaire, Mussorgsky's Gopak, Stravinsky's The
> > Nightingale and yes of Lehar in the tenor's arias, and on and on and
> on....
> > It is dramatically and musically false. It is false to the genius Puccini
> > demonstrated in all his earlier works with greater and lesser effect. I
> am
> > always sad listening to it. I don't think he could have been happy about
> > having recourse to the cheapest Tchaikovsky gimmick, the dogged use of
> > sequences to build a melody as in 'In questa reggia'. I happen to like
> > Tchaikovsky too, but he overuses that trick."
> >
> >
> > Yes... but what can you reasonably expect from the post-war 1920s,
> > especially from a composer born in 1858? In that sense Turandot is
> typical
> > of the various modernist crises around that time.
> >
> >
> > You wrote:
> >
> >
> >>"I happen to like Tchaikovsky too, but he overuses that trick."
> >
> >
> > As an aside: You might want to read Peter Franklin's book on Late
> > Romanticism to see how attitudes about Tchaikovsky and others took hold.
> >
> >
> > Here is a description.
> >
> >
> >>"Why are some of the most beloved and frequently performed works of the
> > late-romantic period  --  Mahler, Delius, Debussy, Sibelius, Puccini  --
> >  regarded by many critics as perhaps not quite of the first rank? Why has
> > modernist discourse continued to brand these works as overly sentimental
> > and emotionally self-indulgent? Peter Franklin takes a close and
> > even-handed look at how and why late-romantic symphonies and operas
> steered
> > a complex course between modernism and mass culture in the period leading
> > up to the Second World War. The style’s continuing popularity and its
> > domination of the film music idiom (via work by composers such as Max
> > Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and their successors) bring
> late-romantic
> > music to thousands of listeners who have never set foot in a concert
> > hall. *Reclaiming
> > Late-Romantic Music* sheds new light on these often unfairly disparaged
> > works and explores the historical dimension of their continuing role in
> the
> > contemporary sound world.
> >
> > http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520280397
> >
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