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Subject: Re: "Three Doctorate Degrees"
From: Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 31 Aug 2017 09:31:46 -0700
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I find it a bit like a drug that can mesmerize me for a while, then wear off, then catch me again.

Somewhat as is the case for me with "Peter Grimes," although I like the work as a whole, I often find more purely musical interest in the orchestral preludes and interludes than in the vocal writing.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPad

> On Aug 31, 2017, at 07:11, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> ". . . feeling vaguely impatient and wondering at the gulf between myself an
> and most other opera aficionados who profess to actually enjoy this opera."
> 
> I’m always a bit wary whenever reading assertions that, for no other 
> reason than not liking that anyone else who does can only be “professing” to do so.
> 
> For the (broken) record, 
> to do so.
> 
> For the (broken) record, Pelleas grabbed me by the throat and heart at a 
> very young age, has never loosened its grip and remains one of my life’s de
> dearest obsessions.  
> 
> Professor Lang is in “fine?” company with countless others who cannot 
> appreciate or enjoy, never mind love, Debussy’s opera and don’t mind 
> telling the “Cult of Pelleas,” just how wrong we are.  My entire adult life 
> I’ve read arguments explaining Debussy’s so-called failure, with page-after-page of defenses by otherwise rational seeming humans compelled to join in a chorus of general disapproval.  I once had a teacher who told me to 
> page of defenses by otherwise rational seeming humans compelled to join 
> in a chorus of general disapproval.  I once had a teacher who told me 
> to “shut the hell up about Wozzeck . . . NOBODY likes it.”  It almost seems 
> to be a case of “I don’t like it, so no one can/should/will.”  She was not a 
> good teacher.  
> 
> It goes without saying (yet here I am saying it) that those of us who do 
> love and yes, enjoy, Pelleas can seem a tad sensitive when defending it, 
> though in truth, it needs no defense from any of us who’re forever being 
> lectured how Debussy’s opera is “too esoteric” or “too cerebral,” etc.   
> While I wouldn’t argue against its being cerebral, what work of art 
> isn’t? . . . . “too” is a fairly presumptive and subjective modifier projecting 
> an unnecessary negativity.  As to “too esoteric” (or esoteric, at all) . . . I 
> don’t buy it.  So, again, while needing no defenders, Pelleas has 
> nonetheless been championed by many musicians I respect most, not the 
> least of which include Desormiere , von Karajan, Rattle, Levine, Ansermet, Haitink
> Haitink, Abbado, Dutoit, Cluytens . . . and they can’t ALL be wrong, right? 
> 
> In early 2004, Peter G. Davis wrote a marvelous article, “Demystifying 
> Debussy,” stating, 
> 
> "Not everyone responds . . . but those susceptible to Pelleas's hypnotic spel
> spell can never seem to get enough of it. "
> 
> Can I get an "amen?"
> 
> In an attempt to get people to shed their preconceived notions that Pelleas 
> is inaccessible as a music drama, he cited a number of recordings that 
> bring out the drama.  One of the lesser known is the “Rome Pelleas” with 
> van Karajan leading Ernst Haefliger and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf as the 
> doomed lovers.  Though unmentioned in the article , De Sabata also used 
> Schwarzkopf in a recording from La Scala recording with no less than 
> Jacques Jansen as Pelleas.  Jensen of course, was barely out of kneepants 
> when he recorded the role for Desormiere and that recording remains (of th
> the many I own) my hands down favorite.  
> 
> Oh my . . .  what was I saying about obsessions?  Never mind!  ;->
> 
> p.
> 
> “The girl in your class who suggests that this year the Drama Club put on 
> The Bald Soprano will be a thorn in people's sides all of her life.”
> Fran Lebowitz, “Social Studies”
> 
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