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Subject: Fwd: Death in Venice
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 18 Nov 2017 21:50:55 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (122 lines)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 9:49 PM
Subject: Re: Death in Venice
To: London Tier <[log in to unmask]>


"Puccini it isn't!"

More's  the pity!

dtmk

On Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 6:01 PM, London Tier <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I can say with a little authority that between them Britten and Peter Pears
> created a wonderful and varied part for Aschenbach. Britten was very ill
> when he wrote this, and I don't think (hence) that the piece has the
> stature of *Billy Budd *or *The Turn of the Screw*. What most opera lovers
> fail to grasp is that Britten absorbed the Brechtain distancing stance into
> a technique rooted in Verdi and thereby created a fascinating, and
> creatively fruitful tension, though he did not Brecht techniques for
> Brechtian socio-political purpose (quite the opposite, in fact). But no,
> Puccini it isn't!
>
>
>
>
>
> On Friday, November 17, 2017, Genevieve Castle Room <
> [log in to unmask]
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml',[log in to unmask]);>> wrote:
>
> > Harold C. Schonberg wrote:
> >
> >
> > >“Death in Venice” is the product of a master technician. The score is
> > cunningly dovetailed, and every action on stage is perfectly echoed in
> the
> > orchestra. There are recurrent motives of various kinds; there are
> certain
> > instruments associated with various characters; there is an underlying
> > feeling of menace and decay. In a way, “Death Venice” is a synthesis of
> > everything Britten has composed up to now..... Yet one wonders. With all
> > the craft that has gone into this opera, and into so much of Britten's
> > previous work, he still remains a singularly calculating, even
> > cold‐blooded, composer. It is hard to be moved by his crabbed melodic
> > lines; they go up and down, imitating emotions rather than being
> emotional
> > themselves. His settings often sound mannered and unnatural [....] "Death
> > in Venice” is a very serious work, but the score ends up as brilliant
> > background music. The plot takes over and supersedes everything else
> > [....] It
> > may be that Britten through the years has been, deep within himself, a
> very
> > conservative composer who wanted to straddle the modern camp. Perhaps
> this
> > accounts for his synthetic idiom. Certainly the immense degree of
> technique
> > that he owns has seldom been matched by musical materials that have much
> > staying power. This is of course a personal impression, but it is
> > reinforced by the fact that very few of Britten's operas have ever
> achieved
> > real popularity. “Death in Venice” will be talked about; it will, thanks
> to
> > the ingenious production at the Metropolitan Opera, be admired by many.
> But
> > will it be a repertory opera? Has it staying power? I doubt it.
> >
> > ----------------
> >
> > One of the few times where I mostly agree with Schonberg.
> >
> > This opera is one of the thinnest, most superficial I've ever
> experienced,
> > both in the theatre and through listening to recordings.
> >
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