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Subject: Re: More cuts
From: "David M. Wagner" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David M. Wagner
Date:Tue, 19 Dec 2017 16:25:50 -0500
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My general rule is completeness. (An exception: I understand that "Il Mio Tesoro" was written because the original Ottavio couldn't handle "Dalla Sua Pace." We don't need them both. Choose.)

OTOH:
Marcellina's and Basilio's arias in Act IV of Le Nozze? They're great! Put them back in! Besides, they keep Le Nozze going longer, and that's desirable in itself.

Cutting "Possente Amor" is inexcusable. This cut actually detracts from the plot (though "Possente" is not strictly necessary for it). Also "Possente" sets up the musical contrast with Rigoletto's entrance. Take down the high D if you have to - and most tenors who aren't Alfredo Kraus have to - but don't cut the whole cabaletta. This is a glaring weakness in the otherwise great Merrill-Bjoerling-Peters recording.

Another spanner in the machinery is when completism forces faster tempi than the conductor wants, because unions & golden time. I think this happened when Jurovski conducted Frau. Some consider the Böhm cuts canonical; I don't, because when opened, it turns out they rock. But I'd pardon a maestro who took them in order to fit his vision of the piece within the (exogenous, not musically-originated, but in-force) rules.

-David Wagner


Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 19, 2017, at 1:57 PM, David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Having posted on the Met and its practice in cutting "Possente amor" (which
> no one seems to have an idea about), today I can report a cut I didn't know
> was ever contemplated, much less allowed, and by no less a conductor than
> Fritz Reiner.  On a Sirius 1953 broadcast of 'Meistersinger' the second
> verse of the 'Preislied' was removed.
> 
> I wish some musicologist would publish a book devoted to the subject of cuts
> in opera.  I have always been oddly obsessed with this question, which to me
> at least is surrounded in complete historical mystery, and I would
> appreciate a comprehensive treatment of it.
> 
> David Kubiak
> 
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