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Subject: Dialogues of the Carmelites
From: Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 20 Feb 2018 23:09:43 -0500

text/plain (45 lines)

Anon blogger wrote:

>Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites doesn't at all convince. The unlikeable
tacky religious kitsch (not even likeable in a camp "good because it's bad"
way) of the situation and music as well as the poverty of the actual
musical material makes for a long evening. Though the characters are
strongly drawn, they are hard to relate to - what are we to make of the
eliptical and abnormal reasoning of the minds of the devout, whose attitude
to life and death is so different from our own? Only Soeur Constance is
really likeable, but because she's so explicitly normal and seems to lack
the strangeness of the order's religious sentiments (until the ending that
is). The music in Carmelites makes one almost suspect a confectionary
misspelling -- sickly sweet and pleasurable in small quantities but
actually of little nutritious value. There are a few scenes that stick out
but the lack of real musical invention makes it a dull overall listening


Agree that the music is, if not over-sweet, not always very nutritious
(like Poulenc generally).

(My understanding is that Poulenc was digging for the real France beneath
the official lies, and finding Catholicism, aristocracy, the small
community and self-sacrifice where others see only the regimented terror of
the modern state)

Of course it is not at the artistic level of 'Mathis der Maler', 'Doktor
Faust' or 'From The House of The Dead' (Z mrtvého domu)..... but look what
has come out of France since then!

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