LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives


OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


View:

Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font

Options:

Join or Leave OPERA-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


Subject: Re: Dialogues of the Carmelites
From: Louis Perraud <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:22:16 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (122 lines)


Dear Mr. Padillo

Thanks for your vigorous defense of M. Poulenc's wonderful opera. What really irritated me about the post you were replying to was not the writer's preference for other 20th century operas--that's a judgement that goes with having an individual set of ears--nor his rejection of the religious and political values that underlie the opera--those are judgements he has every right to make.  No, what bothered me was the post's snide condescension, and assumption that the writer had an irrefutable correct view that there is no room to disagree with.

Louis Perraud




n--- "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]> wrote: s
> "The music in Carmelites makes one almost suspect a confectionaryn
> 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
> experience."  (Snip)
> ******
> 
> This (along with nearly everything else in the post, attached to the bottom, 
> where it belongs) has to be among the most hilarious, yet still bilious 
> statements of bullshit I’ve ever run across regarding what is widely, and 
> correctly accepted as one of the masterpieces of the mid 20th century, 
> bringing to mind the nonsense by some British critic citing “Nozze di 
> Figaro” as an inflated, overrated, bore “people only pretend to like because 
> they’re supposed to,” proving no lack of idiocy in the world of criticism and 
> journalism.  
> 
> 15-20 years ago I had “dialogues” with a fellow lister who hated this opera, 
> stating how he “was enraged by “the passivity of the Sisters of Carmel” 
> and their like “lambs-to-the-slaughter” idea of martyrdom, questioning why 
> a composer could possibly be drawn to this text.  Poulenc should “have 
> been ashamed to bring this before the public .  .  . At a time when the 
> whole world was still reeling . . . how could Poulenc choose to set this little 
> antique tragedy about the Carmelite nuns of 1789."
> 
> The beauty – and horror – of Poulenc’s opera, I believe, is how it addresses 
> universally many issues and, despite the specificity of it its setting, is 
> ultimately a story that could take, and has taken place at any given time in 
> any part of the world.  In “Dialogues” Poulenc has given us one of the few 
> repertory pieces which, alongside Wagner’s “Parsifal” has caused many to 
> profoundly examine one’s personal faith, whatever that faith may be.
> 
> 
> As to the irrational necessity felt to pit Poulenc’s opera with those less 
> frequently performed (“more esoteric,” if you will) operas by Janacek and 
> Busoni is unnecessary and, ultimately, useless.  The three composers had 
> entirely different – and unique – styles that had/have nothing to do with 
> each other aside from each man being at the top of his game and 
> producing works of genius.  A personal preference for another work does 
> not diminish the artistic accomplishment of Monsieur Poulenc with his 
> Dialogues.
> 
> From the initial buzz at its La Scala premiere to continued productions 
> round the world, ever since, Poulenc’s opera has lost nothing of the power 
> with which it came into this world.  I have seen this work a number of 
> times in a various productions and it continues to wring tears from these 
> eyes while also, as the greatest art can, connect the mind to the heart.
> 
> p.
> 
> 
> * * * * *
> 
> 
> 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
> experience.
> 
> http://capricciomusic.blogspot.com/2011/03/dialogues-des-carmelites.html
> 
> ------------
> 
> 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 wh
> what
> has come out of France since then!
> 
> **********************************************
> OPERA-L on Facebook:
> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------

**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OPERA-L Page

Permalink



LISTSERV.BCCLS.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager