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Subject: Re: Peter Grimes
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 2 Mar 2018 19:21:23 -0500
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Ellen never turns away from Peter. Even after he hits her. Even after she sadly realizes (in 
the achingly beautiful "Broidery" Aria) that he may well be guilty. And she is even 
shocked when Balstrode tells Peter (albeit compassionately) that his only choice at the 
end is to sink himself. 

Despite its tragic elements, the opera does have a great deal of humor - both in the 
music and the situations. And if you say that Ellen and Peter's romance is "doomed from 
the start," well I think one can say that about a huge number of operatic couples. 

Interesting that 3 of my favorite moments in the score are a-cappella (or virtually so). 
The first duet between Peter and Ellen at the end of the courthouse Prologue (where they 
are actually singing in different keys against each other, though those trade-off phrases 
are closely related enharmonically), Peter's final "mad scene" accompanied only by the a-
capella offstage chorus and the foghorn - and, always one of the most goosebump-
inducing spots in the score forme - the huge choral shouts of "Peter Grimes! Grimes! 
Grimes!" as they go off to search for him before that mad scene. Musical drama at its 
most intense. 

To me, Grimes is a masterwork, from beginning to end. But Kiwi, not everyone can like 
everything, of course, so if you didn't care for it, that's your valid reaction. Maybe if you 
get another chance with it, you'll find more to like. ;-)



On Fri, 2 Mar 2018 18:14:20 -0500, Kiwi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Just saw Peter Grimes and must say I have mixed feelings about it.
>
>The staging / directing was simple, direct, and appropriate, the acting committed and 
the singing was fine. From a general perspective, everything fell into place and the piece 
was, I think, well presented.
>
>But.....
>
>I don’t know if I liked it.  The composition itself had moments of stirring intensity 
and was certainly evocative, but I also found parts that grated.   
>
>My companion and I both found the libretto awkward at moments and somewhat 
rambling, uneven, and unbalanced.
>
>And finally—and of course, this is a personal thing—I hated that Peter never had a 
chance, that even the idea that he and Ellen had a future together was doomed.  From 
start to finish, it has to be the most unforgivingly tragic-laden opera I’ve experienced, 
really a condemnation of society writ large without a single saving grace, since in the end 
even Ellen turned away from Peter.
>
>I guess I loved some of the music, disliked the story construction, and hated the 
bleakness.  
>
>What did I miss?
>
>
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