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Subject: Do differences in taste show patterns?
From: Don Weightman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Don Weightman <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 30 Oct 1998 11:06:30 -0500

text/plain (55 lines)

The exchanges about Mozart revive an old thought: there really _are_ major
contrasts in what we love in opera. My question is, do those contrasts ten
to line up in any kind of patterned or predictable way?

For example, Ed finds NOZZE tedious, but loves, say, GIOCONDA, an opera
that does little for me. And, going by their catalogs,  I find that the
operas and performers and styles that make my blood race get barely a
mention the Rosen-Handelman canon.

Here are some contrasts in taste:

Red meat Verdi/Puccini          vs.            Bel canto

Chest                                          vs.              legato

Versimo                                      vs.                Janacek

Volume/squillo (as marks of tenor excellence -- e.g. Del Monaco, or even
                                                     vs. technique (Schipa,

Flawed divas (Soviero, Malfitano)
                                                      vs. Lighter,
brighter, creamier style (Lehmann, Jurinac, Fleming)

Wagner                                        vs.             Russian opera

Romantic orchestration and conducting (Levine)
                                                        vs. lighter,
Authentick sound (Mackerras: loved much of the new LUCIA recording,
although I found Rost rather a yawn)

Questions for discussion:

-- Have I got the facts right? I know there are some with admirably
catholic tastes, like Bill Fregosi, and others who go off in different
directions, like a certain tenor-loving 19th c. Italian omnivore, but are
there consistent patterns here?

-- Have others marked similar contrasts?

PLEASE NOTE: I'm _not_ making a better/worse, Right/Wrong argument here,
just wondering if there are ways in which our preferences cluster.


Donald Weightman
dweightman@ (day)
[log in to unmask] (evenings & recreation)

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