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Subject: Re: Do differences in taste show patterns?
From: [log in to unmask]
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 30 Oct 1998 18:02:01 EST

text/plain (79 lines)

Dear Don and list:

I don't doubt for a minute that I am the  certain tenor-loving 19th c. Italian
omnivore you were talking about--although I am just as interested in most
French composers of the period (Auber, Gounod, Halevy, Meyerbeer), and a
couple of Germans (Flothow and Goldmark--I know he is Hungarian). Any
omissions from this list are, with the exception of Adolphe Adam and maybe
Otto Nicolai intentional.

When it comes to Mozart--I just don't get him--and when it comes to Gioconda,
I wish all of Ponchielli's operas were recorded. Not just Gioconda.

Looking at some of Don's examples

 Here are some contrasts in taste:

 Red meat Verdi/Puccini          vs.            Bel canto

I enjoy both--they have that Italian genius, although I probably preger
Mascagni and Giordano (tenor oriented) to Puccini (too soprano oriented)

 Chest                                          vs.              legato

Again, I enjoy both

 Versimo                                      vs.                Janacek

The former, by a mile

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

I think I am more or less consistent--prefer Piccaluga, Lauri-Volpi,
O'Sullivan, Merritt, the oung Pav to McCormack, Schipa, Bergonzi, Domingo.
But here I know of many inconsitencies. People who hate Domingo and love
Bergonzi and Vicjkers--as well as consistent folks who dislike all three.
Actually, I am ambivalent to Bergonzi, a bit tired of Domingo, and absolutely
can't stand Vickers.

Part of this is also voice quality--I happen to like a bright tenor tone,
although I will make exceptions for some singers.

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

I really have no preferences in sopranos. Except Caballe to Callas. Or
Gruberova to Sills--but don't know why. I have a feeling I rend to dislike

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?

Basically, I think Don has most of his facts right. But still, I know people
who love French grand opera and love Wagner, but Hate Mozart--and others who
love French grand opera and Mozart, but hate Wagner. And still others who love
all three. As for me, I love French garnd opera, enjoy the best of Wagner (not
Parsifal, Meistersinger, Tristan) and Mozart--but in small doses. In fact,
whenever I listen to Nozze, I start by loving it, saying to myself: Why
haven't I enjoyed it before--and after a few numbers am bored.

If I had a choice between getting all of Mozart, Wagner and Styrauss on CD--or
one French grand opera I never heard before--I would get the French grand
opera. If it's La reine de Chypre, I would probably hear it 10 times as often
as all the Mozart, Strauss and Wagner combined. And I'll bet half the people
on Opera-L wouldn't even buy the Halevy.

C'est la vie

Don Tomasso di Tenormania


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