Please name the best operas you heard? Hello folks , I recently discovered about operas ,and since i know some french (Francais) , I can find out some meanings too . I love la Boheme by Puccini . Can you suggest some more interesting operas for me ?
Download and print PDF scores of Hippolyte et Aricie by Rameau
“La Bohême” by Puccini is an Italian opera, although the action takes place in Paris. You may get a French version, but I saw it sung in Italian the only time I went for it at the opera of Paris. Other French operas that may interest you : in the Baroque period, Lully’s “Atys” or Rameau’s “Hippolyte et Aricie”. Gluck composed beautiful French operas for Queen Marie-Antoinette : “Orphée”, “Iphigénie en Tauride”, “Alceste”. And the Romantic period can be interesting also : Berlioz’ “Les Troyens”, and some operas composed by Massenet.
Musical Mavericks Through History? Recently I watched Simon Schama’s brilliant series, “The Power of Art,” in which he examines eight artists and their unorthodox approaches to their work, illustrating their courage to push against convention, thus significantly altering the course of Western art history. The eight artists featured were Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Bernini, Turner, David, Van Gogh, Picasso and Rothko.If Simon Schama announced that he was planning a similar series on Western composers, and that he needed suggestions for possible candidates, which eight composers would you elect – and why? Maybe you could supply an example of each composer’s work, which (in your opinion) exemplifies his/her importance here.This is, quite possibly, a challenging assignment – but please – have fun!Hafwen x
A few that come to mind immediately:1) Antonio Vivaldi – he added whole new dimensions of liturgical music2) Charles Ives – absolutely went his own path, with a distinctly American sound3) Harry Partch – some folks may even say that what he produces isn’t even music!4) Schoenberg – one of the greatest experimenters with atonal music
richard strauss (ex: alpine symphony) – ever since i heard this symphony, i can’t stop listening to any classical music. somehow he makes the theme sound different every time it comes up – great variety of sounds.robert schumann (ex: konzertstuck for 4 horns) – i love this. i just love it to death. the youtube video with the berlin philharmonic makes me wish i was that good at playing the french horn.igor stravinsky (ex: infernal dance from firedbird) – just watch the video on youtube, preferably the one with abbado conducting. you can tell these are the real musicians.ludwig van beethoven (ex: egmont overture) – ok, first of all, he is the best. secondly, what can’t he do? the answer is nothing. i mean, piano = beast. and then he went and wrote all of these symphonies. and the man was deaf for goodness’ sakes.hector berlioz (ex: hungarian march) – ahhhhhh brass! i may be somewhat biased, but how can you not love the brass in this peice? ahhhhhhh! even though this song is pretty much the extent of my knowledge on berlioz, i think it’s enough.john williams (ex: any good movie soundtrack) -ok, i had to say it. john williams is a god. and if you don’t know why, you deserve to be shot.claude t. smith (ex: eternal father, strong to save) – i must admit, i don’t care much for the clairnets. however, after listening to this piece, i withdraw some of my dislike. besides, french horns playing any hymn in four-part harmony could make anyone weep.gustav mahler (ex: symphony no.5) – if i haven’t mentioned how much i love french horns yet, here it is: just watch this video and you will see why.p.s. stefan dohr is a beast.
Charles Ives – totally experimental American composer, His harmonies followed no rules. My favorite piece is The Concord Sonata, I heard it played brilliantly by Jeremy Denk last year. I’m willing to bet that he is way over Simon Schama’s head and wont be included on his show. Anton Webern – Not only a maverick by way of The Second Viennese School he also wrote short gem like pieces that are just different from what you usually hear in a concert hall. His Concerto for Nine Instruments just knocked me (and many other members of the audience) for a loop when the Met Chamber Ensemble played it last fall.Terry Riley – Early minimalist composer whose ‘In C’ influenced a whole generation of composers from Steve Reich to Philip Glass to Pauline Oliveros.Leos Janacek – His music used speech pasterns of the Czech language to devastating effect. He composed for the Moravian provincial capital of Brno and was not known even in his own country during most of his lifetime. Now his operas based on rural life Jen?fa and Ká?a Kabanová are in the repoertory of opera houses the world over. His imaginative operas The Cunning Little Vixen and The Makropulos Affair are the best fantasey/sci-fi operas I can think of. I know thats only 4 but I’m falling asleep as its past midnight here. Tell me the truth don’t you really think Simon Schama is just Sister Wendy in drag??
Well one mentioned Shoenberg the other Webern and what about Berg. Berg took the recently Trite 12 tone system and wrote tonal music with it. Totally unorthodox for his time. Next I would have to say Scriabin. Crazy bastard!Well there’s always Korsakov whose some of his best work was written by other people (more like he turned an alright work into a great work). And on top of that he was a Synthesia (or however you spell mixing sound and color. I wish I had that; I couldn’t drive but the ultimate perfect pitch and remembering music like you remember color, it would be awesome).Oddly enough Mozart I think fits this description. Every composer Ive met and have heard about with the exception of Mozart figures or figured their music out on paper. He did it in his head and then wrote it down.There have been so many composers to write music in different ways (like we have chords and Bach didn’t think that way) that this question can be answered multiple ways. I still think it’s interesting. *
In addition to those already mentioned I would have to add the Danish composer Rued Langgaard (1893-1952). He wrote a series of 16 symphonies which range from the long and very original to the short (6 minutes) and quite silly. His wonderful orchestral/choral piece ‘Music of the Spheres’ from 1918 anticipated sounds and techniques later used by composers like Ligeti. Not only was Langgaard a maverick but he was an outcast in his own country. Denmark did not know what to make of this solitary, rather rude man and favoured their national hero Carl Nielsen. This led to Langgaard bitterly resenting Nielsen and writing a tongue-in-cheek work called ‘Carl Nielsen, Our Great Composer’ where a phrase of music for full chorus and orchestra is simply repeated over and over again until the conductor decides it can go on no more.
To add to those already named, I would add Sibelius and Nielsen in Scandanavia, Debussy and Ravel in France, Elgar and Havergal Brian in England. I take the word ‘maverick’ to mean a composer who followed no ‘school’ and founded no ‘school’. To me. a composer like Schoenberg is an innovator (love him or hate him) but he was not a maverick as he had, and continues to have, followers.
Monteverdi-Orfeo e Euridice (opera.height of renaissance operaJS Bach- B minor Mass, the Well Tempered Clavier.first to tune keyboard in Well tempered preludes and fugues, so all keys could be utilized major and minor, master fugue writer, master of vocal music.height of the baroqueMozart-Don Giovanni (opera), cencerti for every instrument, piano sonatas.DG is cornerstone opera of the modern age, first great modern pianist.height of classicism.Beethoven: choral symphony, 5th Symphony, piano sonatas, piano trios, string quartets.expanded lengths of all forms known at that time, brought storm and stress into his compoistions, father of the modern Romantic era. Wagner-Ring of the Niebelung (opera series of 4.expanded orhcestra, length of operas, size of opera orchestra, difficulty of parts for all performersChopin-Piano Scherzos, Ballads, Waltzes, Polonaises, Etudes, Mazurkas, Preludes, Rondos, Nocturnes, Sonatas.one of world’s greatest pianists and compers for the instrumentLiszt-Transcendental Etudes, Tone Poems for Orchestra, Hungarian Rhapsodies.world’s premier pianist of all time, played other composers music at his concert, played by memory setting the standard for pianists, tone poems masterful worksRavel-Daphnis and Chloe, La Valse, Childrens Corner Suite.non western far eastern influences in music, prolificSchoenberg-Ewartung ( one woman monodrama), 12 tone compositions, Pierrot Lunaire.first 12 tone composer, prolific
Carlo Gesualdo – Tenebrae Responsoria – Italian Renaissance nobelman most famous his daring musical style and for murdering his wife and her lover after catching them ‘in flagrante dilecto’. Gesualdo’s set of Tenebrae Responsoria is his most famous work and is a great example of the experimental and expressive nature of his musical style. His works were extremely chromatic and dissonant and were highly regarded by later composers such as Mozart, Schnittke & Stravinsky.Bach – Well Tempered Clavier Books I & II – These works didn’t stir up any controversy or cause any radical changes to music, but they have been a touchstone to almost every keyboard musician and composer since they were first published. Rameau – Hippolyte et Aricie – This opera caused the type of ruckus that Schama seems particularly fond of. Its harmonic development set off a pamphlet war between the Lullistes, who saw the opera as an attack on French tradition, and Rameauneurs, who praised Ramueu and his work as inventive and progressive. Mozart – Don Giovanni – The music is sublime but the philosophical issues surrounding Giovanni’s refusal to repent of his sins and subsequent descent into the underworld would be excellent fodder for one of Schama’s projects. Schama could also debunk some of the misconceptions surrounding Mozart that were created by the movie Amadeus.Beethoven – Symphony #9 – Lots to talk about here, Obviously. Romanticism, Beethoven’s deafness, who was the Immortal Beloved, etc. Schama is also a specialist in the French Revolution and Beethoven’s ideas about Napoleon and empire could be examined here as well.Schoenberg – Pierrot Lunaire – Moonstruck Pierre is a gateway to atonal, 20th century expressionism. The unusual orchestration and use of sprechstimme is a major change from song cycles of the past. Schoenberg was also an accomplished writer and painter. Additionally, Schama could explore how Jewish composers in Europe dealt with the rise of the Third Reich.John Cage – 4’33” – This is the work most associated both with Cage the composer and with 20th century shift in philosophical perception about what music is and how we relate to and identify with it. John Corigliano – Symphony #1 (of Rage & Rememberance) – Composers have long written music to advocate personal agendas and this is one of the best examples of such music in recent years. Corigliano’s symphony was inspired by the AIDS epidemic, but is an excellent example of post-modern, tonal oriented art music. An additional bonus is that the composer is still alive and could provide primary information about the composition of the piece.
(did someone REALLY list Claude T. Smith among the ranks of Mahler, Stravinsky, and others?? wow)I’m sure I won’t have 8, but here are some off the top of my head:- Edgard Varese — Ionisation, and/or Integrales- Charles Ives — 4th symphony- Anton Webern — (FAR more influential than his teacher), Symphony op. 21- John Cage — 4’33” – George Crumb — Black AngelsI must say I’m having trouble with this, because I’m not sure that I’m able to separate “courage to push against convention” from “interesting new approaches to composition.” They’re different, but hard to separate.