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Verdi or Wagner?
Daily Telegraph ^ | 1/7/13 | Ivan Hewett

Posted on 01/08/2013 8:19:15 AM PST by Borges

It’s apt that Wagner and Verdi were born in the same year. They are romantic opera’s two great antipodes, united in stature, but divided in almost everything else. They embody two completely different outlooks on life and art, which are rooted in the cultures of their respective nations. That’s why every German city has a Wagnerstrasse, and every Italian one a Corso Giuseppe Verdi.

Though their supporters often did battle, the composers warily avoided each other. Verdi had a grudging respect for Wagner, but he warned younger Italian composers against following the Wagnerian path. Wagner wouldn't even grant Verdi that much distinction, though there were more Italianate traits in him than he liked to admit. Both cast a long shadow over opera during their lives and afterwards, and in Wagner’s case the shadow extended even further, to politics and the arts in general. Two hundred years later, it’s easy to think the nationalist passions have cooled. But the recent row over Daniel Barenboim’s decision to open La Scala’s season with Wagner instead of Verdi showed that they’re still there, just waiting to burst out.

And what about the wider world? Does one still have to be a Verdian or a Wagnerian, or have we learned how to love both? I asked some distinguished opera-lovers and practitioners to give their views.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: classicalmusic; opera; verdi; wagner
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1 posted on 01/08/2013 8:19:21 AM PST by Borges
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To: .30Carbine; 1cewolf; 1rudeboy; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 31R1O; ADemocratNoMore; afraidfortherepublic; ...

Classical Ping


2 posted on 01/08/2013 8:23:15 AM PST by Borges
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To: Borges

Wagner!!!

Better French Horn parts!


3 posted on 01/08/2013 8:24:09 AM PST by petro45acp (More sheepdogs please...)
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To: Borges

Wagner.

Next question?


4 posted on 01/08/2013 8:24:37 AM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: petro45acp

But where does one find an alpenhorn?


5 posted on 01/08/2013 8:27:53 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio)
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To: Borges

I’m a musical dilettante but Verdi is one of my favorite composers. His requiem is some of the strongest most hair raising music ever created. Though I like Wagner, I read that you have to be German to truly get him.


6 posted on 01/08/2013 8:28:01 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: Borges

Wagner. He’s German and liberals hate him. If Adolf liked him he’s gotta be cool.

(just propagating the liberal myth)


7 posted on 01/08/2013 8:28:59 AM PST by TheRhinelander
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To: Borges

Kill the Wabbit !!! Kill the Wabbit !!!

actually I like Verdi’s Requiem..


8 posted on 01/08/2013 8:29:33 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana

With my sword and magic helmet!


9 posted on 01/08/2013 8:31:18 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Borges

I just like the music.


10 posted on 01/08/2013 8:33:06 AM PST by onedoug
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To: Jeff Chandler
"But where does one find an alpenhorn?"

The Rhine Maidens keep then right next to the Wagnertubas.
11 posted on 01/08/2013 8:37:49 AM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: Borges
I guess it depends on how you like your women:


12 posted on 01/08/2013 8:41:58 AM PST by Malone LaVeigh
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To: Borges

Joe Green.

Wider array of all styles.


13 posted on 01/08/2013 8:41:58 AM PST by Paisan
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To: Borges

Wagner. A man one biographer called “meaner than Hitler,” but a great composer.


14 posted on 01/08/2013 8:43:04 AM PST by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: TheRhinelander

Rhinelander, eh?

Hard to imagine you casting your vote for Verdi.....


15 posted on 01/08/2013 8:47:30 AM PST by ConservativeDude
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To: Malone LaVeigh
This is what Brunhilde looked like in the most recent production at the Met -


16 posted on 01/08/2013 8:49:34 AM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: Borges; mickie
Comparing the masterful, visionary, sweepingly-powerful, musical-technician Wagner to Verdi is like comparing Shakespeare to Maya Angelou.

Don't get me wrong...I love the more romantic Verdi and never tire of listening to his magical music.

Leni

17 posted on 01/08/2013 8:50:27 AM PST by MinuteGal (Send a penny NOW to CNN, 1 Time-Warner Center, NY, NY 10019 for "PENNIES FOR LEAVIN!" (Piers Morgan))
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To: onedoug

Ditto


18 posted on 01/08/2013 8:52:24 AM PST by bmwcyle (We have gone over the cliff and we are about to hit the bottom)
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To: shibumi

Opera stars have really been trimming down over the years. It’s nice to see. She looks pretty good - well, for an opera singer.


19 posted on 01/08/2013 8:53:47 AM PST by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Borges

I’m probably the ony FReeper who has sung the operas of both of these titans on some of the great stages of the world. Comparing the two is a waste of time and fools who insist that either is greater only reveal their ignorance.


20 posted on 01/08/2013 8:59:48 AM PST by Dr. Thorne ("How long, O Lord, holy and true?" - Rev. 6:10)
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To: MinuteGal

The difference between them can be summed up by the great Italian conductor Toscanini who was hearing a performance of Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde’ and, during the lengthy love duet in Act 2, turned to his wife and said “See if they were Italian they would have seven kids by now but they’re German so they keep talking about it...”


21 posted on 01/08/2013 8:59:54 AM PST by Borges
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To: miss marmelstein

I don’t want to drag this otherwise high minded thread into the gutter. So how should I put this?

~~That’s My Kind of Woman!


22 posted on 01/08/2013 9:01:26 AM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: ConorMacNessa

How does a chorister and tenor weigh in on this?


23 posted on 01/08/2013 9:05:12 AM PST by Publius ("A centralized government is a centralized evil." -- Gen. John Graham)
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To: Borges

She’s sweet on Wagner,
I think she’d die for Beethoven.
She loves the way Puccini lays down a tune
and Verdi’s always creepin’ from her room.

- ELO Rockaria


24 posted on 01/08/2013 9:07:41 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Borges

Neither one....Puccini....


25 posted on 01/08/2013 9:20:30 AM PST by matginzac
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To: Borges

Wagner is only inspirational when I’m cleaning the long guns.

Puccini & Verdi for this gal (have yet to hear anything as hauntingly beautiful as Ave Maria in Otello)


26 posted on 01/08/2013 9:24:17 AM PST by LadyBuck (Strangeways, here we come....)
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To: Borges
Why bother?

This is a war that doesn't need to be fought.

Each great in his own way.

I prefer Verdi just because when Wagner occasionally gets too full of himself, it is monumentally, painfully ponderous, in a uniquely German sort of way. I have nothing against the Germans, I studied German for 10+ years and lived in Bavaria. But they do have their quirks. Of course so do the Italians, but somehow it isn't as painful - a shout, an explosion, and it's over.

27 posted on 01/08/2013 9:24:34 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Borges

Both. It is essentially a meaningless question.


28 posted on 01/08/2013 9:26:52 AM PST by buffaloguy
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To: Borges

Ha Ha!

That’s Great! LOL!

Like ‘em both, but for different reasons.


29 posted on 01/08/2013 9:28:39 AM PST by left that other site (Worry is the Darkroom that Develops Negatives.)
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To: Borges

Italian opera leaves me cold somehow or other. Opera composers I enjoy listening to include Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Bizet, and Offenbach, and you might could add Scott Joplin to the list on the strength of the one opera TreeMonisha.


30 posted on 01/08/2013 9:29:50 AM PST by varmintman
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To: dfwgator

I just put a CD on that has a mixture

Puccini, La Boheme “Your tiny hand is frozen”
Verdi, Prelude to La Traviata
Wagner, Prelude to Tristan and Isolde

:)


31 posted on 01/08/2013 9:35:20 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: varmintman
Scott Joplin

HA !!!

Maple Leaf Rag

Syncopated rhythm

:)

32 posted on 01/08/2013 9:39:41 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Borges
Question: "Verdi or Wagner?"

Answer: Verdi.

Comment: He has light feet.

33 posted on 01/08/2013 9:41:16 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Borges

I say both, depending on my mood.


34 posted on 01/08/2013 9:48:23 AM PST by Conservative4Ever (I'm going Galt)
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To: Borges

I like them both .
This number is ..... well, no doubt what Wagner had on his mind when he scored this.
Wagner - Tristan und Isolde - Liebestod
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSEoZcntdNU

Wow!


35 posted on 01/08/2013 9:55:01 AM PST by Vinnie (A)
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To: Publius

I’m quite fond of both of them, but have only sung Verdi. The tenor lead in the Kyrie gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Also the Salva Me and Hostias.


36 posted on 01/08/2013 9:58:10 AM PST by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: Tennessee Nana
Treemonisha.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TmPa8UFxBo

37 posted on 01/08/2013 10:08:48 AM PST by varmintman
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To: Borges

Verdi Cries

The man in 119 takes his tea alone.
Mornings we all rise to wireless Verdi cries.
I’m hearing opera through the door.
The souls of men and women, impassioned all.
Their voices climb and fall; battle trumpets call.
I fill the bath and climb inside, singing.

He will not touch their pastry
But every day they bring him more.
Gold from the breakfast tray, I steal them all away
And then go and eat them on the shore.

I draw a jackal-headed woman in the sand,
Sing of a lover’s fate sealed by jealous hate
Then wash my hand in the sea.
With just three days more I’d have just about learned the entire score to Aida.

Holidays must end as you know.
All is memory taken home with me:
The opera, the stolen tea, the sand drawing, the verging sea, all years ago.

— Natalie Merchant


38 posted on 01/08/2013 10:10:30 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: varmintman

“Italian opera leaves me cold somehow or other.”

I guess my tastes in Opera aren’t as sophisticated as yours.

My musical tastes pretty much breakdown as follows:

Great Opera
Good Opera
Mediocre Opera
Bad Opera
Everything else Call it “other”.


39 posted on 01/08/2013 10:11:29 AM PST by buffaloguy
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To: ConorMacNessa

I have never sung Verdi but had progressed in my training to the point where my range (I am a bass) had expanded to the point that it was possible to give a good account of Verdi’s music. Had to quit training because of a new job.

Ah...one of these days I will get back to it.


40 posted on 01/08/2013 10:17:08 AM PST by buffaloguy
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To: Tennessee Nana

“Treemonisha”?


41 posted on 01/08/2013 10:22:20 AM PST by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
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To: Borges

By the way, Black Dog Opera label has great operas with librettos for about $13.00.

You can get them through Amazon. Great stuff.


42 posted on 01/08/2013 10:37:55 AM PST by buffaloguy
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To: shibumi

She has a really pretty face. And great emotion, too.


43 posted on 01/08/2013 10:48:14 AM PST by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Borges
Like they say in the interviews, Wagner was a mythmaker, a thinker, a visionary, an Artist with a capital A (an ARTIST with all capitals, even), someone who transformed music. So the answer's going to be Wagner.

Was he really a better writer of operas than Verdi? It doesn't matter. Like Mark Twain is supposed to have said, “Wagner's music is better than it sounds."

There's a lot to be said for Verdi, but it's hard to go up against the myths that Wagner created -- about himself as much as about the Nibelungen or Tristan and Isolde.

44 posted on 01/08/2013 10:55:51 AM PST by x
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To: Borges

The more I listen to Wagner, the more I appreciate John Cage’s 4’33”.


45 posted on 01/08/2013 10:59:27 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Borges

Puccini!


46 posted on 01/08/2013 11:36:27 AM PST by atomic_dog
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To: Jeff Chandler

“But where does one find an alpenhorn?”

Excellent question.

Raid a ricola commercial shoot?

Had access to one about a thousand years ago in elementary school!

For PDQ Bach fans, a shower hose will suffice!

Cheers


47 posted on 01/08/2013 12:47:08 PM PST by petro45acp (More sheepdogs please...)
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To: Borges

Compare Verdi’s Slave Chorus with Wagners Pilgrim Chorus. You decide!


48 posted on 01/08/2013 1:20:13 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Through the woods and over the cliff ....)
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To: petro45acp; Borges
Wagner!!! Better French Horn parts!

Any discussion of Wagner is going to get to french horns eventually.

I heard the following story many years ago. I have not been able to find it on the internet. It sounds like Wagner, though:

Horn players: Herr Wagner, we can't play the part you have written!

Wagner: I know you can't. What I want is the effect of your trying to play it.

49 posted on 01/08/2013 1:32:21 PM PST by ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas (Fool me once, shame on you -- twice, shame on me -- 100 times, it's U. S. immigration policy.)
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To: Tennessee Nana; Borges; petro45acp

Verdi is not the only one Wagner (and his disciples) tangled with. He had a big feud with Brahms, and even after Wagner’s death, Brahms still battled with Bruckner and his followers, as representatives of Wagner.


50 posted on 01/08/2013 2:11:47 PM PST by ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas (Fool me once, shame on you -- twice, shame on me -- 100 times, it's U. S. immigration policy.)
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