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From a vault in Paris: The sound of opera in 1907
International Herald Tribune ^ | February 16, 2009 | Alan Riding

Posted on 02/16/2009 10:38:46 PM PST by Cincinna

a group of bewhiskered men gathered in the bowels of the Paris Opera to launch a project which, by definition, they could never see to fruition. First, 24 carefully-wrapped wax records were placed inside two lead and iron containers. These were then sealed and locked away in a small storage room, with instructions that they remain undisturbed for 100 years.

The man behind this musical time-capsule was Alfred Clark, a New Yorker who headed the London-based Gramophone Company and provided the records. And, in truth, once the ceremony was over, he had achieved his primary objective of drawing attention to his company and to the new flat disc records that it was promoting to compete with better known cylinder records.

"I know of no other case where a commercial firm has obtained so much free publicity as we have," he wrote to a colleague two days later.

The Paris Opera displayed a more elevated sense of history. Through this selection of opera arias and instrumental pieces, it announced, future generations could discover the musical taste and the quality of sound recording of the early 20th century.

French officials also predicted radical changes in recording technology. So, in 1912, when they added 24 records and two more containers to the trove, they included a new hand-cranked gramophone, along with instructions on how it worked and a score of spare stylus needles.

The 100 years were up more than a year ago and, after lengthy examination, cleaning and digitizing of the records, EMI, the heir to the Gramophone Company, is reissuing them in three CD's. The collection will be released in France later this month as "Les Urnes de l'Opéra" and in the United States in early April with the English subtitle, "Treasures from the Paris Opera Vaults."

(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: france; ggg; music; opera; paris
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1 posted on 02/16/2009 10:38:46 PM PST by Cincinna
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To: Cincinna; nctexan; MassachusettsGOP; paudio; ronnie raygun; Minette; fieldmarshaldj; untenured; ...

FRENCH POLITICS AND CULTURE PING LIST: FReepMail ME IF YOU WANT TO JOIN.

CLASSICAL MUSIC PING LIST PLEASE COPY

GODS,GRAVES AND GLYPHS (ggg) PLEASE COPY.


2 posted on 02/16/2009 10:41:23 PM PST by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * JINDAL* PALIN * CANTOR 2012)
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To: Cincinna

For later.


3 posted on 02/16/2009 10:46:54 PM PST by FoxPro (The SEC knew about Madoff, and did nothing.)
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To: Cincinna
That is indeed something! I would like very much to hear "Les Urnes de l'Opéra".

You might be one of the very few FReepers who might appreciate this.

4 posted on 02/16/2009 10:48:23 PM PST by Lexinom
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To: Lexinom

Thanks Lexinom. I really do appreciate Poulenc.

You would be astonished as to how many music lovers there are here at FR.


5 posted on 02/16/2009 10:51:15 PM PST by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * JINDAL* PALIN * CANTOR 2012)
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To: Cincinna
You would be astonished as to how many music lovers there are here at FR

But how can that be ? I thought we were gun toting, Bible holding, tobacco chewing, pickup truck driving.. philistine hicks.

6 posted on 02/16/2009 10:56:24 PM PST by libh8er
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To: Cincinna

I guarantee you there’s more real music on one of those discs than there was represetned on that cruddy Grammy fiasco.


7 posted on 02/16/2009 10:57:12 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Cincinna; Lexinom

Any lover of orchestral music must check out the book THE REST IS NOISE: LISTENING TO THE 20TH CENTURY by Alex Ross. It is an amazing and amazingly enjoyable look at the sound of 20th century orchestral music. It’s one of those books you open to read a few pages, and you look up 100 pages later and it’s after midnight.


8 posted on 02/16/2009 11:01:14 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Darkwolf377

That does sound interesting. I was an accomplished amateur pianist at one time (have some recordings on the Web), but the stress of current realities has sucked the joy and desire necessary for music out of my soul.


9 posted on 02/16/2009 11:08:05 PM PST by Lexinom
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To: Lexinom

I bet you would enjoy this book. It’s some of the very best writing about music I’ve ever read because he makes you want to hear the pieces he’s writing about, but he never forgets the larger picture, how the composers got along with and were inspired by each other, how the public and critics reacted, and how as the century progressed composers got away from 19th century romanticism and moved towards atonal and serial writing. It’s a unique book because I enjoy the writing even if I don’t agree with his enthusiasm for certain types of music.


10 posted on 02/16/2009 11:22:28 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Darkwolf377
It is an amazing and amazingly enjoyable look at the sound of 20th century orchestral music

I just couldn't get into 20th century orchestral music. I mean the Mahler's and the Bruckner's and the likes. Mahler's #1 is ok, but the rest is not for me. Give me good old classical to mid Romantic any day.

11 posted on 02/16/2009 11:26:12 PM PST by libh8er
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To: libh8er

I agree—which is why I am enjoying this book. If it can make ME interested in serial music, it’s got something going on.


12 posted on 02/16/2009 11:59:01 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Cincinna

Oh my gosh, that got me on a 1/2 hour wasted listening to Cello... etc. Youtube must be an enemy tactic to keep people from their work....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6yuR8efotI

Mischa Maisky He’s so good. Wow.


13 posted on 02/17/2009 12:24:53 AM PST by Sarah
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To: Cincinna

bookmark


14 posted on 02/17/2009 12:37:27 AM PST by GOP Poet
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To: libh8er
I thought we were gun toting, Bible holding, tobacco chewing, pickup truck driving.. philistine hicks.

You might want to include the former pot smoking, maggot infested, long hair hippy types.
15 posted on 02/17/2009 12:55:36 AM PST by carumba (The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. Groucho)
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To: sitetest
possible classical music pinglist ping
16 posted on 02/17/2009 1:01:59 AM PST by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
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To: CzarNicky; .30Carbine; 1rudeboy; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 31R1O; ADemocratNoMore; afraidfortherepublic; ...

Dear CzarNicky,

Great ping! Thanks!

Classical Music Ping List ping!

If you want on or off this list, let me know via FR e-mail.

Thanks,

sitetest


17 posted on 02/17/2009 3:49:48 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Cincinna

Ping!


18 posted on 02/17/2009 3:53:58 AM PST by Chinstrap61a
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To: libh8er

“I just couldn’t get into 20th century orchestral music. I mean the Mahler’s and the Bruckner’s and the likes. Mahler’s #1 is ok, but the rest is not for me. Give me good old classical to mid Romantic any day.”

The same here.


19 posted on 02/17/2009 4:04:40 AM PST by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Cincinna

‘You would be astonished as to how many music lovers there are here at FR.’

Oui :)


20 posted on 02/17/2009 4:52:47 AM PST by aimee5291
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To: libh8er

Well, I was drunk the day my Mom got outta prison.
And I went to pick her up in the rain.
But, before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got runned over by a damned old train.


21 posted on 02/17/2009 4:54:32 AM PST by saganite (What would Sully do?)
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To: libh8er
You would be astonished as to how many music lovers there are here at FR. But how can that be ? I thought we were gun toting, Bible holding, tobacco chewing, pickup truck driving.. philistine hicks.


22 posted on 02/17/2009 5:18:02 AM PST by Maceman
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To: Cincinna

“You would be astonished as to how many music lovers there are here at FR.”

The only thing better than bad Opera is good Opera.


23 posted on 02/17/2009 7:43:50 AM PST by texmexis best (uency)
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To: libh8er

Bruckner died in 1896 so it’s hard to say he was a 20th century composer. :-) The 1870s is too modern for you? That’s when Bruckner was already writing his great work.


24 posted on 02/17/2009 7:46:37 AM PST by Borges
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To: Darkwolf377

I met Ross at a lecture and he signed a copy of that book for me. His next book is apparently a study of how Wagner influenced pop culture. Everything from ‘Lord of the Rings’ to Heavy Metal.


25 posted on 02/17/2009 7:48:24 AM PST by Borges
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To: Borges

That sounds interesting. Wagner truly is a huge influence on pop culture, his idea of an all-encompassing artform sure is appealing to a lot of filmmakers who can’t achieve that.


26 posted on 02/17/2009 7:52:00 AM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Borges

BTW, what did you think of the book?


27 posted on 02/17/2009 7:52:25 AM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Darkwolf377
Loved it. The chapters on Pierre Boulez were fascinating since he's currently the Conductor Emeritus of the Chicago Symphony and see him conduct every year. Might see him in a couple of weeks. He's 83 years old now and still refuses to conduct a large chunk of the repertoire he doesn't think is worthwhile (Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovitch).
28 posted on 02/17/2009 7:55:30 AM PST by Borges
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To: Borges
Bruckner died in 1896 so it’s hard to say he was a 20th century composer. :-)

Let's say Bruckner's music was advanced for his time :) .. like Beethoven's late quartets were for their's.

29 posted on 02/17/2009 7:59:26 AM PST by libh8er
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To: Borges

That reminds me of what Orson Welles (I’ve been studying him lately, have read a dozen books about him in the last two months) said about directing and other arts, how youth and old age are when the best works are created. He pointed to conductors—Stokowski, and a couple others—who were in their prime in their late 70’s and 80’s.


30 posted on 02/17/2009 8:02:04 AM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Cincinna

This will be very interesting to hear.

I think what will surprise a lot of modern opera listeners will be the size of the voices. We have grown so accustomed to every role being sung by powerhouse voices - I think we will hear a much different type of voice at the turn of the last century.


31 posted on 02/17/2009 8:04:41 AM PST by keepitreal (Obama brings change: an international crisis (terrorism) within 6 months)
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To: libh8er

It was. Do you dislike Wagner and Mussorgsky who were also proto Modernists?


32 posted on 02/17/2009 8:05:51 AM PST by Borges
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To: keepitreal

There’s a collection of vintage recordings that actually have Tchaikovsky’s voice on it. I never knew he had been recorded.


33 posted on 02/17/2009 8:06:51 AM PST by Borges
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To: Darkwolf377

And Wagner’s music was the primary influences on film scoring.


34 posted on 02/17/2009 8:07:54 AM PST by Borges
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To: Borges

Yeah, with the influx of European composers around WW2, you heard a lot of that Wagnerian leitmotif stuff.


35 posted on 02/17/2009 8:13:38 AM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Borges

Am a huge film music fan, btw.


36 posted on 02/17/2009 8:14:07 AM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Borges

That would be interesting to hear!

I actually love old opera recordings - Mary Garden and the like.


37 posted on 02/17/2009 8:14:43 AM PST by keepitreal (Obama brings change: an international crisis (terrorism) within 6 months)
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To: sitetest

Thanks for the pink sitetest. :)


38 posted on 02/17/2009 8:20:52 AM PST by MeekMom (Support Israel: http://tinyurl.com/74fyyk)
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To: Darkwolf377
Aaron Copland was always perplexed that composers chose the leitmotiv system for film scoring. He claimed it only made sense in the opera house where people sitting in the balcony could be told by a theme which character is walking on stage if they couldn't see her. But in a film you could have a close up. He thought film music should be more abstract and his was like that.
39 posted on 02/17/2009 8:32:38 AM PST by Borges
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To: Borges

Jerry Goldsmith once said he didn’t use that method because he didn’t think the audience could absorb that many themes while watching a movie. He chose the “theme and variations” approach. While I enjoy much of Williams’ output, Goldsmith has always been my favorite. His scores have a cohesion that is startling, and then when you examine what he’s doing, he’s taking ONE theme and putting it through these variations you “get” but don’t really understand unless you think about it. (The love theme in his score for FIRST KNIGHT, for example, is the main theme played in a different key and tempo.)


40 posted on 02/17/2009 8:50:53 AM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Borges
I'm sure all true opera lovers are thrilled, excited and generally wetting their pants in anticipation of "An Inconvenient Truth", the opera, currently being mounted in Italy. Directed by hack director William Friedkin and financed by Participant Productions, the left-wing company that paid for the movie.

The arts will never be the same.

41 posted on 02/17/2009 8:57:59 AM PST by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: Deb

>I’m sure all true opera lovers are thrilled, excited and generally wetting their pants in anticipation of “An Inconvenient Truth”, <

Does everyone burst into flames in the last scene while singing the requisite high C’s??


42 posted on 02/17/2009 9:03:49 AM PST by keepitreal (Obama brings change: an international crisis (terrorism) within 6 months)
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To: keepitreal

One hopes.


43 posted on 02/17/2009 9:04:30 AM PST by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: Lexinom

That is really good, interesting composition. I had never heard it before!


44 posted on 02/17/2009 10:15:33 AM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Be prepared for tough times. FReepmail me to learn about our survival thread!)
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To: Lexinom

It reminds me of Rachmaninoff. It’s a little discordant for me but still enough of a melody to follow. Thanks for the link!


45 posted on 02/17/2009 10:18:05 AM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Be prepared for tough times. FReepmail me to learn about our survival thread!)
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To: Sarah

Now that’s music. Ahhh....


46 posted on 02/17/2009 10:20:52 AM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Be prepared for tough times. FReepmail me to learn about our survival thread!)
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To: saganite

The late great Steve Goodman!


47 posted on 02/17/2009 10:22:21 AM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Be prepared for tough times. FReepmail me to learn about our survival thread!)
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To: Darkwolf377

Doc Severinson was supposed to conduct the Phoenix Symphony one time but he got sick and had to cancel. Instead, they got Bill Conti to conduct. He was VERY interesting and a great conductor. Although, we did have to hear “The Theme from Rocky” several times. He had some very funny stories.


48 posted on 02/17/2009 10:26:20 AM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Be prepared for tough times. FReepmail me to learn about our survival thread!)
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

I find Conti underrated as a composer. He’s capable of great stuff—his theme for the miniseries NORTH AND SOUTH and his (derivative but fun) score for THE RIGHT STUFF are terrific. He scored an IMAX movie about the Grand Canyon that was the best score I’ve heard for an IMAX movie, just magnificent along with the visuals of the camera swooping through the canyon.


49 posted on 02/17/2009 10:30:29 AM PST by Darkwolf377 (Pro-Life Capitalist American Atheist and Free-Speech Junkie)
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To: Borges

Wagner is one of my top favorites ! I have tons of preludes and overtures on SACD — which is pure listening joy. I also have the complete ‘Ring’ cycle (Met/Levine) which I may have listened to only once or twice.

Mussorgsky — eh. Most Russians, other than Tchaikovsky, were known for only one or two pieces that made them famous. As for 20th century composers, I think most were short on talent, long on ‘experimentation’. New Age does music did not equal high quality.


50 posted on 02/17/2009 10:39:22 AM PST by libh8er
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