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Thread: Berg on DVD and Blu-ray

  1. #1
    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Default Berg on DVD and Blu-ray

    I'm watching this right now (as I type)



    Oh boy. This twelve-tone system needs some getting used to.
    I can't say I like it.
    Does this make of me some sort of musical moron?
    So far, to be frank, I find this to be a good play with ugly music in the background.
    I have enjoyed other 20th century atonal works.
    But I can't really wrap my mind around this music.
    In what way can this be considered beautiful music? It's a bunch of disconnected shrieks.
    Poooommmm piiiiiiiii paaaaaahhhhh eeeeeehhhhhhh uuuuuuuuuuu
    I don't get it.
    Maybe by the end of the third hour (3 hours 3 minutes of runtime) I'll get used to it. I hope.

    Addendum - OK, I think it's getting better for me. My poor ears are starting to settle.
    The intermezzo between scenes 2 and 3 is actually interesting and the odd music does add some weird but intriguing atmosphere to this somber drama. Maybe I'll end up liking this thing. I'm still reserving judgment, though.

    Certainly Christine Schäfer is doing a fine job as Lulu.
    Last edited by Almaviva; Oct-02-2010 at 04:28.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I'm watching this right now (as I type)



    Oh boy. This twelve-tone system needs some getting used to.
    I can't say I like it.
    Does this make of me some sort of musical moron?
    So far, to be frank, I find this to be a good play with ugly music in the background.
    I have enjoyed other 20th century atonal works.
    But I can't really wrap my mind around this music.
    In what way can this be considered beautiful music? It's a bunch of disconnected shrieks.
    Poooommmm piiiiiiiii paaaaaahhhhh eeeeeehhhhhhh uuuuuuuuuuu
    I don't get it.
    Maybe by the end of the third hour (3 hours 3 minutes of runtime) I'll get used to it. I hope.

    Addendum - OK, I think it's getting better for me. My poor ears are starting to settle.
    The intermezzo between scenes 2 and 3 is actually interesting and the odd music does add some weird but intriguing atmosphere to this somber drama. Maybe I'll end up liking this thing. I'm still reserving judgment, though.

    Certainly Christine Schafer is doing a fine job as Lulu.
    Yeeeahhhh Wozzeck is easier. Way easier. I haven't heard Lulu yet, but I've definitely heard it's leaps and bounds ahead of Wozzeck in difficulty. Apparently still a great opera though.

    Christine Schafer is brilliant... I heard her singing some Webern songs a while back and she made me fall in love with them. Seriously. She's brilliant!
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    Yeeeahhhh Wozzeck is easier. Way easier. I haven't heard Lulu yet, but I've definitely heard it's leaps and bounds ahead of Wozzeck in difficulty. Apparently still a great opera though.

    Christine Schafer is brilliant... I heard her singing some Webern songs a while back and she made me fall in love with them. Seriously. She's brilliant!
    Yep. She *is* Lulu. Perfect incarnation. She looks like the ultimate sociopath with a seductive calm, like nothing rattles her because she doesn't have a superego. And she is oddly attractive, to match this disturbing character. If she were prettier, it would somehow look fake, because one senses that Lulu is not exactly seductive because of good looks, but rather because she exudes depravity. But a woman less attractive than Schafer would also look fake. What an ideal casting! Pretty impressive work.

    Her singing is excellent.

    And yes, I can tell it's a powerful work. It's just a matter of getting used to the 12-tone system.

    I'm starting to get that the point the orchestra is making is that the music does *not* try to be beautiful, since there is nothing beautiful in any of these characters. The music is as disturbing and evil as Lulu herself.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Oh well, the palindromic score during the silent movie *is* clever.
    The mirror structure of the opera is in full swing.
    I'm starting to get into this.
    (Not to forget that in the silent movie we were treated to a side view of Christine Schäfer's boob)
    Last edited by Almaviva; Oct-02-2010 at 04:27.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Super Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Oh well, the palindromic score during the silent movie *is* clever.
    The mirror structure of the opera is in full swing.
    I'm starting to get into this.
    (Not to forget that in the silent movie we were treated to a side view of Christine Shafer's boob)
    I haven't been brave enough to buy Lulu but I've been getting my ears used to it by watching bits on YouTube. Seemed a bit shrieky and undifferentiated to me and I was worried about sitting though three hours of it. I think I'll take World Violist's advice and try Wozzek next - but just YouTube to start with.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    OK, I have finished watching it.
    I have to admit to the fact that it *is* good.
    But it won't ever be among my favorites.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    In what way can this be considered beautiful music?
    It's rather not kind of music that you turn on and instinctively, without any context find it beautiful, like you do with Verdi and likes. Instead of thinking about 12-tone things and stuff simply try to focus on it's expressive aspects, try to put music and words, events, feelings together. That's the way to understand it IMO. To all that came to you automatically in more accessible operas just because you gave it more or less attention here you must explore with all your perceptual senses, both emotional and intellectual.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Super Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post


    Well, is it because it's so bad, or so good but harrowing, or something else?

    I'd love to know because this is the version I am considering getting.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Well, is it because it's so bad, or so good but harrowing, or something else?

    I'd love to know because this is the version I am considering getting.
    I like this version quite a lot. I don't know about World_Violist.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Well, is it because it's so bad, or so good but harrowing, or something else?

    I'd love to know because this is the version I am considering getting.
    Good but harrowing. It's really quite stunning. Yes, I like it quite a lot.

    Sorry for the indistinct post!
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Super Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Default Berg on DVD and Blu-ray



    I borrowed this version from the library rather than buying it because I thought I wouldn't be able to cope with music. How wrong I was! This music is fantastic, luscious, disturbing and exciting at the same time. The story is pretty shocking but rich in interpretative possibilities - is Lulu a victim or a predator or both? Agneta Eichenholz leans towards playing her as the detached victim of repulsive men, but her performance is compelling and ever-present. The production is the most minimalist I have ever seen - to the point where there is literally nothing on the stage and the costumes are generic business suits and LBDs (Little Black Dresses). The advantage of that is that the actors have to give their all to carry the action, and here they do (great to see Philip Langridge in what must have been one of his last roles).
    Last edited by mamascarlatti; Dec-22-2010 at 02:26. Reason: typo
    Natalie

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Yes, I was shocked with the music at first, then I thought it was OK, then I liked it, and finally I loved it. Lulu is definitely both a predator and a victim. Excellent opera! I like it better than Wozzeck.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Sebastien Melmoth's Avatar
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    Back in 2001 the MET staged a Lulu with Christine Schäfer in the title rôle: it was fantastic--James Levine conducted.

    In 2011 we're going to get a new Wozzeck with Waltraud Meier and Matthias Goerne under Levine, and that's gotta be good. Live broadcast 16 April 2011.

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    Super Moderator jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post


    The production is the most minimalist I have ever seen - to the point where there is literally nothing on the stage and the costumes are generic business suits and LBDs (Little Black Dresses).
    Doesn't sound like something I would enjoy. I mean, why buy an opera DVD if you end up looking at a concertante performance? I think I will order this one instead.



    It's been on my wishlist for months, but your enthusiasm for it and the enthusiasm of others for this opera is most encouraging.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

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