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Thread: Ponchielli's "I Lituani"

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    Default Ponchielli's "I Lituani"

    What are your thoughts about this work?

    Normally I wouldn't get to hear him as I didn't hear many works by Verdi and other more important Italian opera composers than Ponchielli. But "I Lituani" is based on literary work that I particularly admire and I'm very curious to hear what did he do and if it's as awesome as source of libretto.

    So I'm wondering what to expect while waiting for recording to arrive.

    If you know Ponchielli but not Lituani I'm also curious to hear your thoughts about his style and quality of his music.

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    Senior Member Herkku's Avatar
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    I must admit that this is the first time I have even heard about I Lituani! La Gioconda is the only opera I know by Ponchielli. I was intrigued enough to order it immediately!

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    What are your thoughts about this work?

    Normally I wouldn't get to hear him as I didn't hear many works by Verdi and other more important Italian opera composers than Ponchielli. But "I Lituani" is based on literary work that I particularly admire and I'm very curious to hear what did he do and if it's as awesome as source of libretto.

    So I'm wondering what to expect while waiting for recording to arrive.

    If you know Ponchielli but not Lituani I'm also curious to hear your thoughts about his style and quality of his music.
    I only know La Gioconda, and I confess that I'm not highly impressed with it.
    "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 Herkku's Avatar
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    There are some magical moments in La Gioconda, the whole ending starting with "Suicidío!" for example, but otherwise it's a bit uneven with less inspired moments as well, not unlike Boïto's operas.

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herkku View Post
    There are some magical moments in La Gioconda, the whole ending starting with "Suicidío!" for example, but otherwise it's a bit uneven with less inspired moments as well, not unlike Boïto's operas.
    Right. I like Boito's Mefistofele, but one can easily see that he isn't a great composer, for example, when the orchestral accompaniment starts repeating the vocal music instead of illustrating/commenting upon it.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    I Lituani has been recorded, by a not particularly starry Italian cast and conductor many,many years ago, and it was available on LP.I don't know if it's been issued on CD, but the best place to check is arkivmusic.com,the best source of hard to find classical CDs,and classical CDs and DVDs in general.
    I believe I may have heard the recording many years ago over the radio on a now defunct opera program, but don't remember anything about the plot,other than that it takes place in Lithuania,not the most likely location for an opera and has to do with something from the history of that Baltic nation.
    Perhaps one of Italy's enterprising conductors such as Alberto Veronesi or Gianandrea Noseda could give us another recoridng; I'd be curious to hear it.
    While I'm not wildly enthusiastic about La Gioconda,I don't dislike it either and in a first rate performance it can be a lot of fun.

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    I has this:



    Don't know any of performers and can't find libretto (only oroginal Italian one).

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    Senior Member Herkku's Avatar
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    Yes, it's not a recent recording, but probably the only one available. The Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) are so close to us here in Finland that at least I'm interested in them, especially if in connection with opera. If I remember correctly, in Adriana Lecouvreur Maurizio sings about Curlandia, which would be a part of Latvia nowadays. So, there we have another Italian opera, where Baltic countries are mentioned.

    Finland could have shared the same fate as those three - becoming a part of the USSR, but somehow we managed to remain independent. But that's why an opera called I Lituani immediately raises my interest.

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    Finland could have shared the same fate as those three - becoming a part of the USSR, but somehow we managed to remain independent. But that's why an opera called I Lituani immediately raises my interest.
    Well, this opera is rather about more distant times - times in which Order of Brothers of the German House Saint Mary in Jerusalem was looking for trouble in this part of Europe. But it has little to do with real hisotry anyway - I can't tell you presicely since libretto probably changed a lot in original story, but source of it, that is poetic novel by Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz is concentrated on historical character - Konrad Wallenrod who existed indeed but it's more than unlikely that he was Lithuanian knight who sacrificed his life and joined Order in disguise just to become their Grand Master and ruin them to save his homeland, not to mention his mistress being closed in the tower near castle of Malbork and other fantasies which were symbolical statement on contemporary events.

    Work of Mickiewicz is very beautifully written but I'm afraid that libretto of this opera could... you know. Make some trivial quasi-romantic story out of it. But I hope it's not that bad.

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    Senior Member Herkku's Avatar
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    Well, let's hope that the music saves the day!

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    Senior Member Sloe's Avatar
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    I think it is a wonderful opera.
    Full of highlights.

    Here it is to listen to:



    This is my favourite part:

    https://youtu.be/afrx0qq-G9g?t=6968
    Last edited by Sloe; Jun-15-2019 at 21:29.

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    I've heard that recording a couple of times and wasn't impressed. I remember there is a baritone aria that is really quite beautiful, though.

    N.

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will surely check it out.

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    Senior Member Sloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    I've heard that recording a couple of times and wasn't impressed. I remember there is a baritone aria that is really quite beautiful, though.

    N.
    I have been listening to it almost every day the lately.

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