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Thread: Flying Dutchman

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    Junior Member Orgel's Avatar
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    Default Flying Dutchman

    Our local opera company is currently presenting this opera, touting it as Wagner's shortest and most easily accessible opera. I understand "shortest" , but I don't understand what they're getting at by "most easily accessible". Any ideas?

    Thanks.

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    ? i think it's fun. maybe that's what they mean.

    dj

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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    "Shortest:" statement of fact, quantifiably accurate.
    "Most easily accessible:" total matter of opinion.
    I think that the most accessible Wagner opera is Tannhauser

    That being said, Flying Dutchman is a great window on the development of Wagner. Remember, this most-self-taught of the great composers penned this impressive sound-canvas, an opera that holds the boards more than a century-and-a-half after its creation, at the age of about 27!
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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    Junior Member Orgel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi_town/Philly View Post
    "Shortest:" statement of fact, quantifiably accurate.
    "Most easily accessible:" total matter of opinion.
    I think that the most accessible Wagner opera is Tannhauser This is my favorite

    That being said, Flying Dutchman is a great window on the development of Wagner. Remember, this most-self-taught of the great composers penned this impressive sound-canvas, an opera that holds the boards more than a century-and-a-half after its creation, at the age of about 27!
    But I still don't know what "accessible" means here. Does it mean 'favorite'?

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    easiest to 'dig'.

    dj

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    Junior Member Orgel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david johnson View Post
    easiest to 'dig'.

    dj
    Thanks, David. I understand what you mean. I find it difficult, however, to believe that this opera ranks over our favorite.

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    the dutchman is my kind of story; shortish, ghosts, phantom sailing ships w/blood red sails, lovely maidens sacrificing themselves, loud brass and storming strings...how could i not like
    it ?

    i've not heard tannhauser in awhile. perhaps i should soon give that a spin!

    dj

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    Junior Member Orgel's Avatar
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    Oddly enough, I just used the word "accessible" to describe the Caranavel Museum in Paris - not sure if it was in me all along, or a result of this thread.

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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    It's like this - it's the easiest of Wagner's true Wagnerian operas to "get into"/listen to. It's only a couple of hours long and the music is not too complex.

    It's also the first in which Wagner started to shape his own voice.

    Most people don't realise it was written roughly at the same time as Rienzi, musically a very different piece (which Wagner claimed he did not like and has therefore never been performed at Bayreuth). I believe that Die Fliegende Hollaender has been performed there as his first "mature" opera.

    Although they do have merit, Wagner regarded his first three as unsatisfactory - Die Feen, Das Liebesverbot and Rienzi.

    Incidentally, the most satisfactory recording of Dutchman, in my view, is an old one: Klemperer.

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    gasp!! everyone knows it has to be konwichny/berlin opera on emi!!!!
    (my favorite)

    dj

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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    Well, Klemperer's recording (on EMI) has stood the test of time - it's still in the catalogue after 39 years!

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    Junior Member Inominate's Avatar
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    It's the most melodic of Wagner's operas and it's not as heavy on recitative as the later ones - a great opera to start your Wagner journey on. I've got two versions, it being one of my absolute favourites.

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    Junior Member RicardoTheTexan's Avatar
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    I saw Dutchman four or five times before finally accepting it as a masterpiece. The tempi is the key. The performance that totally convinced me (and filled me with joy) was by New York City Opera. Dutchman is an early effort by Wagner. If the tempi drag a lot, it's astoundingly boring. If, however, the conductor has enough respect for the composer, the piece comes alive and becomes dazzling.
    Ricardo is the author of Getting Opera - for real, a revolutionary audio course that turns the listener into an opera expert in less than three hours.

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