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Thread: L. Beethoven

  1. #601
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    To All: Thank you for the recommendations and your input. I watched an hour of Fritz' favorite last night and it was much better than the Zurich Opera production, but I'm still not enjoying it. I don't want to insult or offend anyone here: I'm going to put it aside for a week and approach it again with a new frame of mind.
    I guess I can only say that Fidelio is in a way unlike any other opera because Beethoven only wrote that one opera. It certainly does not carry one along like bel canto Rossini opera. I think you really have to be in more of a symphonic listening frame of mind for Fidelio. Also, I am not sure exactly what you are looking for, but nothing says you have to enjoy Fidelio vs some other opera. I am curious what are some operas you have enjoyed?

    The curious thing about Fidelio is that it starts out as a very light-hearted, frivolous story of Marzelline and Jaquino having an argument as she spurns Jaquino (almost a Mozartian type opera) and even has rather comical march music to introduce the villain, but from that point on the opera becomes dead serious. Beethoven really slam-dunks it putting the listener in a light hearted mood then lets all Hell break loose.
    "My brothers, there's not a sinner in the world to whom the way of redemption is closed!"
    --Minne in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West.

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  3. #602
    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
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    ^^Thank you for your suggestion re/ symphonic listening frame of mind. I'll take this as an opportunity finally to watch Simon Rattle and Berlin Philharmonic's latest performances of the symphonies. Then I will watch Fidelio again. I am also very grateful that you suggested the Popp version.

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  5. #603
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    My wife is a partially lapsed village Buddhist. By "village" Buddhist I mean somebody whose experience of Buddhism is as actually practiced in rural Asia, not our Western bourgeois intellectual bloodless Buddhism. A very different thing, and not necessarily preferable from our rather different viewpoint (or from hers!)
    'Partially Lapsed Village Buddhist' sounds like a Morrissey single.

  6. #604
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    Maybe my understanding of singspiel and zarzuela are too limited. Yes, I knew that The Magic Flute was a singspiel, but I have thought that two important characteristic of singspiel are a catchy, quick action and a element of comedy. Before watching Fidelio I had heard the various overtures (although I didn't know that the Leonore was for Fidelio) and they don't sound light, humorous or catchy to me. Is my understanding incorrect?
    I agree there is an element of lightness, exuberance, quick action, and comedy in a singspiel. But surely "The Magic Flute" is more than just that? So too is Fidelio, I would say. (As Mozart was never far from Beethoven's mind... though I'm not claiming Fidelio is as fine an opera as Mozart's, it isn't, in my view.)

    If you're interested in exploring further, I'd recommend that you hear a conductor that conduct's Fidelio as a singspiel, as (I expect) most are too heavy and serious (& overly romantic). I don't know the Harnoncourt DVD, but would strongly recommend Kurt Masur's Fidelio in Leipzig, originally released on Eurodisc (an early digital recording). Masur wisely conducts the opera in the same vein as Mozart's "The Magic Flute"--though I'm not sure if all of the dialogue is included, as it may have been partially cut out in order to fit the opera onto 2 CDs. Nevertheless, Masur's conducting is well worth hearing for his 'period' understanding of the opera's singspiel style. The Gewandhaus Orchestra also plays magnificently (incredibly well). For these reasons, I prefer Masur's Fidelio to those conducted by Klemperer, Bernstein, etc. Suffice it say that when this recording came out in the 1982, the late William Mann wrote a glowing review of it.

    Last edited by Josquin13; May-17-2018 at 20:59.

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