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Thread: Tenacious Operatic Earworms?

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    Senior Member Revenant's Avatar
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    Default Tenacious Operatic Earworms?

    TOE for short. I'd been a nascent Wagnerian for a couple of years when I began to be troubled by earworms. The usual suspects: Winterstumme, In Fernem Land, Elsa's Dream. Curiously not the Ride of the Valkyries. Perhaps not subtle enough for insidious subliminal mine-laying. Now that I'm finally and against all my verismo instincts have journeyed far into Baroque opera, the earworms that I get from that genre are the worst! L'Orfeo is a hive of earworms, from beginning to end! Yes, one nail drives out the other, but the nail that drove out becomes embedded deeper than the extracted nail. No way out.

    Any epic earworms that you would like to tell/warn us all about?
    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    I often get earworms from Britten. After Turn of the Screw I go around muttering "Malo malo" to myself, and "When Joe has gone fishing" from Peter Grimes rings jauntily in my head for DAYS.

    The Commendatore scene from Don Giovanni gets me intoning "Don Giovanni, a cena teco" in sepulchral tones (I'm a soprano, so hard to replicate exactly).
    Natalie

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    I generally don't have earworms, not the tough ones that follow you against your will.

    But I recall that once I went through real torture. When I first listened to Samson et Dalilah, I was catched by the two following numbers in 1st act, when Samson encourages Israelites. "Israel, break the chains..." etc. Shortly, perhaps another day, I got sick with fever and stuff - it leasted for couple of days and as I was lying there in bed suffering from fever and very bad frame of mind, I kept hearing Vickers singing that one tune, over and over again. It annoyed me greatly and I wanted to get it out of my mind. But I couldn't and it continued to torment me - I loved it when I listened to opera, but in this form it was unbearable. A long time passed since I was able to hear the opera again.
    Last edited by Aramis; Oct-20-2013 at 21:34.

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    I annoyingly literally always have music running through my head. It can be kind of entertaining at times when my brain plays a good mix but when I'm trying to read or sleep it gets pretty annoying. But yeah, it's bad when something gets stuck on repeat, though I'm used to it enough by now that it doesn't get truly annoying until the third day or so. Right now I'm at about a day and a half of Cosa Sento. Last week I had 6 days of Martern aller Arten.

    Worst in recent memory was last spring, 3+ weeks of the second movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic piece, but enough is enough. Stupid brain.

    edit: I take it back. Absolute worst was a few years back when I had 80s pop 'star' Samantha Fox loudly declaiming how "maybe, just maybe, naughty girls need love too" for what seemed an eternity.
    Last edited by rgz; Oct-20-2013 at 22:13.
    -Ian

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    Senior Member Revenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    I often get earworms from Britten. After Turn of the Screw I go around muttering "Malo malo" to myself, and "When Joe has gone fishing" from Peter Grimes rings jauntily in my head for DAYS.

    The Commendatore scene from Don Giovanni gets me intoning "Don Giovanni, a cena teco" in sepulchral tones (I'm a soprano, so hard to replicate exactly).
    Lol! The cena teco chords have been one of my most insistent ear worms since I first listened to that opera 50 years ago! It has remained a top favorite. But it's a nest of ear worms. La ci darem la mano is another bad one for me.
    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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    Senior Member Revenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    I generally don't have earworms, not the tough ones that follow you against your will.

    But I recall that once I went through real torture. When I first listened to Samson et Dalilah, I was catched by the two following numbers in 1st act, when Samson encourages Israelites. "Israel, break the chains..." etc. Shortly, perhaps another day, I got sick with fever and stuff - it leasted for couple of days and as I was lying there in bed suffering from fever and very bad frame of mind, I kept hearing Vickers singing that one tune, over and over again. It annoyed me greatly and I wanted to get it out of my mind. But I couldn't and it continued to torment me - I loved it when I listened to opera, but in this form it was unbearable. A long time passed since I was able to hear the opera again.
    Mon coeur s'ouevre a ta voix is a bad ear worm for me from that opera. But I can't even begin to imagine how harrowing it must be to lie sick in bed and on top of that to have a Jon Vickers ear worm on a loop reel!
    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    the duet from Lakme.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

    "Man does not live by bread alone......"

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    Junior Member mchriste's Avatar
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    I've been muttering "Confusi e stupidi" and "Pappataci" sotto voce for the past few weeks...

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchriste View Post
    I've been muttering "Confusi e stupidi" and "Pappataci" sotto voce for the past few weeks...
    Yes, the other thing about opera is the sheer uselessness of the foreign words one learns. All I can do in Russian is to say "I love you, you beautiful woman, oh God", then proclaim "three cards" triumphantly and tell you who my second is for the duel.
    Natalie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revenant View Post
    Mon coeur s'ouevre a ta voix is a bad ear worm for me from that opera. But I can't even begin to imagine how harrowing it must be to lie sick in bed and on top of that to have a Jon Vickers ear worm on a loop reel!
    It seems Samson et Dalilah is fraught with them. For me it's the Bacchanale. It's also one I have stop what I'm doing and turn it up when it comes on the radio. Bring on the dancing girls!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Yes, the other thing about opera is the sheer uselessness of the foreign words one learns
    With pappataci you can't even say you have learnt any word at all, because in the context presented in the opera by Rossini it doesn't exist in reality. I've googled it after listening for the first time and found out that pappataci is actually some kind of mosquito, so there's connection between the real meaning of pappataci and the opera only if Flórez is singing Lindoro
    Last edited by Aramis; Oct-21-2013 at 19:10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavaradossi View Post
    It seems Samson et Dalilah is fraught with them. For me it's the Bacchanale. It's also one I have stop what I'm doing and turn it up when it comes on the radio. Bring on the dancing girls!
    The Bacchanale can give you much more than an earworm!
    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Yes, the other thing about opera is the sheer uselessness of the foreign words one learns. All I can do in Russian is to say "I love you, you beautiful woman, oh God", then proclaim "three cards" triumphantly and tell you who my second is for the duel.
    And one of my most tenacious earworms features most of my Russian vocabulary - "Long live Tsar Boris Fyodorovich" and "Glory". I'm sure that the two of us would have no trouble finding an honest taxi driver and a decent restaurant in Moscow with that amazing vocabulary.

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    I have a severe TOE: Wotan's Farewell. It's gotten better, but the melancholy and helpless defeat (on the part of Wotan) is irresistibly moving. Especially when he sputters out "der gott!" the futility of his position leaves me with proverbial tissues

    Another one is Brünnhilde's Immolation. The musically thrilling end of the world just vividly plays out in my head constantly. The sheer collapse of all of the motifs we grew to love (the hero motif, the Valhalla motif) is emotionally devastating. And then, when the orchestra goes silent and breaks into the heartbreaking "redemption" motif, I just...well...(sniff)...I promised myself I wouldn't cry!

    Then there is the Liebestod, one of the greatest expressions of ecstasy in music. I love how Brangäne pretty much says: "Isolde, hello...what are you looking at", and then Isolde just quietly sings "softly and gently" and then asks incredulously "can't you see him?" And then her voice just caressingly sinks in and out of the orchestra, and then the Tristan chord, and then...

    Oh dear, I've gone on quite a bit haven't I? Whoops
    Last edited by Notung; Oct-21-2013 at 22:01.
    "Blessed be your suffering"-Wagner, Parsifal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revenant View Post
    La ci darem la mano is another bad one for me.
    haha, I have La ci darem la mano stuck in my head right now. E amore un ladroncello is my biggest one, though. Damn you, Mozart!

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