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Thread: Berlioz - Les Troyens

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    Senior Member GioCar's Avatar
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    Default Berlioz - Les Troyens

    I bought tickets to go to see Les Troyens at La Scala, next April.
    Strange as it may seem, It will be my very first listening to this opera .
    Actually Berlioz, for some reason, is one of the main composers I have never paid too much attention to.

    I will go there “virgin”, i.e. without a previous listening, but I would like to prepare myself a bit…
    Any suggestion on the key points of the opera will be greatly appreciated

    Thanks!
    Last edited by GioCar; Feb-09-2014 at 11:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GioCar View Post
    Any suggestion on the key points of the opera will be greatly appreciated
    The first fragment, coming from the beginning, that drawn me into the opera upon first listening was duet between Chorèbe and Cassandra with beautiful melody of Reviens à toi, vierge adoré!



    Another highligh, though very short, is powerful call of Enee telling his men to prepare for departure from Carthage.

    This lyrical aria isn't bad either, is it:


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    Senior Member Berlioznestpasmort's Avatar
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    You are to be envied - the first time I heard Les Troyens, it was "bouleversant," and I think if doctors had the means they would still find it resonating somewhere inside me. A real highlight for me is "Nuit d'ivresse" - Berlioz did not make it esp. easy for his singers! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq3ZOgkBSOk
    « Il faut collectionner les pierres qu'on vous jette. C'est le début d'un piédestal. » - Hector Berlioz

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    Senior Member Headphone Hermit's Avatar
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    You lucky soul!

    Listen, listen, listen - just listen to it! Its on 4 CDs, listen a few times (even without the libretto .... and even in any order) and then, once you hear the idee fixee - the themes for different situations, characters, emotions and start to link them together, then have a good listening session with following the libretto through. One of the greatest joys in classical music awaits you and you may get to the stage where you realise that everything that is in this mammoth opera is there for an important reason

    Enjoy!
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Verdi is my favourite opera composer, but two of my top five favourite operas are not by Verdi. Bellini's Norma is one. The other is Les Troyens, a score of unending fascination and beauty. Like all great works, it may not be immediately accessible, but it repays re-hearing, over and over again. I'd second Headphone Hermit and recommend that you try to acquaint yourself with the score a little beforehand.

    Incidentally, people often go on about its great length, which is why it is often split into two parts, played on consecutive nights, but it is no longer than some of Wagner's operas, and nobody would ever think of splitting them in two.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Quote Originally Posted by GioCar View Post
    I bought tickets to go to see Les Troyens at La Scala, next April.
    Strange as it may seem, It will be my very first listening to this opera .
    Actually Berlioz, for some reason, is one of the main composers I have never paid too much attention to.

    I will go there “virgin”, i.e. without a previous listening, but I would like to prepare myself a bit…
    Any suggestion on the key points of the opera will be greatly appreciated

    Thanks!
    Oh, please don't go there as a "virgin" listener! Get either of the Davis CD sets or even better the DVD from 2003 in Paris featuring Susan Graham and a knockout Anna Caterina Antonacci, John Elliot Gardiner, conducting.
    You will enjoy it so much more if you are completely familiar with it!
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Berlioz, unlike almost every other major operatic composer, learned to play woodwind, not piano or violin. As such his whole style of composing was different. Also, he studied early music and he composed music that had very novel rhythms compared to other composers. His operas are a bit like staged oratorios, but the music is really wonderful. I've heard Le Troyens is hard to stage well and this is Europe so it might get weird, but you should expect some good artists and wonderful music. Once you recognize Berlioz's style you can pick him out fairly easily from snippets in the future IMHO.

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    ... The other is Les Troyens, a score of unending fascination and beauty. Like all great works, it may not be immediately accessible, but it repays re-hearing, over and over again. I'd second Headphone Hermit and recommend that you try to acquaint yourself with the score a little beforehand.
    I had to listen several times before I 'got' it. Worth persevering.


    Quote Originally Posted by GioCar View Post
    I bought tickets to go to see Les Troyens at La Scala, next April.
    Strange as it may seem, It will be my very first listening to this opera .
    Actually Berlioz, for some reason, is one of the main composers I have never paid too much attention to.

    I will go there “virgin”, i.e. without a previous listening, but I would like to prepare myself a bit…
    Any suggestion on the key points of the opera will be greatly appreciated

    Thanks!
    If it's this one you're in for a treat.

    Ann

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    I still don't "get" it.
    Last edited by Itullian; Feb-10-2014 at 08:05.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Senior Member GioCar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    If it's this one you're in for a treat.


    Yes, it is!

    Can't wait to see it!

    1CF263A58A2B2.jpg

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    Senior Member GioCar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    I still don't "get" it.
    I guess you love Wagner as I do, so this is worrying me a bit...

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GioCar View Post
    I guess you love Wagner as I do, so this is worrying me a bit...
    No worries my friend. Many people love it.
    I've only listened to it, not seen it.
    But that's how I judge a work.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Senior Member Oreb's Avatar
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    In my humble opinion it would be crazy to go without at least listening to a decent recording first. I can't think of any opera that doesn't benefit from some prior listening - well, any 'good' opera, anyway (and this is a great one).

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    Senior Member Oreb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    No worries my friend. Many people love it.
    I've only listened to it, not seen it.
    But that's how I judge a work.
    Wow - this is the first time I have noticed disagreeing with your view

    (and I even explored Tell on the basis of your enthusiasm! Loved it, as well!)

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oreb View Post
    Wow - this is the first time I have noticed disagreeing with your view

    (and I even explored Tell on the basis of your enthusiasm! Loved it, as well!)
    I figured i'd get in trouble on this one.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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