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Thread: Most beautiful operatic duet

  1. #46
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahlerian View Post
    Mozart was the master of balanced asymmetry. The melody in this duet is a prime example: the four-bar ritornello phrase of the intro becomes the main melody, which is in two phrases, one of four bars and one of six. We'd also be amiss to overlook the wonderful counterpoint of the bass line and inner voices, which do far more than simply outline the harmony and give us plenty else to focus on.

    Of course the music doesn't have the same kind of chromatic harmony of Wagner. In fact, the whole is almost entirely devoid of any accidentals whatsoever. Criticizing him for lacking this kind of beauty seems as pointless as criticizing Wagner for lacking the far richer post-tonal harmony of a Debussy or Schoenberg, which has its own beauties that Wagner lacks.
    Thank you for your specificity. I was of course speaking in relative, not absolute, terms, merely to illustrate the diversity of "beauty." In this duet, symmetry is far more salient than asymmetry, and although one may indeed choose to focus on the bass line or inner voices, they are greatly subordinate to the vocal melody and intended to support it, quite unlike the various things going on in the duet from Tristan. The effect of sweet naivete, suitable to these characters in Tito, really depends on this simplicity. No criticism of Mozart was intended.

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  3. #47
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegendesLicht View Post
    Does this:



    sound tuneful or not? If not, then maybe this is really not "your" opera (and I would never put you down for "not getting it").

    I need willpower to tear myself away from this when it is late after midnight on workdays, and I need to get up the next day.
    Just like T and I, you don't want it to end.
    Mozart touches your heart, Wagner takes you to another world.
    Last edited by Itullian; Jun-18-2015 at 19:49.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  5. #48
    Senior Member Lukecash12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Thank you for your specificity. I was of course speaking in relative, not absolute, terms, merely to illustrate the diversity of "beauty." In this duet, symmetry is far more salient than asymmetry, and although one may indeed choose to focus on the bass line or inner voices, they are greatly subordinate to the vocal melody and intended to support it, quite unlike the various things going on in the duet from Tristan. The effect of sweet naivete, suitable to these characters in Tito, really depends on this simplicity. No criticism of Mozart was intended.
    I couldn't agree more. What I've observed over the years is other music lovers saying "well, this piece just doesn't do this for me". While I understand that, I feel that this is about as good a comparison as you can find for the metaphor "missing the forest for the trees". There are many different elements in composition, and some pieces of music have an exemplary display of one element while they lack another.
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

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  7. #49
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Hey guys! Rather than arguing about the relative merits of composers, why not give us some more beautiful duets we can enjoy? Like the love duet from Otello (Verdi)

    http://youtu.be/p1CdmuFM_aQ

  8. #50
    Senior Member HumphreyAppleby's Avatar
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    How about this for most beautiful duet? Heck, how about this for most beautiful piece of music? Re the discussion above, it has the clarity, simplicity, and inspiration of Mozart and the otherworldly beauty of Wagner.


    Another front-runner:


    To me, as profoundly beautiful, erotic, and transporting as the above (admittedly stunning, even if I'm not crazy about the performance, as Vickers/Dernesch ruined me for anything else in that part of the opera) Wagner duet:





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  10. #51
    Senior Member Headphone Hermit's Avatar
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    ^^^ Spot on!

    'Nuit paisible' is another absolutely wonderful Berlozian duet. Frost! Could that man write beautiful music
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Hey guys! Rather than arguing about the relative merits of composers, why not give us some more beautiful duets we can enjoy? Like the love duet from Otello (Verdi)

    http://youtu.be/p1CdmuFM_aQ
    I agree.
    Here's one:
    "Pur ti miro, pur ti godo" Monteverdi - L'incoronazione di Poppea
    https://youtu.be/oTFKRab7p60

  13. #53
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    Sorry if somebody else has already mentioned this one, but "Oh rimembranza" from Norma does it for me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwngNPBKgak

    N.

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  15. #54
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    I'll go with the whole section starting from Si, fuggire: a noi non resta right through to Vieni, ah! vieni, e in me riposa from Bellini's Il Capuleti e i Montecchi. Especially if delivered with the white hot intensity of Sills and Baker together:




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  17. #55
    Senior Member Sloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HumphreyAppleby View Post

    That was fantastic thank you for letting me hear and see that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    Re Villazon and Netrebko:
    Oh how I wish that you could have seen them do their thing at LA Opera more than 10 years ago in Romeo et Juliette. That is one production that should have been saved. Their wedding scene was a sight to behold -- so touching. It was totally exquisite and both were at the top of their game.
    Sad that there is no copy.

    Here is a scene from that wonderful production so you can get an idea:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIpQRL9iy4g
    Wow. It's amazing, I wish the whole thing was recorded, too.

  19. #57
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    This must rank as one of the most beautiful things ever written. The recording by Bjoerling and Merrill will never probably be surpassed.

    https://youtu.be/5PYt2HlBuyI

  20. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellinilover View Post
    "Verrano a te" (Lucia and Edgardo) from LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR is one of the most purely beautiful, IMO.

    Yes please; Bergonzi and Sills .
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

  21. #59
    Senior Member HumphreyAppleby's Avatar
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    "The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."
    - Albert Camus

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  23. #60
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HumphreyAppleby View Post
    You know the classic Schipa/Favero recording of the Cherry Duet, don't you?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZSewl5wT4k

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