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Thread: Opera with the largest orchestra?

  1. #16
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    Not opera but Mahlers' Symphonies
    I am guessing Verdi's Aida and Don Carlo

  2. #17
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Wagner late operas call for quite massive orchestrations. The number of instruments is over 100 in multiple Wagner operas (if my math is correct). Of course it depends whether we count the number of players or instruments.

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  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by adriesba View Post
    The instrumentation for each opera is similar though. So either way, the bulk of the orchestra has to be there each night.
    Absolutely, I thought it would be interesting to look at how many instruments there are in the Ring as a whole and it comes to 154 (those 18 off stage anvils push the number up somewhat!) So getting close to FROSCH, but no cigar.

    N.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    I found Elektra mesmerizing when I first saw it. I don’t think I breathed for the entire length of it. I love the ancient myths and stories of Ancient Greece, and this one fits the bill, not to mention the music matching the tragic story. It’s an assault on the senses and yet, beautiful in its cacophonous way.

    I hate the noise of the uncouth Baron in Der Rosenkavalier more than that of Elektra.
    I put up with the "noise" of some of Baron Ochs' music (not all, he does after all have that anachronistic but lovely waltz) for the lyrical beauty of the music for the Marshcallin, Octavian and Sophie, and the final trio and duet almost makes me forgive anything.

    On the other hand, Elektra usually sounds too overwrought and I tire of having those women scream at me for nigh on two hours. I prefer the Sawallisch recording to the Solti, as he seems to bring out more of the lyricism in the score, but I still don't like the opera much.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Sep-25-2020 at 14:23.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  8. #20
    Senior Member adriesba's Avatar
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    Since we are discussing it...
    Personally, I really like how intense and relentless of an opera Elektra is. I find Elektra and Klytämnestra to be interesting characters. It's almost scary how fascinating the portrayal of evil is in the opera. But perhaps part of the purpose of the opera is to expose to us the inner workings of the minds of such extremely dysfunctional characters. But yes, the orchestration is brilliant!

  9. #21
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adriesba View Post
    Since we are discussing it...
    Personally, I really like how intense and relentless of an opera Elektra is. I find Elektra and Klytämnestra to be interesting characters. It's almost scary how fascinating the portrayal of evil is in the opera. But perhaps part of the purpose of the opera is to expose to us the inner workings of the minds of such extremely dysfunctional characters. But yes, the orchestration is brilliant!
    The evil began with Agamemnon sacrificing their daughter Iphigenia to the wind gods for a good breeze so that 1,000 Greek ships could sail to Troy. They had been stuck for weeks because of a dead calm. In revenge, Klytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus murdered Agamemnon when he returned to Mycenae after the destruction of Troy.

    Gluck’s Iphigenie en Aulus tells that story.

    Here’s Irene Pappas as Klytemnestra in the film Iphigenia after the killing of Iphigenia.

    D58BF529-400C-4942-B6D6-4C677BC7046F.jpg
    Last edited by MAS; Sep-25-2020 at 19:27.

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  11. #22
    Senior Member adriesba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    The evil began with Agamemnon sacrificing their daughter Iphigenia to the wind gods for a good breeze so that 1,000 Greek ships could sail to Troy. They had been stuck for weeks because of a dead calm. In revenge, Klytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus murdered Agamemnon when he returned to Mycenae after the destruction of Troy.

    Gluck’s Iphigenie en Aulus tells that story.

    Here’s Irene Pappas as Klytemnestra in the film Iphigenia after the killing of Iphigenia.

    D58BF529-400C-4942-B6D6-4C677BC7046F.jpg
    Interesting! I didn't know there was another opera dealing with this story.

  12. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by adriesba View Post
    Interesting! I didn't know there was another opera dealing with this story.
    There is then Iphigenie en Tauride also by Gluck. My knowledge of the original Greek materials isn't good enough to link them all together, but Gluck's operas are based on plays by Euripides.

    More about Iphigenia here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iphigenia

    N.

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  14. #24
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    There is then Iphigenie en Tauride also by Gluck. My knowledge of the original Greek materials isn't good enough to link them all together, but Gluck's operas are based on plays by Euripides.

    More about Iphigenia here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iphigenia

    N.
    There are two versions of the Iphigenia myth. In one she dies under the knife of the priests of Artemis (Diana). In another, she is saved by Artemis and becomes Artemis’s priestess in Tauris (among the Taurians) in which she meets her brother Orestes. Both stories are by Euripides, but Iphigenia’s fate in his play is ambiguous. The opera Iphigenie en Taurisis based on Goethe’s play, who names Tauris as the place to which Iphigenia is transported.
    Last edited by MAS; Sep-26-2020 at 04:46.

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  16. #25
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    The orchestra for Elektra is so huge it has the violins divided into THREE sections instead of the usual two, for both operasand orchestral works .

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