Verdi’s Don Carlos, Act 2

April 10th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Although I am not a huge Verdi fan, I did enjoy listening to Don Carlos. There were parts that still found quite tedious, mostly the action scenes, but the arias were quite dramatic and moving. I find the plot difficult to relate too and wonder why this subject was so important and interrenting to Verdi. As Don Carlos is his longest opera and has been through so manz revisions, I would expect the plot to be particularly close to Verdi.

Rossini’s Guillaume Tell (Act II)

March 22nd, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Rossini, Guillaume Tell (Act II)

William Tell was one of the last operas that Rossini wrote, and there is a striking difference between the styles of his earlier works, such as Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and William Tell. I found the second act to be quite bombastic. Rossini switched out his melismas for long phrases. However, there are still huge vocal jumps and leaps. The singers are also still the main focus. The orchestra, although not quite as quiet as in other Rossini operas, still only accompanied the voice.

My favorite aria from this act was “Sombre foret.” I especially enjoyed Montserrat Cabale’s verson of the piece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsn5RRPU0UA

Rossini: La Cenerentola

March 7th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

For this blog, I started by watching the Glyndebourne production of La Cenerentola from 2005, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. It was an excellent production of a charming opera.

What first struck me was how cute and light-hearted Rossini’s music is. The music is fast moving, with words piling over each other, and melismas rushing from character to character. There is never a somber moment. Even Cenerentola’s mournful aria in the first scene is scattered with quick trills here and there.

These melismas seem to make fun of the characters, most notably in Dandini’s aria. At the end of each phrase, the baritone if forced to drop down to the lowest part of his range. It’s tough for the poor singer, making him look ridiculous.

There is so much going on in the vocal parts that the orchestra is only used as the back-up. They support the singers and supply a little harmony to the melisma, but do not add anything to the music on their own.

First post

February 16th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Here is my very first blog for my romantic era music history. We’ll see how it goes. I hope to listen to some pretty awesome music for this class. I believe we will be starting with Beethoven’s ninth.