Month: October 2005
Tosca, a melodrama in three acts
Giacomo Puccini, composer. Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on the play La Tosca by Victorien Sardou.
First performance: 14 January 1900 at Teatro Costanzi, Rome
King Arthur – the first musical?
Reviewing this DVD recording of Purcellís music-drama ìKing Arthurî from the 2004 Salzburg Festival was both a pleasure and a pain. The pleasure came from the intense, contagious sense of sheer fun that illuminates this production by Jurgen Flimm and Nikolaus Harnoncourt from start to finish.
The Karajan CollectionóWagner Orchestral Music
ìDas Wunder Karajanî ñ ìthe miracle of Karajanî ñ is a phrase associated with the conductor since he was thirty years old, and that phrase holds true in his recorded legacy. In addition to recent DVD releases, EMI has issued a series of CDs in its ìThe Karajan Collection,î which preserves many fine studio recordings.
The Karajan CollectionóPhilharmonia Promenade Concert
The rich legacy of Herbert von Karajan includes a number of recordings with various orchestras around the world, and among them is the Philharmonia Orchestra, which is documented in the CD entitled Philharmonia Promenade Concert. As Richard Osborne recounts in the notes that accompany this release, Herbert von Karajan made a number of recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra between 1948 and 1960.
DVO?¡K: Tone Poems
In a richly Bohemian folk-style, the Czech poet Karel JaromÌr Erben produced a collection of enchanted poetry that inspired AntonÌn Dvo?·k to compose his expressive array of hauntingly dark tone poems. Ultimately, the main character of each poem suffers a tragic consequence for their transgressions, ranging from the thoughtless utterances of a frustrated mother, to disobeying a parent, to murder.
Why Mozart Is Always Welcome at the Met
Victorien Sardou ó A Tale of Two Operas
Victorien Sardou (1831-1908) was a popular French dramatist during the later half of the 19th Century. He, along with EugËne Scribe, combined melodrama and realism to a produce a more serious form of drama that emphasized careful plot construction.
PUCCINI: Tutti Libretti d’Opera
This is a collection of the original libretti to Puccini’s Le Villi, Edgar, Manon Lescaut, La BohËme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West, La Rondine, Il Trittico (Gianni Schicchi, Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica), and Turandot in nine booklets within a cardboard slipcase.
The twists and trysts of Tosca
A few years ago, I had the rare experience of attending a performance of Tosca in a small farm community where opera was a fairly new commodity. After the second act ended, with Scarpia’s corpse lying center stage, I happened to overhear a young, wide-eyed woman say to her companion, “I knew she was upset, but I didn’t think she’d KILL him!”