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Topic: German Operas

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  1. #1

    Question German Operas

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    Hello all-
    I'm looking for pieces of music from Operas (preferably German, but any will do) that are pre-1945.

    For now, I'm looking for pieces that are based more in a mournful/desolate kind of character situation...nothing remarkably "celebratory".

    I'm not the biggest Opera buff, so thought I'd see what you all thought...

  2. #2
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    Re: German Operas

    Quote Originally Posted by zquarles
    Hello all-
    I'm looking for pieces of music from Operas (preferably German, but any will do) that are pre-1945.

    For now, I'm looking for pieces that are based more in a mournful/desolate kind of character situation...nothing remarkably "celebratory".
    Don Giovanni. (Austrian really)


  3. #3

    Re: German Operas

    Where do I start? Lots of Wagner (Tristan und Isolde, Parsifal, Götterdämmerung): some of his other works (e.g. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) are more optimistic so I assume you won't be interested in that.

    Then there's Richard Strauss (Salomé, Elektra) and a whole lot more... Happy hunting!

  4. #4

    Re: German Operas

    Excellent! I have a few of these in my library that I've already been going through, I'll take a look at some more...perhaps iTunes will help me.

    Thanks!

  5. #5

    Re: German Operas

    Is there any particular era you're looking for? Pre-1945 covers a whole heck of a lot of ground.

  6. #6

    Re: German Operas

    A popular one that is used a lot in teaching situations is the piece "Thy Hand, Belinda", from Purcell's "Dido and Aneas". I think it was written in the 1600's. It deals with death, so I guess that fits your requirements of mournful and desolate. It's quite beautiful in my opinion.
    "They get what they vote for." PaulR

  7. #7

    Re: German Operas

    LMAO, Ern.
    "They get what they vote for." PaulR

  8. #8

    Re: German Operas

    Quote Originally Posted by Danimal
    A popular one that is used a lot in teaching situations is the piece "Thy Hand, Belinda", from Purcell's "Dido and Aneas". I think it was written in the 1600's. It deals with death, so I guess that fits your requirements of mournful and desolate. It's quite beautiful in my opinion.
    Yes, it's very beautiful, but he's looking for German opera.

    edit: Oops, missed the "any will do" bit! DOH!!!

    In that case, here are some German and non-German Operas to check out that are chock full of dark, mournful music:

    Dvorak - Rusalka
    Massenet - Werther
    R. Strauss - Salome
    Stravinsky - The Rake's Progress. The tenor aria "Love, too frequently betrayed" is particularly gorgeous and desolate.
    Wagner - Any of them, though I'd particularly suggest Tristan and Parsifal

    You could probably find some good stuff in the big Romantic Italian tragic operas as well (Boheme, Rigoletto, Butterfly, etc.).

    Not opera, but Brahms' Requiem has some nice, dark moments. That "Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras" gives me chills every time.

  9. #9

    Re: German Operas

    Quote Originally Posted by zquarles
    Hello all-
    I'm looking for pieces of music from Operas (preferably German, but any will do) that are pre-1945.

    For now, I'm looking for pieces that are based more in a mournful/desolate kind of character situation...nothing remarkably "celebratory".

    I'm not the biggest Opera buff, so thought I'd see what you all thought...

    Speaking of desolation, Alban Berg's operas will probably do...
    "Lulu" (1935). Impossibly dark libretto, very generous and moving music however based on dodecaphonism (Deutsche Grammophon, 435-705-2 GX3).

    Advisory : Last time I played the CD to a Schoenberg-free friend, he got very nervous from what he described later as cacophonism and screaming German oberführers from WWII movies on helium gas.

    "Is it my fault that every time I hear Wagner I feel an irresistible urge to
    invade Poland?" - Woody Allen (from Manhattan Murder Mystery)

    Christian
    "You *do* know what a divisi part is, don't you?"

  10. #10

    Re: German Operas

    OooOOoo! Thanks all! This will keep my ears occupied for quite some time!
    Very much appreciated.
    I'm basically just looking for some suitable material for a town that has been oppressed for quite some time, so there's a feeling of "broken soul" about the neighborhood...just trying to get some inspiration.


    thanks so much!
    -z

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