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Anthony Bvlgari
Jul 17, 2017

Verdi vs. Wagner


Edited: Jul 17, 2017


Who do you prefer ? Guiseppe Verdi's 29 Operas or Richard Wagner's 13 Operas ? Comment Below

It's been 204 years since thet were born

Verdi’s Opera Style:


Italian opera was really written with the singers in mind. This meant operas showed off singers’ skills, and included beautiful, soaring melodies. The singing style itself is called “bel canto,” which translates to “beautiful singing”.

Italian opera — and opera in general — was for entertainment purposes. People came, they heard the singer, the singer hit the high note, applause.


Wagner’s Opera Style:


This was very different from how Wagner viewed opera. He thought of opera as a “social ritual in which people came together to witness this huge, massive scope of an artistic venture” .

This is the idea Wagner called “Gesamkuntswerk,” which translates to the total art work. “All things coming together for one objective”.

Gesamkuntswerk meant that Wagner wanted total control of his opera: he wrote the words, he wrote the music, he was involved in staging and lighting, he even created a performance space ( in Bayreuth, Germany ) where only his operas would be shown.



One compositional technique Wagner used to illustrate this idea is called “the unending melody” .

In music, there are musical moments called cadences. If you think of a musical phrase as analogous to a sentence, cadences act as punctuation marks. Usually, a cadence acts as a period at the end of a musical sentence.



One of the most famous cadential moments in Wagner’s oeuvre, and in Western classical music, is called the Tristan chord because it occurs extensively in Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde.

This chord, in and of itself, is not new. Beethoven used it, Mozart used it, but it was always within a sort of cadential structure … in this moment it is very unprepared and unstable.

What Wagner did that was new and different and exciting — and the reason the chord bears his opera’s name — was that he veered from that prescribed path.

Instead of resolving the chord to a resting point as Beethoven or Mozart might have done, Wagner left the Tristan chord unresolved. By doing this, Wagner created the feeling of unrequited longing, which is a major theme in Tristan und Isolde, and in Wagner’s works more generally.




The Feud

But this sort of conflict has been running between the two composers for as long as opera-goers can remember. Both born in 1813, they’ve always gone head to head, with fierce support groups on each side. And in their lifetimes it’s significant that they gave each other a wide berth.


Wagner pursued his Teutonic obsessions with gods and heroes, barely acknowledging Verdi’s existence beyond an occasional swipe at what he considered the rum-ti-tum banalities of Verdian opera. Wagner’s followers, like the conductor Hans von Bülow, mocked Verdi’s vocal style, describing him as “the Attila of the throat”. And that was about it.


Verdi, meanwhile, took a cautiously dismissive line on his rival as “a man of great gifts who likes the roughest roads because he doesn’t know how to find the easy and straight ones”. By his own account he stood “in wonder and terror” before Tristan und Isolde. But he got hot under the collar when conductors he expected to be loyal to him programmed Wagner’s works instead. And he got even angrier when critics claimed to find Wagnerian influence in his own, later scores.



Now that you learned all that it's time to cool off your brain with the following video ! Enjoy !


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  • Anthony Bvlgari
    Oct 25, 2017

    Not only is it their birthdays but it is also Picasso and Kathy Perry's Birthday . Wow there are so many artists born on this day ! When it comes to classial music Johann Strauss II and Georges Bizet are composers everyone knows . I was trying my hardest to find something that these two greats have in common apart from their birthday and I found it ! YAY ! Here is a video of "Los Toreador" by Bizet played by the Strauss Chamber Orchestra : Johann Strauss ( a nice repost from Biography.com ) : Johann Strauss, often referred to as Johann Strauss II, was born on October 25, 1825, in Vienna, Austria. His father, Johann Strauss the Elder, was a self-taught musician who established a musical dynasty in Vienna, writing waltzes, galops, polkas and quadrilles and publishing more than 250 works. Johann the Younger went on to write more than 500 musical musical compositions, 150 of which were waltzes, and he surpassed both his father's productivity and popularity. Compositions such as The Blue Danube helped establish Strauss as "the Waltz King" and earned him a place in music history. He died in Vienna in June 1899. Early Years Johann Strauss, often referred to as Johann Strauss II or "the Younger," was born on October 25, 1825, in Vienna, Austria. He was the oldest son of Johann Strauss (the Elder), also a composer, but one whose reputation would eventually be eclipsed by his son's. Strauss the Elder wanted his son to follow a different career path than he himself had followed, so Strauss II became a bank clerk while secretly studying the violin with a member of his father's company. His father left the family when Strauss was 17, and Strauss soon began openly embracing the musician's life, conducting a band in a Viennese restaurant when he was still a teenager, in 1844. The Musician A year after the restaurant appearance, Johann Strauss formed his own band and suddenly found himself competing with his father. He also began writing at this point—quadrilles, mazurkas, polkas and waltzes, which were then performed by his orchestra. He soon began receiving praise for his work and, in 1845, was awarded the honorary bandmaster position of the 2nd Vienna Citizens' Regiment. (To shed some light on the competition between father and son, Strauss the Elder was bandmaster of the 1st regiment.) Strauss began composing for the Vienna Men's Choral Association in 1847. His father died two years later, prompting him to conflate his own and his father's orchestras, after which he mounted a successful career. In 1853, Strauss fell ill, and his younger brother, Josef, took control of the orchestra for six months. After recovering, he dove back into conducting and composing activities—a pursuit that proved to be stronger than ever, gaining the eventual attention of such luminaries as Verdi , Brahms and Wagner . The Composer The 1860s saw Strauss hit a few touchstone moments, as he married singer Henriette Treffz in 1862 and toured in Russia and England, extending his reputation. He would soon, however, quit conducting for the most part (exceptions being engagements in New York City and Boston in 1872) to focus on writing music, turning his orchestra over to his two brothers, Josef and Eduard. Strauss's focus in composition was dual: the Viennese waltz and the Viennese operetta, and he would become renowned for the former. His operettas include Indigo und die vierzig Räuber (1871; his first) and Die Fledermaus (1874), which would become his most famous. But his waltzes—of which there were 150, less than a third of his total output—would have truly lasting appeal. An der schönen blauen Donau ( The Blue Danube ; 1867) would be the piece that defined Strauss to the listening public, and the work still resonates 150 years later. 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Certain things by Rossini have the same effect; but oddly enough Beethoven and Meyerbeer never go so far as that. As for Haydn, he has sent me to sleep for some time past. Instead of spending his statutory third year in Germany, he chose to stay on in Rome, where he collected impressions that were eventually collected to form a second C major symphony ( Roma ), first performed in 1869. An Italian-text opera, Don Procopio , written at this time, shows Donizetti’s style, and the ode Vasco de Gama is largely modeled on Gounod and Meyerbeer. When Bizet returned to Paris in the autumn of 1860, he was accompanied by his friend Ernest Guiraud, who was to be responsible for popularizing Bizet’s work after his death. In spite of very decided opinions, Bizet was still immature in his outlook on life (youthfully cynical , for instance, in his attitude toward women) and was plagued by an artistic conscience that accused him of preferring the facilely charming in music to the truly great. 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  • Anthony Bvlgari
    Oct 17, 2017

    Happy Birthday Maestro Dmitri Hvorostovsky !!! Wishing you lots of health and many more wonderful opera years to come ! We are all so lucky to have such great opera baritones like you in this day and age ! To Celebrate here are 5 facts you ( the reader ) might not have known about Maestro Hvorostovsky : 1. The Maestro was born Dmitry Aleksandrovich Hvorostovsky (Russian: Дмитрий Александрович Хворостовский) on October 16, 1962 . 2. He studied at the Krasnoyarsk School of Arts under Yekatherina Yofel and made his debut at Krasnoyarsk Opera House, in the role of Marullo in Rigoletto . He went on to win First Prize at both the Russian Glinka Competition in 1987 and the Toulouse Singing Competition in 1988. He came to international prominence in 1989 when he won the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, beating local favorite Bryn Terfel in the final round. His performance included George Frideric Handel 's "Ombra mai fu" and "Per me giunto...O Carlo ascolta" from Verdi's Don Carlo . 3. His international concert recitals began immediately (London debut, 1989; New York 1990). His operatic debut in the West was at the Nice Opera in The Queen of Spades (1989). In Italy he debuted at La Fenice as Eugene Onegin, a success that sealed his reputation, and made his American operatic debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (1993) in La Traviata. He has since sung at virtually every major opera house, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York (debut 1995), the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Berlin State Opera, Teatro La Scala in Milan and the Wiener Staatsoper . 4. He became the first opera singer to give a solo concert with orchestra and chorus on Red Square in Moscow; this concert was televised in over 25 countries. 5. When he was on the stage he was dominant and is considered by many to have made 4 operas ( Eugene Onegin , The Queen of Spades , War and Peace and The Demon ) his very own with his amazing portrayal of them . Dmitri Hvorostovsky ’s extensive discography spans recitals and complete operas. Here are just a few videos from him magnificent career : He has also starred in Don Giovanni Unmasked, an award-winning film based on the Mozart opera, tackling the dual roles of Don Giovanni and Leporello. You can view the whole film here , please note that it is split up into 7 parts . Enjoy ! Additionally here is one of many interviews of Maestro Dmitri Hvorostovsky ( this one is in 2 parts ) : Part 1: Part 2: Thank you so very much for reading and I look forward to reading one of your posts as well . Head on over to the top right corner to sign up today for FREE . See you next time !
  • Anthony Bvlgari
    Oct 13, 2017

    We will always miss you Maestro , Happy Belated Birthday ! To celebrate here is a repost of an article about Luciano Pavarotti - 15 facts you never knew about the great tenor ! 1. Luciano Pavarotti as a baby - 1935 Born on 12 October 1935 in Modena, Italy, Luciano Pavarotti was the son of a baker and amateur tenor, and his wife - a cigar factory worker. Luciano's father Fernando had a fine tenor voice but rejected the possibility of a singing career because of nervousness. The young Luciano developed an interest in farming and football. 2. First success in Wales - 1955 In 1955, Pavarotti experienced his first singing success when he was a member of the Corale Rossini, a male voice choir from Modena that also included his father, winning first prize at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen. He later said that this was the most important experience of his life, and that it inspired him to become a professional singer. 3. 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