Thoughts on Turandot

Oct 24, 2005 10:20 pm
I think that Turandot is the most musically interesting of Puccini’s operas. The rest can be too saccharine and sentimental, with the possible exception of Le Villi.

Le Villi is often regarded as an early work (Puccini’s first) and full of “mistakes.” I always found it to be a fascinating hybrid—Italian lyricism with a German Romantic Zauberoper and the form is pretty much unique in the history of opera. Instead of thinking of it as an early immature work, I like to think of it as a daring and experimental work. I only wish he had developed these ideas to their full potential rather than becoming the world’s most popular opera composer. Oh well, my lost is everyone’s gain…

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~ by severalfourmany on October 24, 2005.

3 Responses to “Thoughts on Turandot”

  1. I must admit I have little problem with Puccini’s saccharine or sentimental. I am more than happy to listen to Jussi Bjoerling and Victoria de los Angeles sing that glorious music, have a good cry about it, and feel all the better afterwards. And what’s more, i don’t care who knows it! 🙂

    Cheers, Himadri

    • Which ones do you like? What’s your favorite? I’ve always liked Tosca. Gianni Schicci and Il tabarro can be entertaining. Suor Angelica has a good aria, but after that it drops off pretty fast for me.

      • I suppose my tastes are fairly conventional when it comes to Puccini – I love the three “big” ones – La Boheme, Tosca and Madama Butterfly. (It helps that there are recordings of the first two that simply can’t be bettered – the Beecham recording of La Boheme with Bjoerling and de los Angeles, and the de Sabata recording of Tosca with Callas, do Stefano and Gobbi.) I have a soft spot also for La Fanciulla del West. Turandot is great up to the point where Alfano takes over from Puccini: I’ve always felt that Puccini never finished this one because it had come dramatically unstuck – after the suicide of Liu, it’s hard to get the audience interested in what happens to Turandot and Calaf.

        Puccini was, for me, a supreme showman. I fall for his showmanship every time!

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