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Saturday: February 11, 2006

An Obscure Anniversary

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:56 PM UTC

. . . and I almost missed it. Today is the 200th anniversary of the death of Vicent Martín i Soler. He seems to be a mere footnote* today, but what I’ve heard of his operas (Una Cosa Rara and La Capricciosa Corretta on CD) was enough to convince me that it isn’t so much Mozart’s operas as classical opera in general that I like. Seeing Salieri’s Falstaff at Wolftrap and Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto on DVD helped. So why are these operas so rarely produced? It’s not as if Mozart’s mature operas are all that numerous. Anyway, to commemorate the occasion, I just played the overtures and a few arias from each of my CD sets. Now if only someone would record one or the other (or both!) on DVD, so I can follow the plot: I’ve never really been able to follow an opera well without seeing it, which makes listening to the CDs a frustratingly incomplete experience.

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*A literal footnote about a metaphorical footnote: Una Cosa Rara was a big hit just before Don Giovanni, so much so that Mozart quotes a bit in the banquet scene and has the Don say “Bravo! Una Cosa Rara”.

1 Comment

  1. Something happened some time in the last century or two, I don’t know where or when exactly but it probably has to do with Verdi and Puccini and Wagner, where people became classical music fans, or opera fans, but with surprisingly little overlap. Which is not to say no overlap, just different audiences for the most part. And the opera fans gravitated heavily toward the lush, swirling, romantic stuff of the 19th and early 20th century composers, which the classical music fans generally didn’t have much love for.

    You hear all kinds of Mozart these days, but rarely the operas. And, does anyone ever go to hear Puccini or Verdi et. al. performances where there’s no singing? Maybe but I haven’t heard much of it.

    Comment by Dean Esmay — Sunday: February 12, 2006 @ 1:01 AM UTC

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