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The collaborative art
Wall Street Journal, by John Check

Original Article

Posted By:Hazymac, 3/30/2013 3:57:32 PM

When composing the music for "The Barber of Seville," Rossini craved din and distraction, going so far as to beg his friends to remain close by while he worked amid the hubbub. He wrote with lightning speed, finishing the score in roughly three weeks. Tchaikovsky, by contrast, needed silence and solitude and found both in retreats into rural surroundings. Beethoven wrote with difficulty, laboring over "Fidelio" off and on for nearly a decade, which didn´t prevent his one opera from falling short of the sublimity of his best symphonies, quartets and works for piano. These foibles and habits

Comments:
Mr. Check´s review of Michael Rose´s The Birth of an Opera is an engaging glance at an art form that marries classical music and the most highly developed (and trained) singing. Until my middle age, opera held little attraction for me--after all, I speak no Italian, no German, and meager French--but anything that´s truly beautiful inevitably gains my attention. The best operas are enduring works of art, and as one learns to appreciate them, one becomes interested in how the music and the libretto came to be.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: gartenfrau, 3/30/2013 6:11:51 PM     (No. 9251741)

Sounds like an interesting book. I like some opera and have enjoyed the few that I´ve seen live. My only problem is that Gillian´s Island has forever ruined some melodies from Carmen.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Immanuel Goldstein, 3/30/2013 8:26:31 PM     (No. 9251861)

That´s OK, #1. Only a true intellectual can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of the Lone Ranger.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: veritas, 3/30/2013 9:01:57 PM     (No. 9251898)

Thanks for posting.

Any who wish to get more good writing and thinking on fine music [wait -- if it isn´t fine, isn´t good, maybe it´s not music?] should look for columns by Jay Nordlinger [yep] and Heather MacDonald [yep].

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