Current Listening


In preparation for my next reading spree, I'm listening to Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. I intend to read The Bride of Lammermoor as the first of several Scott novels (Rob Roy, Waverly and Old Mortality spring to mind as additional possibilities.) This will probably be AFTER I finish Bleak House and a few books of criticism I have laying about.

What is interesting about Donizetti as a composer of opera is that he seems to be the bridge from the classical tradition of Mozart, Haydn, and even to some extent Beethoven (who borrowed many of their operatic tricks from the likes of Monteverdi and later Italian composers) and the lush romanticism that was to be the hallmark of Verdi and Puccini (amongst others). In Donizetti, there are still the traces of recitative or in German sprechstimme (forgive the spelling, I've only ever heard it pronounced, never seen it written), in which a performer sort of half-sings, half-talks over a harpsichord or other minor level accompaniment. This technique was quite pronounced in L'elisir D'amore, not quite so much in Lucia; by the time one arrives at Verdi and Puccini, it is practically nonexistent. And I must admit, that it is one of my least favorite operatic effects and did much to detract from my enjoyment of Così fan Tutte.

Anyway, what better way to weather a summer when family is staying with Grandparents far away that a tale of the wilds of Scotland and forbidden love and its concomitant disaster?

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 18, 2006 8:37 PM.

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