On Wed, Apr 02, 2014 at 09:25:04AM +0200, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> I can't agree with this as something good, it's evil, music is alive
Every few weeks on R3 here there is a live transmission of some
opera from the NY Met. Last year we had Verdi's 'La Traviata'.
Usually you can hear the American radio presenter talking over
the final applause. Instead of commenting on the performance (as
do the Italian presenters) she went something like '... and so
the poor girl dies in the arms of her lover bla bla bla bla'.
If this is the way in which the American audience understands
La Traviata then there is some cause for concern.
One level up from the melo would be to say that the opera (and
the novel it is based on) is a denunciation of 19th century
bourgeois moral hypocrisy. This is the interpretation offered
by many of today's directors. Verdi must have had his share of
that, having lived together but unmarried with la Streppina
for some years, something not tolerated in the society of his
time. But is that why he wrote the opera ? I doubt it very much.
The are some very strong emotions in La Traviata, and they are
expressed by the music, but they are certainly not Verdi's,
neither those of the performers. The belong to the characters
portrayed, and those are fiction, repeat fiction. They are
also presented in a context that easily trancends the strictly
personal. It's this that allows the work to have appeal beyond
the level of tearjerking. And of course the music itself.
A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)
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