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Puccini (any whoever else you like)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any opinions on Puccini?

It seems that everyone i've talked to has had a very extreme opinion on his music. I've heard him called the best operatic composer and i've heard him refered to as the Italian Andrew Lloyd Weber (an insult i assume).

I've listened to the beginning half hour of Turandot and although there seems to be some beautiful music, very dramatic and very expressive, Puccini seems to go over the top far too often. By this i mean, he reaches what seems to be an extremely climactic moment very early on in the opera wheras other composers might build up to it. I have yet to determine whether this is part of a great plan or simply cheap melodrama.

Opinions appreciated (however wrong they may be)
post #2 of 4
Turandot is the only Puccini I've ever heard, and it is melodramatic and it is ALW-ish. But it's none the worse for that, IMHO. If it has a weakness it's that it has very few memorable tunes. Can't say much more really.
post #3 of 4
I haven't heard Turandot so can't comment, but I think Madama Butterfly is fantastic. Having seen it live adds to the delight (if you can suspend your disbelief at watching a middle-aged woman play a 15 year old Japanese girl...), and I have a mono recording of Maria Callas singing the role which is soooo good!
La Boheme I would recommend too, because I rather like the storyline, and it is probably worth it for Che Gelida Manina (your tiny hand is frozen) alone. Granted, it is a bit sickly-sweet at times, but I wouldn't compare it to ALW. Try Donizetti for that! Actually, listen to Donizetti too and forget about ALW.
HTH
Andrew
post #4 of 4
Tosca and Manon Lescaut are also pretty good. I have them both, plus Turandot and Madama Butterfly.

The less friendly for beginners is definitely Turandot.

Still haven't tried La Boheme.
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