Zadok the Priest, coronation anthem No. Hallelujah, amen. Cantata No. Chorus: Zion hears the watchmen's voices Johann Sebastian Bach. Jesu, joy of man's desiring Johann Sebastian Bach. Sheep may safely graze Johann Sebastian Bach. Sleepers Awake Johann Sebastian Bach. Samson, oratorio, HWV Awake the trumpet's lofty sound George Frederick Handel. Judas Maccabaeus, oratorio, HWV Hallelujah, Amen George Frederick Handel.
Saul, oratorio, HWV Israel in Egypt, oratorio, HWV What follows is one of the great soprano arias, in which Aida agonizes over her predicament, loving two men who are hell-bent on killing each other. The aria ends with Aida falling to her knees and singing "Numi pieta, numi pieta.
Cavalleria Rusticana , by Mascagne. In a small Sicilian village, Turiddu seduces a young girl, Santuzza, and because of their illicit affair, she is excommunicated.
Whether or not she's pregnant is not made clear in the opera. Then Turiddu runs off with Lola, the wife of Alfio, the local teamster. The story is told through a singing conversation duet between Santuzza and Mama Lucia, Turiddu's mother.
Then follows a scene in which Santuzza confronts Turiddu in the town square the whole opera takes place there, with Mama Lucia's tavena on one side of the stage and the entrance to the church on the other. The argument grows heated, then violent. Turiddu hurls Santuzza to the ground and stalks into the church.
As he mounts the stairs, Santuzza lays a curse on him. All disappear from the stage and all you see is the town square, devoid of people. The Intermezzo begins slowly and softly, then breaks into a sweeping, pastoral melody that reminds the audience, after all this wild passion, that these events are taking place on a pleasant Easter morning while, in the church, the Easter service is being conducted.
Then everybody comes out of the church, and— The opera ends with a woman rushing into the town square, screaming that Alfio, Lola's husband, has just stabbed Turiddu to death. Pretty lame in the emotions department, one might say I Pagliacci , by Leoncavallo. Canio, the head of a troupe of traveling clowns finds out that his wife, Nedda, is cheating on him. The first act ends with the impassioned "Ridi, Pagliacci!. Your love is gone, your heart is breaking, but the audience wants their comedy!
Get on with it! Canio drops the bloody dagger, turns to the horrified audience and intones, "La commedia e finite! Pretty bland stuff. I could go on like this with about fifty different operas I'm familiar with, but—well, I guess all that screeching gets on some people's nerves. Actually though, folks, opera singers used to just stand there and sing, and as actors, were pretty stiff. Not so anymore. The fat soprano with an iron bra and wings on her helmet who just stands there and screeches like a steam whistle is yesterday's cartoon stereotype.
I find that most people who turn pea-green at the thought of opera have never seen one, and if they've heard any at all, it's generally a few recordings of someone singing in a language they don't understand.
I think not. Don said it far better than I. If you had played clarinet in an orchestra, I suspect you'd like classical more than you do--just a guess. There are some great orchestral parts for clarinet not so many for saxaphone I played viola--which famously does not have many good orchestra parts--but I loved just being part of the musical texture.
And in Baroque music there are even good parts for a young violist-and I did play in a quartet from time to time--a few eons ago. I have it on tape, I think. Bert-- There is a LOT of great classical dance music. It just depends on what kind of dance you like to do. If you like Khachaturian, you might well like modern classical dance music--some Bernstein, for instance.
I certainly agree with everybody who criticizes vibrato you can drive a Mack truck through. With few exceptions, the only parts of opera I like are overtures and choruses.
Zauberfloete is an exception--it's actually very funny--auf Deutsch. But why vibrato seems to be a requirement for a "trained voice" is beyond me. And in a chorus, the director usually wants straight tone--so he or she can create the musical color himself. From: Don Firth Date: 08 Apr 06 - PM Vibrato is not really a requirement for a trained voice, it generally occurs naturally, and it's produced by a combination of forces at work when a person sings—or speaks, for that matter.
But when one is speaking, the duration of a single tone is usually so short that the vibrato present is not noticeable. I've taken lessons from three different voice teachers, and none of them tried to get me to develop a vibrato. I never even thought about vibrato, but when I listen to tapes, I notice that I do have a bit of it. I could suppress it, but when I do, it feels unnatural. Why bother? No one has ever mentioned it to me, and I don't notice it unless I'm specifically listening for it.
And most of the singers—not classically trained—that I know, or hear on records, also have at least a touch of vibrato. With some singers, the periodicity and the width of variation can get out of hand "wobble" and it becomes very conspicuous.
This is not good. A natural vibrato, other than giving the voice "life," should hardly be noticeable. But—if you listen specifically for vibrato, you're bound to hear it in all but a very few singers.
And I guess that sometimes that can spoil the experience. It's sort of like "Whatever you do, don't think of an elephant! It's not that opera singers necessarily have more vibrato than other singers, but often they are trying to sing over a whole symphony orchestra, and because they are so bloody loud not everyone has a big enough voice for this kind of singing , it may become more noticeable.
I heard Dennis Bailey, a tenor with Seattle Opera a few years back, sing in a relatively small meeting room, and I was astounded at how loud his voice was. Her vibrato is there—if I focus on it. But I can't trying to imagine her voice without it. It would sound flat and lifeless. Here comes the tenor. Him, too. Vibrato seems to be regarded by most musicians—and audiences—as a desirable thing. Almost all instrumentalists try for vibrato. Watch a violinist. Notes will be emphasized by undulating the left-hand to give the fingered note an up-and-down variation in pitch, with very good effect.
Violinists use it almost all the time. Or classic guitarists. Hard to do on steel strings, but on nylon strings it works. Some electric guitars come equipped with a vibrato arm. Popular singers often come at a note "straight" no vibrato and a little under the correct pitch, come up to the correct pitch, and add vibrato.
Also a very good effect. Unless it develops into a wobble, it doesn't pay to try to suppress a natural vibrato. Trying to prevent one's voice from doing its natural thing develops undue tension that can result in nodes on the vocal folds. On the other hand, I recall a fairly promising coloratura soprano who lived around here some years back. Her voice teacher—who was also her mother bad combination, especially since she was a stage mother! The ultimate result was that Leone wound up sounding like a bleating goat when she sang.
Nice voice to begin with, but it became downright irritating to listen to, and she went nowhere fast. Note where the writer points out that, although some choir directors want their singers to sing with a "straight tone" no vibrato , singing that way can be damaging to the voice.
If you listen for vibrato in the voices of various folk singers including traditional singers, not just Joan Baez , you'll notice that a lot of them have at least some. As I mentioned above, Ewan MacColl has a very strong vibrato. Doesn't bother me. That's just part of his natural sound, and it wouldn't sound like Ewan MacColl without it.
Fiddlers not coming from a violin background do not. I put vibrato in the same category as using reverb on a sound system. A little bit adds enhancement. More than that becomes burdensome to my ear. A friend of mine calls the reverb knob on a sound system the talent knob. Think you need to sound better? Just turn up the talent knob.
To me, vibrato is just like that. Joan Baez has vibrato, sure enough, but you can understand her. It's hard to believe that vibrato is necessary to cut through thick orchestration--in fact I would think it would--and does-- muddy the sound.
What I've heard in choruses I've been in--and it seems to be true--is that spitting out consonants is what really makes words cut through--and it also obviates the need to blow your lungs out on every note at high volume--even if the requested dynamic is loud. If the consonants are strong, the words come out.
How was it? But the overture is quite dynamic. Wagner whom Joplin idolized never wrote anything lovelier. It somehow remains freeflowing. As theatre the opera is not strong. Joplin was very ill at the time he was trying to get it down in final form and the plot is sketchy but the music more than makes up for it.
It is truly glorious and distinctly black-American. It is indescribably lovely despite the fact that Joplin obviously disdained Christianity and stripped the sermon of all religious content.
But he recognized how important the music is to American culture and "Good Advice" was his tribute to it and it is about as lovely a piece as i have ever heard. While the music was certainly influenced by Mozart, the frolicking bears harks back to the Uncle Remus-type stories that came over from Africa.
In fact, the bears' dance is timeless and yet ancient. Something mythological rather than historical. But it is obvious that the genesis "Treemonisha" evolved from the ragtime opera form of which Joplin had written at least one called "A Guest of Honor" although it is now lost and may have had its earliest genesis in Joplin's piece "The Ragtime Dance" the piece is played at the very end of "The Sting" as the credits roll.
Joplin's opera was unusual for having a female heroine who spends a great deal of her time battling superstition against a thinly-disguised Christianity. Even the parson who sings "Good Advice" is seen by Joplin as a windbag and he appropriately names him Parson Alltalk. Parson Bullshitter basically. Remember that religious blacks loathed Joplin and believed ragtime was evil music. Joplin, in turn, hated them and refused to do any religious music.
The thrust of the opera is a message to black America: throw away religion and embrace education, to learn from whites without bowing down to them so that they might someday teach one another and become educated and self-sufficient. And prophetically enough, Joplin predicted it would be black women who would lead that charge and that seems to be what is happening. The only thing I would say is that in fact throwing away religion has not been considered necessary--or even a good idea.
It's hard to imagine Martin Luther King without his strong faith. Rather it was the dogmatic, superstitious aspect of it that he hated.
For him, the ultimate message of religion should be along the lines of "be nice and fair to other folks and most of them will be nice and fair to you in return. It was what he was and what he did and he obviously resented being called immoral for it. But it's fairly clear that Joplin was not going to waste his time flirting with religion. He had no use for it and no use for religious fanatics attacking him.
But I think as long as a religious community had the idea of education being the key to success, Joplin would have no quarrel with them. IOW, I don't think he was anti-religion in the sense of challenging their doctrines. He showed no indications that he cared in the slightest what they believed just so long as they behaved themselves. I'd heard of Treemonisha, but not from someone who has actually heard it, completely.
You have certainly piqued my interest in it, now. Everyone has different tastes in music, and everyone has a right to their own tastes. What I don't understand is, why you feel a need to come on a thread that is clearly stated as being for people who do like classical music to talk about why they like it, and trash classical music.
You don't have to like it, but why do you need to disrupt a discussion between people who do like it? We have just as much right to our own personal tastes in music as you do. Why not just talk about the kinds of music you like on threads that are about those kinds of music? And possibly to speculate on why somebody would feel that way. I still think that if Al had been able to play clarinet in an orchestra, he might well be more positively inclined towards classical music.
I'm just sorry for anybody who doesn't appreciate its richness. They're missing a lot--and I think classical fans realize that it does definitely in fact have unlimited "soul". We don't need to prove anything. And, as I said, people who only appreciate classical are also missing a lot.
We should count ourselves lucky that we appreciate such a wide variety of music--and have the chance to hear it--and make it. Let's hear it for music addicts of all kinds-- leaving aside the hot topic of whether rap is in fact music. It definitely sounds like the Houston Opera recording is worth getting--and it's too bad some more of the pieces from the opera don't get wider exposure--maybe they will later. It's interesting to note that Thomas Dorsey--of "Precious Lord" and other gospel music-- also had rocky relations with his community.
They didn't like his persona of Georgia Tom, under which he did some real risque stuff for the era. But I'm creeping away from the thread.
Al and others - I must tell the story of the composer Vaughan Williams, who, on putting down his baton at the end of a rehearsal of his own most violent work,his 4th Symphony, aparently remarked "Well, if that's your modern music, you can keep it.
But it looks to me like it just puts everyone on the defensive without changing anybody's mind about anything. I don't need to feel any better or more fortunate than people who don't share my tastes in music. But I like to be able to enjoy the kinds of music I like without being attacked for it.
It's a two way street But my understanding is that the above the line music section has a different etiquette than the BS section. That's why I write about "Treemonisha" every chance I get. I like seeing classical music posts in any forum because I'll always work in Joplin's opera.
I just want people to hear it. The music is amazing, beautiful, stirring. He had such a way of putting notes together. It can actually bring me to tears. I listen to it and keep asking, "How the hell did he come up with that? How did he pull that off? How could anyone capture something that way?? It would have been THE example of a ragtime opera.
He did perform it live with his brothers and it was fairly succesful for them and got raves and write-ups. Now, it's just gone. There are a few titles for Joplin rags that have no music to go with them. We have discovered Joplin pieces here and there. His Silver Swan Rag piano roll was found by a collector in in the bottom of a pianola he had bought 15 years before and it sat in his garage. We never heard of this piece before and, naturally, it is beautiful.
A solitary article mentions a Joplin piece not seen or mentioned anywhere else called A Blizzard. If not for this sole article, we'd never know there was such a piece.
During his dementia the year before his death, Joplin was caught burning his manuscripts and had to be restrained. He appears to have burned about half of them if not more so god knows what was lost forever. Recently, ragtimer Reginald Robinson of Chicago was studying a Joplin exhibit photo from the 40s. A former Joplin student wanted his master to be remembered so he got Joplin's wife to set up some of her husband's remaining manuscripts on his piano and have someone photograph it so he could use it in the exhibit.
She did and this was the photo Reginald was studying when he noticed one of the manuscripts on the piano was the 2nd page of something never published or seen.
The photo was housed at Fisk University in Memphis, so Reginald and ragtime enthusiast Chris Ware went to Memphis and studied the original photo with a magnifying glass. It had lyrics--something Joplin never did other than with his opera.
Was this something from "Treemonisha" that he cut out or forgot to add? Was it from another possible opera he might have been working on? Reginald recorded it and it certainly has that amazing Joplin note combination and seems very full, dynamic and symphonic and I would say it was definitely something of the operatic nature.
Reginald puts the manuscript at about Whatever happened to it? So, really, we can conclude that what survives of Joplin today is only a small portion of his work. I estimate that we only have at best perhaps a quarter of Joplin's true output. Only a tiny portion of that is ever likely to be recovered in the future. Believe it or not, we really know very little about our country at the time ragtime was popular.
We really know very little about the early s and s. The vast majority of the music from that period is lost. We haven't heard anywhere near the true amount of ragtime that was around at that period. And considering the racial attitude of America at that period, it is remarkable that much of anything survives of a black musical genius of rare brilliance.
And if he had lived longer, what would he have accomplished? I guess we're lucky to have anything of Joplin's at all. Thank god we have Treemonisha. We're really, really lucky we have it. We've had some pretty heated music discussions, too. AR, thanks, again. Loss of one's compositions is my brother's nightmare. My children have pledged to him, as have I, that his manuscripts, tapes, etc. One thing's for sure, I know none of us would ever, ever wrap up sandwiches in it! I think self-doubt is a plague to him and others such as have been mentioned in this thread.
I've known him to throw out early compositions and my mother to go dig them out of the trash. It has taken a lot of years to get those voices of authority out of the mix.
AND, because we have the internet and a lot of other resources we didn't have when we first started out on producing and promoting his music.
The life of a classical composer is tortured and sublime, just like the book title about Mozart, "The Sacred and Profane. Opinions are welcome, even if they disagree with the majority of posters in the thread. I have heard classically trained musicians play without heart and soul, only concerned with technical excellence, and I used to get annoyed by "classical music" as a whole and then as I heard more and more - there is so much of it, I'm afraid I'll never hear enough of it in my life I started to realise that what I thought about Wordsworth as a poet schmaltzy applies to some styles or compositions of classical music.
There are some other styles or composers that don't appeal to me like the pompous and overdramatic, and the screechy female voices, and the chamber music type which is more like background music, but there are others that do.
And the ones that do appeal to me can get to my heart and soul like nothing else. Perfect bell-like voice, perfect accompaniment! What an experience to hear that! They play crossover music as well: music which is a fusion of different styles. And, about Joplin's Treemonisha. I have an idea - you talented people in the US - why don't you stage it yourselves? Serious question - not a joke. In Oz a folkie called Chris Kempster now deceased , back in the early 60's, was the driving force behind a musical stage play called Reedy River based on Oz colonial - not Aboriginal folk songs.
Out of that he then was involved in the national children's radio music broadcasts for schools. I still have a couple of the books with the songs in them. Out of those broadcasts I am sure that a love of folk music was inspired in many people and that it heavily influenced the folk scene across Australia. So, my question is a serious one: why don't you talented people stage Treemonisha? And make a DVD to sell so I don't miss out. Except for the Beatles.
For those who say exposure to orchestral music early in life might have caused an appreciation for classical, certainly that could be true. My apologies to those I seem to have offended by my remarks. Please understand that I'm not judging classical as good or bad. I am simply sharing my personal feelings about it. Others' feelings may reasonably differ. I am not attached to any need to post here on this thread though, and if you would prefer, I would be willing to bug off.
Blessings, Al. Your opinions are welcome. I was trying to say in my post of 09 Apr 06 - PM that there is some classical music I don't like listening to, but there are other pieces that I could listen to over and over.
There are a myriad of styles of music within the "classical" label, and there are also a myriad of interpretations of pieces which can change my opinion of the piece, from love to hate, or vice versa, or from love or hate to indifference. We could also say that Jean-Claude Van Damme films have emotional content.
Let's take "Kickboxer" for an example. His brother is a champion kickboxer, Van Damme isn't nearly as good. Then his brother gets paralysed by the bad guy hitting him when he's down, and Van Damme finds someone to train him up to get revenge. His brother gets kidnapped before the fight, so Van Damme basically stands there and gets beat up.
Meantime his trainer raids the bad guy's place and frees Van Damme's brother, and Van Damme then fights back and demolishes the bad guy. Lots of emotion in that storyline, for sure. Now take a guess at how much emotion you see Jean-Claude Van Damme or pretty much any of the cast putting in So this is rather like hiring people for a martial arts film based on whether they can do a jumping spinning back kick, rather than on acting ability.
There will be some who can do both, but simple statistics tells you that they're going to be the minority. I'm not saying that opera can't be performed by people with the ability to inject emotional content and acting into their performance - or for that matter that martial arts films can't be well-acted.
I'm just saying that the vast majority of both aren't. Done well, they can be things of beauty. Done as most of them are, they're interesting for the technical ability of the participants, and nothing more. All opera singers can do huge volume levels, wide vibrato, amazing range, etc. That's the problem as I see it - an excess of technical ability and an insufficient amount of emotional involvement in the character to know when to use it.
What prompts my remarks here is that there is a great deal of enjoyment to be found in the whole run of classical music, and I think it's a pity that, for some reason, you're missing it. Perhaps these things are a matter of early exposure, but I have met people who've told me that they hate classical music, but when learned something about it, wound up real fans.
I'm thinking particularly of a woman I know who thought that my wife and I were some kind of culture-snobs because we had season tickets to Seattle Opera. It was a style of singing that she was not familiar with, and they were singing in a foreign lamguage so she had no idea of what they were singing about.
So I challenged her, she winced a bit, and accepted the challenge. This is the one that contains the famous "Laugh, clown, laugh" tenor aria. Operas Vocal or instrumental. Peter and the Wolf. Pictures at an exhibition. Popular, traditional.
Religious celebrations Marriages Sacred music. Style : 1. Style : 2. Style : 3. Style : 4. Style : 5. Style : 6. Swan Lake. The Nutcracker. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Performed in by Orchestre symphonique de Paris Performed by Orchestra Gli Armonici Piano, organ, some bells and harps Harpsichord, violin, viola, cello midi The New Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford University Press. Kinda Kinks.
Bass Player.View the Product: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Series: Choral, Voicing: SATB, Contributors: The Canadian BrassJohann Sebastian BachDean Crocker, Henry Leck.