Thursday, February 01, 2007

And now Menotti

Dead at 95.

A story that sticks with me is that Menotti, while writing the libretto for Vanessa, told Barber that he wasn't able to write words without imagining music as well, so there was a whole other Vanessa by Menotti. Much as I love the Barber version, it's intriguing to imagine maybe he remembered it or even wrote it down someday, put it in a trunk...

Recommended listening: Inge Borkh's heavily accented account of "To This We've Come" from The Consul. I don't know a lot of Menotti, but that's a wonderful scene.

6 comments:

Henry Holland said...

I don't think much of Menotti's Broadway shows, erm, operas, at all, but I will say he's pretty lucky for having been the partner of Samuel Barber, especially when Barber was in his 20's and 30's, when Barber was drop dead gorgeous. Lucky bastard!

RIP Mr. Menotti.

Greg said...

Could you really not wait until the day after he died to insult his work, Mr Holland?

Philip aka Oberon said...

For a searing rendition of 'To This we've Come' try Eileen Farrell. To me, this is one of the very greatest recordings ever made. Every word is crystal clear and Farrell sings with so much passion.

I met Menotti once, a real old-world gentleman - one of the last of his kind.

Van Twee said...

Well said, G. Who are these creepy little kids trolling the internet to talk shit of the dead!

Also creepy: I've counted two obits so far that failed to mention that Menotti, yes, happened to be married to one of the 20th century's most famous composers. I find it hard to imagine they could've gotten away with that w/r/t a married couple (the Hunt Liebersons, e.g.).

I'll be optimistic--maybe they're trying to rescue Menotti from the shadow of He Who Wrote the Adagio?

alex said...

Hmmm. I kind of have a soft spot for Menotti, liking 2 of the arias from his radio opera The Old Maid and the Thief ("What a curse for a woman is a timid man" and Bob's Bedroom Aria). Aside from that, I know not too much Menotti.

Incidentally, didn't Menotti also partner up with Thomas Schippers (who was a dish and a half with creme fraiche)?

goro said...

does anyone know that the
florez recital at carneie is on for mar.10?