Friday, February 23, 2007

Notes in passing

My lovely lad got me a copy of Popp's recording of Daphne, long out of print ("Out of print?" you cry! This fact proves two things: 1) there is a god, and 2) he's an asshole.) The only small trouble here is the first time I listened to the closing scene, on LP, I finished the record, took it off, and semi-promised myself I would never listen to it again, or at least not for twenty five years, or maybe on my death bed. It's been something like twelve years and it seems like a promise worth breaking. Thanks, Boris.*

In other news, someone got tapped as one of the Best Gay Blogs and then gave gracious a nod to some of us other gals! His blog is just a wee bit Not-Safe-For-Work right now, if you're thinking of clicking over and your boss is hovering behind you looking for the Penske file.

Here's good tidings: a bunch of the Lebendige Vergangenheit series is on itunes. I just bought Supervia's oddball Presentazione della Rosa, if that's what you'd call it. I may be guilty of excess extrapolation here, flinging oregano at English words if you will.

*name obviously fictional


alex said...

oh god -- I can only imagine what Popp sounds like in that final scene.

Right now, whenever I think about it, I have real difficulty unsummoning Hilde Gueden's voice in the part.

ooof, now I know what to look out for next.

mmm thanks, maury.

Gregory said...

Maury, you know I love you more than my luggage. Of course I nod at you.

RE: NSFW. I'm always amazed at that. But then again, my boss is always out of the office, and all of my other jobs are full of queens reaching down each others' pants. So there's not a lot that's gauche. The Real World? I don't think I'd fare very well there...


Anonymous said...

Haha, I've had a copy of that recording for ages now. But then that surprises exactly no one, I can guess.

Popp does pinch things in a few places--I don't think she's quite as easy as Gueden with all the B-flats the role demands. But the recording is also absolutely uncut, while the Boehm nips and tucks little bits here and there to cut down on the number of high Q-flats for Apollo...and IIRC, there's also a cut near the end of Daphne's mourning monologue, which is fearsomely demanding, especially before the exposed end of the opera.

alex said...

straußmonster! yay for your expertise.

I might be making this up, but is the Boehm taken from live performance? If I am correct in thinking that, I think that a lot of the cuts you mention above sound like their raisons d'etre have some rooting in performance survival of singers.

Heh. Perfectly Phil Gossett sanctioned reasons in Italian opera -- though I suppose that Strauss probably would incline to the same. Maybe.

Oh, which reminds me, since I presumably have your ear. I remember a bit about Strauss writing a French Salome, supposedly more delicately scored (any relation to the offer of similar to Elisabeth Schumann?) which has limited (one?) presence in the recording catalog (Karen Huffstodt?). Am I making all this up?

Maury D'annato said...

Alex: I'm not the expert La Monster is, but I don't believe it had anything to do with the (never realized) Elisabeth Schumann offer. There's also a recording of the final scene in French by...I'm drawing a blank, but a great old Wagnerienne, someone like Marjorie Lawrence.

Anonymous said...

Boehm is live, yes.

And Strauss would incline to the same, if carefully--IIRC, he didn't really mind the Elektra cuts that are always taken. The little snips in the Daphne are totally there to save James King's ass.

The French Salome...mmm. I'll have to do a little research for you, but winging it: Strauss started trying to set the libretto in French, but his skills with French scansion were not up there. The Schumann thing is separate, and there IS a trimmed-down orchestration extant (only during the parts that she sings), that I think has yet to be fully edited but really should be out there as an option.

I want to say that he later went back and worked with Salome in French, but I'll have to check on that when I'm not grading papers. :D

alex said...

Oooo, promises of research!

Of course, the grading of papers comes first, though grudgingly admitted.

I wait with baited breath for your insight!

Anonymous said...

Citation on the French version (if you happen to have or can get the book) comes from the most recent Michael Kennedy bio, p. 141-42. I'll type up the quote later...but I did find it already.

alex said...

Sweet -- thanks, mononoke-san! I'll go see if I can dig it up, now that I no longer have access to beautiful academic libraries ;_;

Anonymous said...

I should have given you a fuller citation, so let me type it out:

"He himself never referred to the French version, as if he had forgotten about it because he realized it had no practical future...(Romain Rolland advised him on the scansion, and he was working on this July-September 1905.)...As Strauss worked on the French version his adaptation became more than a translation...but 'a real French opera' in its own right...He was justified in his claim, for the two versions differ in many subtle respects, and the French version does sound like a French opera. (Performed in Brussels, then at the Manhattan Opera--then disappeared until 1989.)

Michael Kennedy, Richard Strauss: Man, Musician, Enigma, p. 141-2.

alex said...

Lovely! Thanks ever so much for the quotation and citation.

For some reason, it's stirring up some major deja vu. Perhaps something similar appeared in one of Mr. Kennedy's liner notes?

Either way, this is certainly interesting. Hmm...more investigation is warranted now.

Mille bacci per voi!

alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alex said...

Ho! Sorry for the double post -- but I found the reference to the French Salome recording (and it IS Karen Huffstodt singing!).

"Kent Nagano, in the only version sung in the original French of this opera, is not an exciting interpreter of this work and Karen Huffstodt quivers like jelly in the title role. The French version comes across as considerably lighter than the normal German - and not very persuasively in this Virgin release."


I'm sure how reliable this information is, considering that the wording is "the original French of this opera." It's imprecise writing, but I'm not sure what the underlying meaning is... has this to add:

"Shortly after the German premiere, Strauss prepared a French version of Salome, necessitating a few changes in the music to accommodate Oscar Wilde's original text. This was premiered in 1907, but subsequent performances merely translated Hedwig Lachmann's German version with no changes in the score."