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Alfredo Kraus – “Ne pouvant réprimir” Aria of Jean Le Baptiste – “Hérodiade” – J. Massenet by Luca

Alfredo Kraus – “Ne pouvant réprimir” Aria of Jean Le Baptiste – “Hérodiade” – J. Massenet – Conductor: M.° N. Rescigno – 1975. The first performer of the role of Jean Le Baptiste was Edmond-Alphonse Vergnet (4 July 1850, Montpellier – 15 February 1904, Nice), a great French tenor. Vergnet studied singing in Paris before […]

LEGGI TUTTO
Musical orientalism? – 19TH CENTURY AND 20TH CENTURY FRENCH EXOTICISM: PIERRE LOTI, LOUIS-FERDINAND CÉLINE, MICHEL LEIRIS, AND SIMONE SCHWARZ-BART by Luca

Orientalism in western art and literature has been much commented upon, but a Paris concert series has broken new ground in exploring representations of the orient in music, writes David Tresilian Click to view caption ‘Unlike France or Russia, 19th-century Germany had no directly political interest in the orient. Politically divided until 1871 and without […]

LEGGI TUTTO
Orientalism in France – Leon Botstein by Luca

The term Orientalism does not refer to characteristics or ethnicities located in a massive geographical region that spread from northern Africa, through the Middle East all the way to Asia, termed indiscriminately in 19th-century Europe as the “Orient.” Rather, it refers to a European fascination and obsession with distant cultures based on an historic accumulation […]

LEGGI TUTTO
Sex and politics – “Hérodiade” – J. Massenet by Luca

If Massenet tested the extremes of sexual repression in Thaïs, his tenth opera, it may have been because in his earlier works he had thoroughly explored sexual and romantic excess. The principal characters of the operas Hérodiade, Manon, and Werther exhibit little, if any, self control. Their passions when dramatized by a composer of Massenet’s […]

LEGGI TUTTO
A meditation on Thaïs by Luca

In the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria, built by the Greek architect Dinocrates to immortalize the name of Alexander the Great, the city of the library of the Ptolemies with its manuscripts of Plato, Pythagoras, Philo, Origen, Athanasius, and Clement, copies of Euripides, Aeschylus, and Sophocles, and documents signed by Julius Caesar and Octavian, the […]

LEGGI TUTTO