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“Il trionfo del blogorissimo classicale di Madamina Duchene …”

I just came across this. What’s happened is that they’ve discovered another Vivaldi opera, and classical music blogger Jessica Duchen is less than thrilled:

Vivaldi was an astonishing character with a hugely colourful life. But isn’t there a limit to how many of these rattly, twiddly baroque things the market can take? After all, most of them feature either a one-name title (eg Tomasso, Soltino, etc) or a massively long one (Il trionfo del blogorissimo classicale di Madamina Duchene), arias da carping hell for leather for several hours trying to sound inventive on the reprise (my favourite carp is to be found in halaszle, Hungarian fish soup), not to mention recycled bits and bobs from other works, a harpsichord sounding as harpsichords do, a swarm of wasps where the violins ought to be and a reluctance to cut even one note leading to hellishly uncomfortable theatrical experiences as the reverential principles of Richard Wagner are applied willynilly to music that was actually designed as background entertainment to business meetings, illicit love affairs and the odd bit of orange throwing.

Well said. Or to put it another way, the trouble with the authentic movement is that it isn’t actually very authentic. But the real point here is not the alleged tedium of Vivaldi operas, so much as the exuberantly self-centred relish of her own eloquence with which Madamina Duchene writes about them. Lovely.

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3 comments to “Il trionfo del blogorissimo classicale di Madamina Duchene …”

  • After a sentence or two I was going to say “she must be a Wagner fan”, and sure enough…

  • Laird

    Alisa, to be truthful I’m not quite sure what point Ms. Duchen was trying to make in that torrent of verbiage, but I think she was objecting to the application of massive late romantic orchestras and performance techniques to baroque music (which is designed for tiny orchestras in small, intimate halls). In other words, I don’t think her reference to Wagner was intended to denigrate Vivaldi for being insufficiently Wagnerian, but rather to chastise the purveyors of this newly-found opera for imposing their Wagnerian sensibilities on it. Did I read it wrong?

  • Well, I am stereotyping here, so my guess is that she is automatically objecting to anything romantic, although she might not be willing to admit it. As to her finer points, you (and she) may be right, but frankly my dear…:-P Seriously, unlike book or film reviews, I just cannot find music reviews helpful.