From Zarzuela to Opera
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Alberto
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Registrado: 25 Abr 2004
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MensajePublicado: Sab May 01, 2004 2:35 pm    Asunto: From Zarzuela to Opera Responder citando

FROM ZARZUELA TO OPERA

Alberto Cobo, Madrid (Spain)

Many quotations of not very well-known, even unknown, operas appear in the “Disionario universale delle opere melodramatiche” of Umberto Manferrari (Florencia – Sansón Antiquariato, 1954). If it is not strange to wonder for practically unknown operas of famous composers, for example Donizetti or Mercadante, what will be of those who were not so much known... It is clear that the Opera gender was founded in Italy, the cradle of the art, but Spain, which maintains a culture of common roots coming from the Latin, felt very influenced.

The strength of “the most global show of arts” didn’t only affect other countries like France, Germany, England… the great Europe, but also Spain. The “Fiestas of the Zarzuela”, which must not be confused neither with the Opera nor with what we today know for Zarzuela, held its inauguration in the Pardo (Madrid) in 1636 and they are called this way because, although dedicated to the court, they were not abundant in the intellectual but rather in the picturesque aspect. It was a scenic gender with music in which the sung parts alternate with other spoken or dialogued ones. Essentially or structurally, they didn’t present big differences with other similar genders (operetta, comic opera, singspiel, etc.). The also near opera stamp, coming from “drama in musica”, then “opera in musica”, until arriving to “opera” had its beginning, somebody said, in the Florentine count Giovanni Bardi’s “camerata” between the 1570 and 1580 decades.

From those first beginnings of the Opera written with only one melody and one bass, the influence in Spain was always submitted to the Italian prevalence, even in the religious works. At the end of the 17th century went by this way and during almost the whole 18th century when, a nationalist movement based on the popular customs, leading by Antonio Rodríguez de Hita (1742-1827) took place. This movement was denominated “Zarzuela“.

In spite of that, the greatness of the operatic gender as total work, as authentic art and literary work, as sonorous group of a whole and an elaborated creation DIDN’T arise in Spain. While literature and painting were very flourishing arts and with big personalities, music was relegated to a very secondary plane -referring always, of course, to the greatest of the genders, the Opera -. All this worried and created discomfort among the enlightened nationalists. The Italian force tied the ends so that it cannot be other way: they were the only ones in the lyrical territory.

This should locate us in the social behavior and the form of thinking toward this gender of the Spanish citizens who did not accustom to seeing their countrymen triumph in what was a foreign topic.

At this point, one of my discoveries, discovery in the sense of waking up and coming to LIGHT (see: www.superopera.com), is the master composition -El disparate o la obra de los locos- (“The nonsense or the work of the Lunatics”) by Félix Máximo López (1742-1821) (see note 1 below), who was Music Master of the Madrid Royal Chapel, in three acts for four vocal soloists and chamber orchestra. Francisco Asenjo Barbieri refers to it in the Bulletin of the Royal Spanish Academy: <<It is a certain thing that this work is one of the most capricious and extravagant things which can be happened to a smiling lunatic. Its letter, which is also composition of D. Félix, is truly characteristic of craziness, for the incongruities, absurdities and burlesque and ridiculous aspects it is sowed of... the author was right when he first titled it as "Nonsense" his +Work of the Lunatics+, in which, for all his extravagancy he reveals great vivacity of genius, mainly in his music, full with variety and freshness, and written with perfect domain of the art rules. It contains sayings and popular songs; salespersons’ screams; dance music; sentences of blind men; a burlesque sermon; a quartet, in which one person sneezes, another one spits, another one yawns and the last one scratches himself, concluding crying all of them; another quartet of newspaper sellers of Gazette, in which all finish snoring; a triplet with a blind man, a deaf one and a silent one; a bullfight fought by Romero and Pepe-Hillo; and for ending a great burlesque scene of “Pluton’s Pigsties”, inspired by the celebrated work of Quevedo. [And it certainly influenced a lot Barbieri's zarzuelas, as "+Pan y Toros+ (Bread and Bulls), where he seeks to give a Spanish reference.]


The first part of this singular tangle or madness, could have be written at the beginning of the current century, or at the end of the previous one, the second and the third part after the year 1805, and all three could have been executed previously, perhaps in a procurator’s house, intimate friend and neighbor of D. Félix, who lived in the -Calle de las Fuentes- [Street of the Sources] of Madrid, where frequently both families gathered, being our organist the soul of the amusement with his music and poetries.>>

This musical work was already classified but it has never been performed and neither an edition had been made up to now.
Anyway, even being very important for the history of the Spanish music for their authenticity, it didn’t represent a serious competition for the hegemony of the Italian music scene.
This should be understood by the enlightened nationalists to whom I referred before and for that reason they thought about who could be the suitable Maestro to undertake the noble task of the creation of a genuinely Spanish operatic gender. If I don’t say anything about the opera I will comment next I believe we would be still, today in the 21st century, looking for the key of the Spanish operatic gender.

He was always the creator of the Chilean National Anthem (see note 2 below), the -maestro- Ramón Carnicer i Batlle (1789-1851) who found, in my humble opinion, the desired gold fleece: the making of a high quality creative work which combined both aspects musical and dramatic Spanish lyrics. This was fulfilled with Laura y Don Gonzalo, opera in four acts, 1841? I classified it as the last opera of the greatest Spanish opera composer ever existed, the only one thoroughly devoted to the opera composition and also teachers’ teacher -he had among his students composers such as Baltasar Saldoni, F. A. Barbieri, Hernando, Gaztambide...-. It never ended up being performed, even more I founded in the library of the Real Conservatory of Madrid without having been catalogued and nobody knew who the author was.

What was this due to? Opera has always been a complicated gender, in the sense that it affects many elements, almost always connected with persons. After carrying out a +Requiem Mass + for a powerful Spanish banker, Carnicer had to face in court against the banker’s family in a famous case for judging the true value of his work, and he won. Could this be what stopped the Spanish musical progress? Maybe, because, after that, Ramón Carnicer, the most famous Spanish composer in his epoch, didn’t premiere any other Opera again.

Using a great orchestra, Carnicer also introduced the big masses corals in Spain besides other wind instruments coming from France and Germany like the cornets and the “figle”.

Set in the romantic time, we find a story located in Madrid, about princesses, court, swords and loving messes, i.e., love above everything is what the main characters pursue, although we also find the Spanish amusing spark. Naturally it is not history, it is a tale.


__________________
Note 1: López possesses one of the best portraits made to a Spanish musician, painted by the famous portrait painter of Goya, Vicente López (1772-1850) -not family-, in 1820 (Prado's Museum-Madrid).

Note 2: The music of the Chilean national anthem was composed by Carnicer, when he was exiled in London, at the request of the Chilean ambassador Mariano Egaña, in 1828.
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Isa
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Registrado: 26 Abr 2004
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MensajePublicado: Vie Jun 25, 2004 10:30 pm    Asunto: Responder citando

kreo k el Casón del Buen Retiro se ha venido abajo Sad
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ramón
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Registrado: 25 Abr 2004
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MensajePublicado: Jue Jul 22, 2004 2:38 pm    Asunto: Responder citando

Después de los descubrimientos operísticos que usted, Sr. Cobo, ha divulgado ¿existe alguna personalidad musical viviente en España más importante?
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Alberto
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Registrado: 25 Abr 2004
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MensajePublicado: Jue Jul 22, 2004 2:48 pm    Asunto: Responder citando

Que yo sepa no.
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Jagarci
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Registrado: 17 Jun 2004
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MensajePublicado: Jue Jul 29, 2004 2:40 pm    Asunto: Responder citando

Según la TVE, que son gente muy fina y cultivada, Manolo Escobar y Julio Iglesias serían los más.

Así nos va el pelo, porromponpero
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Adolsaza
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Registrado: 15 Jul 2004
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MensajePublicado: Jue Jul 29, 2004 2:44 pm    Asunto: Responder citando

Se dejaron a Manolo "el del bombo", famoso internacionalmente y con un público masivo siempre que actúa.
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Adolfo Salazar
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El bueno, el feo y el malo (Morricone)
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ricardito
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Registrado: 08 Jun 2004
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MensajePublicado: Jue Jul 29, 2004 2:47 pm    Asunto: Responder citando

faltas de respeto no eh?, faltas de respeto no. Más respeto a la música.
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Era estudiante de filología hispánica pero me gustaba tanto la música, sobre todo la clásica y española que me hice guitarrista y ahora toco en el metro cuando me dejan
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Patricia
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Registrado: 26 Abr 2004
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MensajePublicado: Jue Jul 29, 2004 2:56 pm    Asunto: Responder citando

Ja,ja, fijáos lo que dice en el As Juan Mora:
"Yo digo...Que vaya Manolo el del bombo, que organice la clá y a ver quién es el guapo que nos gana a hacer ruido."


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Maruja
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MensajePublicado: Jue Jul 29, 2004 3:11 pm    Asunto: Responder citando

No su os penseis qe tor monteres oregano, pos ejenplo arquí en el pueblo admiramos max a la CHONCHI, a la PANTOJA, los del RIO y las KETCHUPaslosdedos.
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MensajePublicado: Vie Jul 30, 2004 6:43 am    Asunto: Responder citando

MANDE!

ME HA PUESTO EN EL PUEBLO QUE VIVO EL PORRON LA NUEVA TECNOLOGIA ESTA Y ME HAN DICHO QUE ZE ESTAVA ABLANDO DE MI COMPADRE EL ESCOBAAAÁ.

VAMOO MULA TIA PA LA DERECHA RAMONA!


EQUE AORA CON LA NUEVA MUSICA MODEENA ESTA DE MOZA Y BETOBE NOS VA A DEJAAá SIN JULITO IGLESIAS?

BUENO A VE SI OS PASAIS POR EL PORRON QE YA ME E CANSAO QE YEVO TRE HORAS ECRIBIENDO ESTO.
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ramón
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Registrado: 25 Abr 2004
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MensajePublicado: Sab Oct 02, 2004 9:19 am    Asunto: Re: From Zarzuela to Opera Responder citando

Alberto escribió:

he first titled it as "Nonsense" his +Work of the Lunatics+, ...It contains sayings and popular songs...


He visto que también tiene esta obra, "El Disparate o la Obra de los Locos" de Félix Máximo López, un número con la música, que no la letra, de la canción popular "Mambrú se fue a la guerra". Por lo visto el duque de Marlborough, general y estadista inglés, que murió en 1722, es el célebre "Mambrú" de las canciones infantiles. Aunque era típico en la época utilizar las melodías populares e incluso hacer modificaciones...
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affirmo1520
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Registrado: 05 Mar 2005
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Ubicación: Hampton

MensajePublicado: Jue Abr 21, 2005 7:21 am    Asunto: Responder citando

Patricia I definitely gotta agree with you.
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ramón
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Registrado: 25 Abr 2004
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MensajePublicado: Dom Dic 31, 2006 2:33 pm    Asunto: Responder citando

La edición de Alberto Cobo de "El disparate o la obra de los locos" de Félix Máximo López se encuentra catalogada en la Biblioteca Nacional:

http://www.bne.es/cgi-bin/wsirtex?FOR=WBNBIBT1&VIS=W08BIPA&FMT=WBNARIA1&ITE=0007500076469&ISN=00294456&TOT=007&NUM=001
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Alberto
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MensajePublicado: Dom Mar 04, 2007 12:15 pm    Asunto: Apuntes Responder citando

El disparate o la obra de los locos.
Félix Máximo López Crespo (1742-1821)


Es evidente el conocimiento y lectura del libretista, el propio compositor, de la tradición costumbrista del disparate y lo absurdo por ejemplo en los Carnavales y fiestas populares "poniendo las cosas del revés", con temas divertidos y bonitos. O la semejanza por ejemplo al Quijote cervantino, la primera novela moderna que aparece zurcida con los retales de un género tan antiguo y criticado como el de los libros de caballerías que había querido ridiculizar.

http://www.bnjm.cu/librinsula/2005/febrero/60/colaboraciones/colaboraciones388.htm

También basa su libreto al estilo de las “Las Zahúrdas de Plutón” de Quevedo, tipo pregón, consejos o denuncia de realidades en forma irónica.
http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/Las_zah%C3%BArdas_de_Plut%C3%B3n


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ramón
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MensajePublicado: Lun Dic 31, 2007 9:48 am    Asunto: Responder citando

Estupenda reproducción del retrato de Félix Máximo López (Museo del Prado).




En su mano derecha se advierte el manuscrito de su composición "Obra de los Locos".
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