Thursday, May 2, 2013

Continuing Our Sylvan Theme

... from a couple of weeks ago.  Also our theme of children lost at the midpoint of their stories.  Also ... well, you get the picture.

I'm sorry this version has a clipped beginning, and is in English.  (Poor Humperdink.)  But it's better musically than some of the others out there, and the casting/staging are good.

Of note: pay attention to the melody.  Humperdink isn't working with much more than an ascending scale, but what he does with it is by no means boring.  Sure, it's only two minutes; but if you can make two minutes on a scale gripping, that's some talent.  (Perhaps he was studying Beethoven?)  Also, notice the word-painting.  Much of the time "word painting" in music means something like using faster notes to set "quickly," descending on "downward," or touching a minor chord within a major key when the lyric involves the word "sorrow."  Here, the ascending scale paints the picture of an ascending prayer.  (Incense, anyone?)

For those interested in more of the same (of Humperdink's Hansel und Gretel, that is), I looked for a playlist of the opera and struck gold:

I've also heard they're doing a remake ...

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