Alternative endings to arias & interpolated high notes

Discussion of all things opera: Wagner, Verdi, Toscanini, Zeffirelli, prelude, leitmotif, Regietheater, etc.
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Alternative endings to arias & interpolated high notes

Postby Jimlejim » 21 Oct 2016, 19:03

I saw a discussion earlier today about alternative endings and started wondering what some of the best are. Sometimes it doesn't work out and it's just done in bad taste (Bonisolli :roll: ) For example, a high note thrown in for showmanship can ruin an otherwise musically sensible ending. What are some of the best alternative endings you know? Mind you, it doesn't have to be an interpolated high note... just a slight alteration.
Tenor freak. :D

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Re: Alternative endings to arias & interpolated high notes

Postby Darksoprano » 23 Oct 2016, 23:31

If it works, it can be be wonderful. Some have become tradition. It can also be a stylistic mistake and extremely tacky. I particularly dislike anything that does not make sense for the character.

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Re: Alternative endings to arias & interpolated high notes

Postby Jim » 26 Nov 2016, 11:28

Alternative endings and indeed alternative tunes and cadenzas are very traditional, only becoming severely restricted in the 19th Century, and for much of the 20th Century forbidden on pain of death or equivalent.

Part of the difficulty is that the musical education for performers is very different to that in say the 18th Century when many performers were composers in their own right.

The tradition has essentially disappeared and it is now longer practiced as it was. This might lead to some magnificent accidents but more likely to serious musical anomalies as performers move out of their comfort zone and more often use existing cadenzas or get cadenzas written for them. The occasional interpolated high note such as the Bonisolli one is traditional enough but disliked generally by composers.

The practice of decorating a musical line is lost. Here are a couple of examples of Fuor del Mar. I think both versions were actually written by Mozart so it is not technically changing the ending but does indicate the difference in vocal production. I would submit that the second performance is major change from what Mozart would have recognised.

First Herman Jadlowker. I have a clearer recording of this but not the facility to put it up.

and Jonas Kaufmann in a modern rendition of the bravura version;

I actively dislike the second performance and I doubt if Mozart would have approved it either (who can tell). It is ponderous in the extreme and completely at odds with the music. In this case the notes are Mozart's but the modern vocal production is musically inappropriate for me and a change too far.

By the way the spell checker on this site is driving me nuts.


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