lördag 3 april 2021

Renée Fleming, Dvorak - Song to the moon - Rusalka

Om Rusalka kan man läsa detta:
Rusalka assumes a special place in the context of the composer’s legacy as a whole. Not only is it universally recognised as Dvorak’s most successful creation for the stage but, according to many, it is his magnum opus. While the same could justifiably be said of a number of Dvorak’s other works, it is without question that this is a product of supreme mastery which ideally combines an unerring compositional technique and exceptional invention (even by Dvorak’s standards). Of Dvorak’s regularly performed operas, Rusalka is the “most Wagnerian”. In addition to the intricate work with leitmotifs (see below), this phenomenon is manifested particularly in the way Dvorak treats the orchestral score. The orchestra in Rusalka is at least an equal partner to the vocal roles and, on many occasions, it could even be seen to be the chief bearer of the opera’s expression. This is closely associated with the composer’s instrumentation which, in several places, verges on musical Impressionism. Dvorak in principal uses a traditional orchestra but, through a resourceful combination of instruments or their sections, he creates colourful musical effects which evoke the gentle lapping of waves on the surface of the water, the mysterious sounds of the night forest, and even the reflection of the silver moonlight above the lake.
Och om librettot, skrivet av Jaroslav Kvapil:

The libretto was inspired by various literary works. The chief source of inspiration was probably the fairy tale The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, whose plot outline is, in its main features, identical to that of Rusalka; then the tale Undine by German poet Friedrich de la Motte Fouque; and Gerhart Hauptmann’s drama The Sunken Bell. Yet Kvapil repeatedly placed his libretto more in the context of Czech literary production which looked to the Erbenesque tradition. The foreword to the printed edition of the libretto shows a clear endeavour to have the text universally accepted as a Czech fairy tale: “Despite various earlier motifs, and these not exclusively from the Czech environment, my fairy tale contains much of the Czech folk element and, through its spirit and form, I deliberately set out to adhere to the indomitable example of our ballad, to Erben.” We will find a similar assertion in an article the author published later on in Hudebni revue, according to which “the tone of Erben’s ballads, which I sought to recreate in my ‘Rusalka’, captured Dvorak’s imagination more than the libretto itself.” Kvapil’s ideological interpretation of the libretto is understandable, given the social atmosphere of the time. During the last third of the 19th century (and on into the early 20th century), Czech opera was here regarded as a representative, “national” musical genre, as a means which could be used to set artistic boundaries at a time of nationalistic differences; as such, it evidently was not to be “contaminated” by motifs taken from the German linguistic sphere.

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