Pyotr Tchaikovsky about the opera
The composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky wrote not only music, but also about music. He published critical articles, wrote in letters and personal diaries about new musical compositions and raised global creative issues. Tchaikovsky often reflected on opera, which, in his opinion, alone gave composers “a means to communicate with the masses of the public.” We recall fragments from articles, letters and diaries of Tchaikovsky devoted to opera art.
About Don Juan by Mozart
“In Mozart, I love everything, for we love everything in the man we really love. Most of all, “Don Juan”, because thanks to him I learned what music is …
Mozart – the genius of a strong, versatile, deep – outdated only by its forms of instrumental music; in the field of opera, he still has not a single contender. Orchestration of it, in comparison with the Berlioz and Meyerbeer ones, is, of course, fluid; his arias are somewhat stretched and sometimes sin by the virtuoso whims of singers; his style, perhaps, speaks of the stiffness of the morals of his time, but at the same time his operas, and “Don Juan” in particular, are full of the highest beauties, full of dramatic truth moments; his melodies are somehow especially charming and elegant; harmony is luxuriously rich, though simple. But besides all this, Mozart was an inimitable master in terms of musical dramatic characteristics, and not a single composer, apart from him, created yet fully endured, deeply and truly conceived musical types like Don Juan, Donna Anna, Leporello, Cerlin … ensembles, in the scenes where the dramatic movement of the play develops, he gave unattainable samples of musical creativity. ”
“Rossini was great in things small; his sphere is a light comic lineage, and in this field no one, not excluding the highly talented Auber, could compete with him. Nothing is more fascinating, as the relaxed, artless gaiety of Rossini’s music. She is so coquettishly sweet, graceful, so sincere – like no other music in a light way, and if you add Rossini’s mastery in harmony to all this, you should write for the voice in such a way that the singer is pleasant and comfortable, his brilliant, dexterous instrumentation , – as a result, an exemplary and together inimitable lyrical work will come out. ”
About Bizet’s Carmen
“Last night I lost from the beginning to the end of“ Carmen ”to Bizet. In my opinion, this is in the full sense a masterpiece, that is, one of those few things that are destined to reflect in a very strong degree the musical aspirations of an entire era. And what a wonderful plot of the opera! I can’t play the last scene without tears. On the one hand, the ceremonial jubilation and rough fun of the crowd, looking at the bullfight, on the other hand, the terrible tragedy and death of two main characters, whom the evil fate, fatom, pushed and through a number of sufferings led to the inevitable end. I am convinced that in ten years time Carmen will be the most popular opera in the world … ”
“Everything that delights us in Wagner belongs, in essence, to the category of symphonic music. The workshop of the overture to Faust, the introduction to Lohengrin, in which the transcendental edge of the Grail inspired him to create several of the most beautiful pages in modern music, Flying the Valkyrie, Funeral March of Siegfried, blue waves of the Rhine in “ Gold of the Rhine. ” But isn’t all this symphonic music in its essence? In the tetralogy of the Ring of the Nibelung and in the Parsifal, Wagner does not care about the singers. In these beautiful and majestic symphonies, they play the role of instruments that make up the orchestra. ”
“Glinka, like Bortnyansky, learned from basurmans … but only forms. The inner spirit of his works, the content of his music is completely original. Glinka wrote really Russian operas and created a completely new, if not school, then at least school music, to the sphere of which I belong and am a creature of Glinka. ”
“An unprecedented, amazing phenomenon in the field of art. At the 34th year of life, Glinka puts the opera “Life for the Tsar”, according to genius, scope, novelty and impeccable technique, which stands along with the greatest and deepest thing that exists in art … Glinka suddenly, became one step along (yes! Together! ) with Mozart, with Beethoven and with anyone. It can be said without any exaggeration about the person who created the “Glory”! <…> … Probably no one appreciates me more or loves Glinka’s music. ”
About the “Mermaid” Dargomyzhsky
“In its melodic charm, in the warmth and artlessness of inspiration, in the grace of the cantilena and the recitative of Rusalka, among Russian operas, there is undoubtedly the first place after Glinka’s unattainable genius operas … In these respects, Dargomyzhsky is much lower Not only Glinka, but most other Russian composers. Perhaps due to this circumstance, the fantastic element of the opera was a success to him much less than domestic scenes.