The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf

By Henry Pleasants; Hugo Wolf | Go to book overview
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New to us was Signor Pinto. In the role of the Duke of Ferrara he unleashed a sturdy bass, at its most comfortable in the lowest regions. Things did not go so well toward the top. A special word of praise for his animated acting. Frau Kaulich. 7 filling in for the indisposed Frau Papier, undertook the role of Maffio Orsini, and carried it off well. His Majesty the Kaiser graced the performance of Lucrezia Borgia with his exalted presence. Signori Bertini and Pinto and Signora Turolla excited a veritable hurricane of applause after the second act of Lucrezia Borgia from an audience highly stimulated by an eminently successful performance.

1.
As noted previously, she did not leave.
2.
Ludwig Uhland ( 1787-1862), Swabian poet and philologist, especially noted for his historical ballads.
3.
Richard Pohl ( 1826-1896), German music critic in Dresden, Weimar and Baden-Baden (where he was born and where he died), noted as an early champion of Wagner, Liszt and Berlioz.
4.
Published as a solo song in Vol. III of the Petecs edition of Schumann's Lieder.
5.
Hans Richter had described Brahms's Symphony No. 3 as his " Eroica."
6.
The appearance of Brahms's Symphony No. 4 was still a year and a half off.
7.
Louise Kaulich ( 1855- ? ), Viennese mezzo-soprano who had joined the Court Opera in 1878 and was to remain with it for twenty years. She came of a theater family, and was highly valued for an enormous and astonishingly varied repertoire, the speed and accuracy with which she could learn new parts, and her ability and readiness to step in at short notice for indisposed colleagues.

16. La Gioconda

May 4, 1884

An uncommonly feeble product that, one hopes, will very soon, and forever, vanish from the repertoire. The author of the absurd libretto, brewed from leftovers of the cheapest, most banal, most brutal fustian, is assumed to be the infamous Arrigo Boito, hiding behind the anagram, Tobia Gorrio. And from whom else could this book of horrors come but the author of Mefistofele? But why the mask? If Boito had the nerve, the gall, to write Mefistofele, and the cheek to present himself as the author of that absurd work, what had this dull lunatic, of all people, to lose by setting his name to the libretto of La Gioconda? Indeed, we can even tell this perverted Tobia Gorrio confidently that his text for La Gioconda, trivial, dirty, cannibalistic as it may be in invention and execution, does not touch the monstrous, idiotic bombast of his Mefistofele.

-46-

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