Verdi Requiem

Reports of various issues on work pages.

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Erlkoenig
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Verdi Requiem

Postby Erlkoenig » Sat May 20, 2017 9:08 pm

Can anyone help me to address an absurdity in the Home Page of the Verdi Requiem entry?
http://imslp.org/wiki/Requiem_(Verdi,_Giuseppe)
I am new to this, and not skilled in navigating my way round the technical requirements of Wiki editing. All I am looking for is that my concerns be addressed, and it doesn’t need to be I who does it. Here goes:–

Searching for Verdi Requiem, I am led to a Home Page featuring an incipit in musical notation. But this is no way an incipit, because it starts in bar 7, and features not a recognisable tune, but merely a choral decoration on a repeated single note, which is added to the tune on its 2nd statement in bar 6. If it weren’t for the words, no one would recognise Verdi’s Requiem from this.
Moreover a B flat has been wrongly added to the key signature.

The assumption by whoever devised this incipit appears to be that only the voice parts are important, and everything else is mere accompaniment. That may be true of pop songs, but it won’t do for IMSLP.

The true incipit is at the beginning, where the cellos introduce the theme, which is indeed instantly memorable and recognisable.

Erlkoenig.

Erlkoenig
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 8:40 pm
notabot: 42
notabot2: Human

Re: Verdi Requiem

Postby Erlkoenig » Sun May 21, 2017 3:18 pm

Thank you to whoever amended the erroneous incipit. It is much better now.

But still not quite right. Was the person who made the amendment a musician? If so then why, when Verdi’s tune in the cellos ended after 5 bars, did you continue with the cello line which has now become the harmonic bass while the tune itself is repeated by the violins, this time in full harmony? Or have you simply taken the mention of ‘cellos’ in my original post, and reproduced the cello line slavishly for as many bars as were empty in the former incipit before the entry of the voices?

If you can read music, then you will see that what I am saying is not an esoteric quibble, but is blindingly obvious, if the music holds any meaning for you.

Another point, that should be blindingly obvious to me but is not – perhaps I am missing something. After the word ‘incipit’ you have printed ‘see below’; but I cannot understand or find what this refers to.

Finally to a much bigger issue, that may cause offence: but to me the issue is a real one, so I feel I must speak out and let you be the judge of that.

I was very puzzled by the arrangements, prominently displayed at the top of the list of performances, for voices and recorder ensemble by ‘Papalin’.

I am a great devotee of arrangements. I grew up in the era of 78rpm recordings, which were so far removed from the live concert hall experience that music lovers would fill the gap by playing arrangements at home for piano solo, piano duet etc. That was how I got to know the core classical repertoire of symphonies by Haydn Mozart and Beethoven. They were of course fully acknowledged as ‘second best’, a stop gap. It was also fun to play these works arranged for piano trio, or even, it should be said, for recorder ensemble. These arrangements were not intended for serious public performance, but for amateur music-making fun.

At first I thought that the arrangements here for voices and recorder ensemble were in this category, i.e. for amateurs to have fun with. Nevertheless why were they displayed so prominently at the top of the list of recordings?

But a little research showed me that this was not so. Verdi’s Requiem for voices and recorders dubbed by one performer? I do not see an educational project here, but rather a big show-off by one skilled arranger and performer. After all, the gap between Verdi’s operatically trained soloists, experienced chorus, and lavish symphony orchestra with some quadruple woodwind and extra off-stage brass, not to mention the huge bass drum, depicting in the most dramatic manner possible the terrors of the Day of Judgement, and an ensemble of sweet-toned recorders together with a delicate albeit musical multi-tracked solo singer, is not just a gap, it is an unbridgeable chasm. What on earth is the point of it?

What makes me sad is that some potential Verdi lovers are taken in by it. I have looked at some of the admiring responses online. This unknowing public is being corrupted by a ‘pretty-pretty’ version of what should be an overwhelming and awesome experience. What if some of them never get beyond this to some of the fine YouTube versions available online?

I confess to being a little shocked that IMSLP is giving this version such prominence. I had thought of IMSLP as an authoritative research tool for serious music scholars and lovers. Or have I got this wrong somehow?

Erlkoenig


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