Romantic India

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 17 20:48:46 UTC 1998

Klaus Karttunen asks:

>Dear friends
>A few months ago someone briefly referred  to "Shubert's
>opera Sakuntala". Finding the note I made then I have tried to check
>it. Supposing Franz Schubert was meant, a list of his (nearly
>forgotten) operas does not including anything Indian. Shubert I do
>not know. There is at least one opera founded on KAlidAsa's play,
>namely Franco Alfano's La leggenda di Sakuntala, premi=E8re at Bologna
>town opera in 10.12.1921. Much earlier the Hungarian componist Karl
>Goldmark composed a ZakuntalA ouverture, first performed in 1865.
>There is further an opera about the VikamorvazIya by W. Kienzl,
>performed in the 1880s "mit Erfolg" according to a contemporary
>source. All these have been forgotten, I have not been able to hear a
>note of them.There are also a few ballets on Indian themes, for
>instance on ZakuntalA (music by S. Bachrich, performed in Vienna
>1884; and another by Reyer, performed in Paris, I don't know when).
>To these may be also added Elgar's Indian Suite, the only one I have
>actually heard.

In addition, Tchaikovsky has a small section in one of his operas(I
unfortunately don't remember the name of the opera), much like his
short sections on Arabic music( Coffee dance) or Chinese music(Tea?
dance) in the second part of "The Nutcracker suite". To my ears,
unfortunately the music did not sound Indian at all...

 sometime in the early 80s, there was a symphony composed with the name
"Satyagraha". This symphony describes the activities of Mahatma
Gandhi in S.Africa and consists mainly of verses of the Bhagavadgita
set to music. From an Indian point of view, it is a little difficult to
relate to the business of Mahatma Gandhi and KAsturba singing duets
, verses from the Bhagavadgita at that....

Last but not the least, there was some talk of a "Sitar Symphony"
sometime ago by Pandit Ravi Shankar...


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