2003 Salzburg Tito: a change of perspective
Sometimes you can’t write/talk about something because you don’t feel anything about it. Other times it’s because you feel too much. But we change.
When I first saw the 2003 Salzburg Tito I actually wrote (longhand!) extensively about it. It’s so gushy and intrinsicly linked to the period of intense change I was going through that it’s not fit for a blog. I waited for the emotion to cool down but during the next stage no words were good enough. I think I was trying for objectivity and when that didn’t quite work I left it be. It’s been well documented by other bloggers so I didn’t feel depriving the world of my positive opinion on it was such a big loss. At lon last I wrote about the 2006 revival (audio only), which was less commented on. Same production but not the same. Yet it offered me enough distance to say something.
Recently I noticed a change.
I still love it but, after hearing a lot of more recent versions, often with period orchestras, there’s no doubt it’s very heavy of sound (quite understandably so, with the Vienna Philharmonic of 13 years ago in the pit of the hangar-like Felsenreitschule driving everything). For a long time I could not hear that, enamoured as I have been of everything it contained. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that it’s heavy and slow; Tito needs a bit of gravitas; it makes sense with the venue setting and the production; the world was starting to change but it still had a solidity about it we might not be feeling anymore today. As a whole it’s got so much that is good and unique about it (those sweaty (with unease), partially painted pale green walls 😉 ) that it still feels as fresh as it did on day one. But the way things are going, the future great Sesto and Vitellia will sing a lot lighter. And, I venture to say, in a smaller venue.