The Journey of The Fisherman and His Wife – 11/18/15

By November 18, 2015The Music Detective
Image of production score courtesy of of the Sarah Caldwell Collection, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.

Image of production score courtesy of of the Sarah Caldwell Collection, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.

Amazing to see this video 45 years after it aired on network television! Can you imagine something like that happening today?!   So FINALLY, we can hear what these mysterious taped sections actually sound like.

I wait, with baited breath, pencil at the ready for detailed notes to give to Gil.  And then, DRAT!!!!  The first – the magical tape with “monstrous, overwhelming chant” – cut from the film!!  How disappointing.  So perhaps it was never created?  But the final two are there.  As expected – the first a short bit of Gregorian Chant.  And the final one is played during the last scene at the seaside.  With each scene when the Fisherman tells the Magic Fish his wife wants more, the sea becomes darker and more mysterious.  By now it is inky black and threatening.  The music gets more ominous; this final scene complete with thunder, lightning, and taped sounds of something like screaming Furies in the background.  Fantastic!  Schuller has really embraced the Grimm Brothers’ vision; their retelling of traditional German stories are notoriously dark and full of adult ideas/concepts about life.  Wondering – who chose this story in the first place?  From what I’ve read, it’s not clear – the Junior League of Boston?  Schuller?  Caldwell?  Updike?

 

Post by Linda Osborn, Artistic Administrator for Odyssey Opera of Boston.

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