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#123541 - 02/23/04 08:50 AM Re: A performance sublime
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Back to the definition: "...obvious effort is the antithesis of grace...."

That would seem to make "bravura" and "sprezzatura"
mutually exclusive.


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#123542 - 02/23/04 09:07 AM Re: A performance sublime
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
There seem to be differing opinions on the definition of sprezzatura:

http://wso.williams.edu/~espence/sprezzmeaning.html

http://www.landini.org/sprezzatura/whatitis.html

http://www.sprez.com/sprezzatura.htm

http://wordsmith.org/board/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=words&Number=124831

All opinions are equal but we must remember that some are more equal than others.




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#123543 - 02/23/04 09:19 AM Re: A performance sublime
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Bravura seems to require effort, which seems to me to be
antithetical to sprezzatura.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary
bravura
Definition: \Bra*vu"ra\, n. [It., (properly) bravery, spirit, from
bravo. See {Brave}.] (Mus.)
A florid, brilliant style of music, written for effect, to
show the range and flexibility of a singer's voice, or the
technical force and skill of a performer; virtuoso music.

{Aria di bravura}[It.], a florid air demanding brilliant
execution.






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#123544 - 02/23/04 09:30 AM Re: A performance sublime
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
I agree completely with wwh's point about the difference between spretz and bra.

Now, will someone comment on the root 'colora' in 'coloratura'?


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#123545 - 02/23/04 09:37 AM Re: -turus
jheem Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
Sure, it's from the Latin coloratura 'coloring' from the past participle coloratus from the verb coloro 'to color'. The Latin future infinitive, e.g., amaturus 'about to love', is cool. Best known from the phrase: "Nos morituri te salutamus Cæsar." (We who are about to die salute thee, O Caesar.)


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#123546 - 02/23/04 10:40 AM Re: equal opinions [not]
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
until Emanuella delivers the It. verdict, here's OED2 chiming in:
[It.]

Ease of manner, studied carelessness; the appearance of acting or being done without effort; spec. of literary style or performance.

1957 N. FRYE Anat. Criticism 93 The quality that the Italian critics called sprezzatura. 1960 E. H. GOMBRICH Art & Illusion III. vi. 193 Sprezzatura, the nonchalance which marks the perfect courtier and the perfect artist. 1960 Spectator 14 Oct. 569 The style governed by sprezzatura, dash and mandarin neoclassicism. 1973 Times Lit. Suppl. 14 Sept. 1063/2 Literary fashion and his own aristocratic sprezzatura demanded that he affect an unconcern.


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#123547 - 02/24/04 03:37 PM Re: A performance sublime
grapho Offline
addict

Registered: 11/09/03
Posts: 619
Loc: Carpal Tunnel Country
There seem to be differing opinions on the definition of sprezzatura

When a word like "sprezzatura" is imported into the english language, is it de rigeur that the word conform rigidly to its original [foreign] meaning?

"Sprezzatura" is such a grand and colorful word to the english ear, even more grand and colorful than "bravura".

"Bravura" looks and sounds like it would be lucky to sit at the same table as "sprezzatura".

How disappointing to discover that, in Italian, a "bravura" performance may even surpass a "sprezzatura" performance.

Are we stuck with this unjust result?

Or, can we set "sprezzatura" free
To be as grand as it seems to be?




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#123548 - 02/24/04 05:09 PM Re: A performance sublime
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
We import foreign words because they express ideas for
which there is no good English equivalent.
I would deplore changing them in any way, which would rob
them of their value.
My idea of "sprezzatura" in American artists was Bing Crosby. His ability to appear and sound totally relaxed was a big part of his charm.
But I also used to like Heldentenors, who projected their
masculinity proudly.


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#123549 - 02/24/04 06:48 PM Re: A performance sublime
Zed Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
But I also used to like Heldentenors, who projected their
masculinity proudly

I once held a tenor - the rest I leave to your imagination!


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#123550 - 02/24/04 07:50 PM Re: A performance sublime
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Zed: would you rather have held a Vatican Soprano?
They had lots of sprezzatura. Guaranteed incapable of
effort.


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