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#123541 - 02/23/04 01:50 PM Re: A performance sublime  
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wwh Offline
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Back to the definition: "...obvious effort is the antithesis of grace...."

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


#123542 - 02/23/04 02:07 PM Re: A performance sublime  
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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.




#123543 - 02/23/04 02:19 PM Re: A performance sublime  
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wwh Offline
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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.






#123544 - 02/23/04 02:30 PM Re: A performance sublime  
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I agree completely with wwh's point about the difference between spretz and bra.

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


#123545 - 02/23/04 02:37 PM Re: -turus  
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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.)


#123546 - 02/23/04 03:40 PM Re: equal opinions [not]  
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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.


#123547 - 02/24/04 08:37 PM Re: A performance sublime  
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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?




#123548 - 02/24/04 10:09 PM Re: A performance sublime  
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wwh Offline
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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.


#123549 - 02/24/04 11:48 PM Re: A performance sublime  
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But I also used to like Heldentenors, who projected their
masculinity proudly

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


#123550 - 02/25/04 12:50 AM Re: A performance sublime  
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wwh Offline
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Dear Zed: would you rather have held a Vatican Soprano?
They had lots of sprezzatura. Guaranteed incapable of
effort.


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