Friday, December 16, 2005


My latest DVD from Netflix is Candide by Leonard Bernstein.

This is my first experience of Candide, except for the book by Voltaire, of course. It hasn't quite made the transition from novel to opera/operetta and requires a narrator to keep it going. It calls itself an operetta and the songs are operetta-like. I'm used to edgier Bernstein, prefer edgier Bernstein.

It almost works. It's more of a morality tale or mystery play than a musical. We live in the best of all possible worlds. I have always noticed that according the logic at work here, we also live in the worst of all possible worlds. It's what we've got, so just go with it. Build your house, chop your wood, grow your garden. Why can't I picture either Voltaire or Bernstein doing any of these things? I am left wishing for more.

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