Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Discussions about Pink Floyd and Solo Official Album CDs and DVDs.

Rate this album

5 - Best
3
9%
4
3
9%
3
10
29%
2
9
26%
1 - Worst
10
29%
 
Total votes: 35

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Keith Jordan
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Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by Keith Jordan » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:12 pm

This thread is to discuss Roger Waters - Ca Ira and is linked to from the Pink Floyd Discography section.

Feel free to discuss the album!

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Track listing: Disc one

Act One

01. The Gathering Storm
02. Overture
03. Scene 1: A Garden in Vienna 1765
04. Madame Antoine, Madame Antoine
05. Scene 2: Kings Sticks and Birds
06. Honest Bird, Simple Bird
07. I Want to Be King
08. Let Us Break All the Shields
09. Scene 3: The Grievances of the People
010. Scene 4: France in Disarray
011. To Laugh is to Know How to Live
012. Slavers, Landlords, Bigots at Your Door
013. Scene 5: The Fall of the Bastille
014. To Freeze in the Dead of Night
015. So to the Streets in the Pouring Rain

Act Two

01. Scene 1: Dances and Marches
02. Now Hear Ye!
03. Flushed With Wine
04. Scene 2: The Letter
05. My Dear Cousin Bourbon of Spain
06. The Ship of State is All at Sea
07. Scene 3: Silver Sugar and Indigo
08. To The Windward Isles
09. Scene 4: The Papal Edict
010. In Paris There's a Rumble Under the Ground

Track listing: Disc two

Act Three

01. Scene 1: The Fugitive King
02. But the Marquis of Boulli Has a Trump Card Up His Sleeve
03. To Take Your Hat Off
04. The Echoes Never Fade from That Fusillade
05. Scene 2: The Commune de Paris
06. Vive la Commune de Paris
07. The National Assembly is Confused
08. Scene 3: The Execution of Louis Capet
09. Adieu Louis for You It's Over
10. Scene 4: Marie Antoinette - The Last Night on Earth
11. Adieu My Good and Tender Sister
12. Scene 5: Liberty
13. And in the Bushes Where They Survive

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by Stephen » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:59 pm

What I like about this is the fact that Roger attempted it in the first place. I think that all that was missing was the big, memorable melodies you find in the works of Verdi or Puccini, not that those are necessary in opera but it would have helped its cause in this case. I'd like to think he'd try another one sometime in the future. :)

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by Real Pink in the Inside » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:22 am

It's not really my cup of tea, but it's certainly interesting. I really have no reference point, though, beings as I never listen to opera. I will say it takes a bold man to move out of his comfort zone like that. Apparently the album was received fairly well by the traditional opera crowd...

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by David Smith » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:07 am

Sounds to much like he tries to make every song really epic and grand so for me it doesn't really work

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by Hudini » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:19 pm

I heard it once and didn't bother going in there one more time. I didn't think it was bad back then though, but it just couldn't draw my attention any more. I admire the fact Roger ventured into opera and I know the critics gave it pretty good marks, but I didn't find it as exciting as opera can get. The only remarkable thing about it is that it was written by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and that's it.

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by drafsack » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:51 pm

I think Ive listened to OAI more

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by danielcaux » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:05 am

Has anyone hear been able to watch the actual opera? How would you rate it?

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by moom » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:03 am

I'm sorry, but this kinda bores me.

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by J Ed » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:36 pm

danielcaux wrote:Has anyone hear been able to watch the actual opera? How would you rate it?
theres a dvd circulating of a performance in Poland, from a tv broadcast I would guess, the camera work is mighty slick
full costumes and elaborate staging and choreography, with slides and films projected above the action
as I recall Roger plays the pope
with all the visuals, the opera becomes much darker than the album
really it should be an official release, as an audio only opera is an incomplete experience

here's part of it
here's another

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by 2066 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:33 pm

:smt015 Imagine watching an opera written by Syd Barrett! Now, that would be more interesting than this contrived piece of rock-star-poop. I've never liked opera anyway...

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by Sonic Destruction » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:51 am

Opera is one of my least liked forms of music. I bought this because I am a completist, have played it once all the way through, and am not likely to ever give it another spin.

After waiting all these years for Rog to release something new, I found his opera a total and utter bore. I know it was a labour of love, but I just don't want to hear it.

How many copies of this album would have been bought if it was just some new opera guy starting out on his career? Precious few, I am sure. For a start, I would never have bought it!

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by danielcaux » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:13 pm

Pat Albertson wrote:How many copies of this album would have been bought if it was just some new opera guy starting out on his career? Precious few, I am sure.
Soo ...what's the point of that retoric question? Are you trying to imply that good music releases can be measured by the units they move? Someone could very well release the best opera in history and still that wouldn't shift more copies than an average Madonna album.

I have never had the chance to listen to the whole Ça Ira opera, but just for having the guts to take the challenge and attemp a completely new form of music, to him, I have more respect for Waters than for Gilmour doing the same old-same old again and again with his On an Island, Remember That Night and GdansK releases.

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by Sonic Destruction » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:08 pm

danielcaux wrote:
Pat Albertson wrote:How many copies of this album would have been bought if it was just some new opera guy starting out on his career? Precious few, I am sure.
Soo ...what's the point of that retoric question? Are you trying to imply that good music releases can be measured by the units they move? Someone could very well release the best opera in history and still that wouldn't shift more copies than an average Madonna album.

I have never had the chance to listen to the whole Ça Ira opera, but just for having the guts to take the challenge and attemp a completely new form of music, to him, I have more respect for Waters than for Gilmour doing the same old-same old again and again with his On an Island, Remember That Night and GdansK releases.
No, I was not implying that music needs to move a lot of units to be considered good. I love Litmus, First Band From Outer Space, Farflung and The Spacious Mind, and none of them are ever likely to sell much.

I guess what I was wondering was whether some people (such as me) might have bought "Ca Ira" just because it was Waters, rather than because there might be a chance that the music was any good, in terms of my musical taste.

Yes, I guess Waters deserves some respect for doing what he wants, rather than worrying about what might be acceptable to his fans or record company. However, isn't that just what those prog bands were doing in the mid-1970's, and they all got slagged off for being self-indulgent (I love prog too, by the way).

I guess ultimately the music must be judged by each person in terms of how they connect with it and enjoy it. It appears that some people enjoyed "Ca Ira", and that is a good thing. However, I didn't connect with it at all, and I certainly didn't enjoy it. It is the one Floyd-related release that scores a one on my Richter Scale. I would much rather Waters had finished his long awaited "Heartland" album instead.

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by J Ed » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:45 pm

are there any new up-and-coming opera composers? not being into the scene I wouldnt know, the only one Ive heard of, Philip Glass (a couple decades back already) was already established as a serious experimantal composer and even had mainstream success before I knew he'd written an opera
a related question would be what did genuine opera connosewers think of this wealthy rockstar's dabbling in the medium? I never saw any reviews from a serious opera perspective, but I am sure much of the sales his record did achieve was due to Floyd completists rather than regular opera fans
for example my mum, who is an opera fan, has never heard anything about it - I think most opera fans dont expect to like anything "modern", anyway
Pat Albertson wrote:isn't that just what those prog bands were doing in the mid-1970's, and they all got slagged off for being self-indulgent
it happened to many others before that
Duke Ellington in the 30s and 40s was slagged by jazz critics for venturing into extended musical suites even though there'd always been a classical element to his jazz
such critics contribute nothing new themselves and are mere parasites on real artists creativity
whatabout when Neil Youngs own record label sued him for recording "uncharacteristic" albums in the 1980s?
by all means lets encourage Roger to record an opera even if we dont like it
or a ten minute monologue about hitchhiking in his youth
lets encourage him to record anything he feels like, just so longs he records: dude's had a serious creativity block ever since Amused to Death and part of it must be due to the expectations that he only release product that sounds Floydian

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Re: Roger Waters - Ca Ira

Post by danielcaux » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:30 am

J Ed wrote:What did genuine opera connosewers think of this wealthy rockstar's dabbling in the medium? I never saw any reviews from a serious opera perspective, but I am sure much of the sales his record did achieve was due to Floyd completists rather than regular opera fans - I think most opera fans dont expect to like anything "modern", anyway.
I'm 100% positive that the reason Ça Ira reached #1 in the classical charts was due Pink Floyd related fandom buying the album, there's no doubt about it.

Oh yes, most average classical music fans are not into current "avantgard" or "modern" classical music, Stravinsky is the farthest they will go, and that's really pushing it; but then again Roger Waters' work seems to be pretty conservative in musical terms. Still, as you said, most Classical-heads (AKA snobs) I know are more into present day performers than present day composers, so they would surely dismiss any attempt of a pop musician writing classical music because well, in their minds there is not a single chance of new music being up to par with Wagner, and although they may be right, when applying that mentallity to a work like Ça Ira, it is still a flawed mentallity rooted more in prejudices and sophistication than on an even handed artistic judgement. They are not even interested in new "classical" music, they just want to connect with that ancient "European well of musical perfection", and dress in black ties for the occasion.

I don't know how much of a real classical perspective this really is, but here are some fragments of the Allmusic Classical review of Ça Ira, gotta love that Andrew Lloyd Webber comparison!
Roger Waters, the man who equated "education" with "thought control" in his pseudo-opera The Wall, is now back and appealing to higher culture in his new opera Ça Ira. Moreover, this is a real opera, with singers, a chorus, and an orchestra with not a single dreamy, overlong electric guitar solo in sight. Fans of Pink Floyd will find little in Ça Ira to satisfy their jones for "the Floyd," although there are many standard musical features associated with the classic rock staple group that have been carried over into this work — crushingly slow tempi, somber and monotonous singing, and a mania for pristine recordings of sound effects. At one point, a volley of musket fire makes you jump out of your seat.

Ça Ira would be a hard opera for a singer to love, as there is no characterization through the singing whatsoever, and characters themselves are not given enough of the floor to engage us. The orchestration is handled with taste and some sophistication, but in terms of melody, Ça Ira is the sing-songiest opera since the pre-revolutionary days of Thomas and Sally. Wherever the fundamental of the harmonic movement is, the melody line follows, and vice-versa. In spots where there is no harmonic foundation, Waters resorts to scalar or bugle-call like figures that, while effectively passing as notes to hang the words onto, do not constitute melody in and of themselves. This kind of texture overall would be tremendously monochromatic and dull for the average opera listener.

However, if the name above the title were Andrew Lloyd Webber, then Ça Ira would be considered better than average. Moreover, there is potential good to be reaped if Ça Ira gains some popularity. If it proves to your standard-issue stoner that you don't have to be a dork to enjoy an opera, that's terrific.
And here are some fragments of the Allmusic Pop review of Ça Ira.
Ça Ira has been described as an opera, but, at least on record, it might better be called an oratorio. The difference between the two, of course, has to do with staging and theatrical content.

Like other pop and rock musicians who have turned to classical music, such as Paul McCartney and Billy Joel, Waters turns out to have a fairly traditional idea of the form. Perhaps in aspiring to legitimacy, he has written a work that harks back to the Romantic movement of the 18th century, music that in some ways grew out of the French Revolution.

Three different choirs also appear, one of them a children's choir that sings in lower-class British accents. This provides one of the few ties to Waters' earlier work — one can easily imagine the children suddenly breaking into a chorus of "We don't need no education" from "Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2." They don't, however
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