WVU Music 271 Podcast


Feb. 19, 2007

Music 271: 2/19/07
II: Concerning European Opera:
A: Two separate discussions to be synthesized: Bonds and Crawford: (Bonds p. 459-481) (Crawford p.
• Opera was imported to America
• Jenny Lynn (sp?) “Swedish Nightingale” influenced the role of women in music in America
B: Three National approaches:
• Italians and Germans were most influential, France as much
C: Italian Opera in the 19th Century:
1. Four “generations” of composers
• Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)
• Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) & Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835)
• Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
• Giocomo Puccini (1858-1924)
2. The Italian opera libretto (script of the opera) of the first half of the 19th-century: two levels of conflict
• Dramas in the Early half of the 19th Century displayed the conflict
• Love triangles between people
• Political conflict based on the desire of Italians for a unified nation
• Bellini’s Norma (1831) - Love between a Druid priestess and a Roman officer set during the Roman occupation of Gaul, mirrors the conflict in Italy under the rule of various larger empires
• Italy unified in 1871
3. The changing map of Europe: an indicator of political content of the Italian opera: (Bonds pp. 307, 385)
D: Two musical traits of Italian opera:
• Recitative and Aria served similar functions as in previous operas
• Notion that the Recitative should be accompanied by the full orchestra instead of just a harpsichord
• Harpsichord fell into obscurity

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