Music in the Theater

Music in the Theater : Essays on Verdi and Other Composers

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Description

Well-known for having generated new interest in Verdi as a subtle and elaborate musical thinker, Pierluigi Petrobelli offers here penetrating explanations of how musical theatre works. Why is it that only a few operas constitute the standard repertory of all opera houses throughout the world? What makes these operas as effective today as they were at the time of their creation? Is there a governing principle in their organization and structure? In this collection of essays, many appearing in English for the first time, Petrobelli answers such questions by analyzing specific operas, mainly by Verdi, in terms of historical context, musical organization, and dramatic conventions. From the exploration of stylistic models, the essays move to the study of Verdi's compositional processes as revealed by sketches for "Alzira", "I due Foscari" and "Rigoletto". Unifying musical devices are discussed in essays on "Il trovatore" and "Macbeth". Using "Aida" and "La forza del destino", Petrobelli builds a theory based on three elements of communication within opera: the dramatic structure; the libretto and its metrical arrangement; and the score.
The volume culminates with the application of these analytic tools to the opening of Gluck's "Alceste" and the making of Bellini's "I puritani".
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 197 x 254 x 19.05mm | 539g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 12 halftones, 65 music exs.
  • 069109134X
  • 9780691091341

Review quote

"Petrobelli was putting Verdi and other early nineteenth-century Italian opera composers to analytical scrutiny at a time when few thought the venture worthwhile. It is good to have his essays (among them two new ones, on La forza del destino and Macbeth), some of which have reposed as far afield as a Slovene journal."---John Rosselli, The Times Literary Supplement "What gives Petrobelli's writing so much life is the profundity of thought behind it, the elegance of language, and the clarity of expression-all in the context of a sophisticated, highly educated listener."-David Lawton, State University of New York, Stonybrook "Petrobelli has regularly explored innovative areas of research long before other scholars become aware of their potential. An English-language edition of his essays is most welcome."-Philip Gossett, University of Chicago
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