Chapter19 - Concise History of Western Music Fourth Edition...

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By Barbara Russano Hanning Based on J. Peter Burkholder, Donald J. Grout, and Claude V. Palisca, A History of Western Music , Eighth Edition Concise History of Western Music Fourth Edition Chapter 19 Opera and Music Drama in the Nineteenth Century
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PRELUDE
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Prelude Opera played a central role in nineteenth- century musical life. Opera was elite entertainment and a popular diversion for all classes. Composers continued to follow national trends while developing new forms.
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Prelude Operatic stories varied considerably, but they appealed to the middle class. Music became the most important element of opera, as the composer increasingly became a dominant force. By 1850, a permanent repertory of operas had emerged.
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France Paris became the operatic capital of Europe. A new theater for French opera was built in 1821 during the Restoration. The increasing power and interest of the middle class led to a new kind of opera: grand opera.
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Italy Grounded in tradition, Italy enjoyed a new golden age. Italian operas were exported throughout Europe and the New World. Major composers Rossini Donizetti Bellini Verdi
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Germany The interaction between music and literature was strong in German-speaking regions. Singspiel integrated Romantic elements from French opera with the genre’s national features. These trends culminate in the works of Wagner.
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FRANCE
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Grand opera Leading figures Eugène Scribe, librettist Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791–1864), composer Spectacle was as important as music. Machinery Ballets Choruses Crowd scenes
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Grand opera Meyerbeer and Scribe established the features of grand opera with two works: Robert le diable (Robert the Devil, 1831) Les Huguenots (1836)
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Les Huguenots Based on the Saint Bartholomew Massacre in France during the sixteenth century, the opera relates the tragic fate of two lovers. Grand opera characteristics Five acts Large cast Ballet of bathing beauties Dramatic scenery and lighting effects
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Les Huguenots The combination of entertaining spectacle and glorious singing is exemplified in the closing scene of Act II. A dramatic crowd scene Protestants sing Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God), giving the opera a political-religious flavor.
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Other grand operas William Tell (1829) by Rossini La muette de portici (The Mute Girl of Portici, 1828) by Rossini Ends with the eruption of Vesuvius The title role of a mute is danced.
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Other grand operas Les Troyens (1856–58) by Berlioz The libretto is from Virgil’s Aeneid . Berlioz condensed the narrative into a series
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2012 for the course MUS 2116 taught by Professor Howell during the Spring '07 term at Virginia Tech.

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Chapter19 - Concise History of Western Music Fourth Edition...

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