Beginning from the unlikely vantage point of Venice in the aftermath of fascism and World War II, this book explores operatic production in the city's nascent postwar culture as a lens onto the relationship between opera and politics in the twentieth century. Both opera and Venice in the middle of the century are often talked about in strikingly similar terms: as museums locked in the past and blind to the future. These clichs are here overturned: perceptions of crisis were in fact remarkably productive for opera, and despite being physically locked in the past, Venice was undergoing a flourishing of avant-garde activity. Focusing on a local musical culture, Harriet Boyd-Bennett recasts some of the major composers, works, stylistic categories and narratives of twentieth-century music. The study provides fresh understandings of works by composers as diverse as Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Verdi, Britten and Nono.
In this third edition of the classic Verdi, renowned authority Julian Budden offers a comprehensive overview of Verdi the man and the artist, tracing his ascent from humble beginnings to the status of a cultural patriarch of the new Italy, whose cause he had done much to promote, and demonstrating the gradual enlargement over the years of his artistic vision. This concise study is an accessible, insightful, and engaging summation of Verdi scholarship, acquainting the non-specialist with the personal details Verdi's life, with the operatic world in which he worked, and with his political ideas, his intellectual vision, and his powerful means of communicating them through his music. In his survey of the music itself, Budden emphasizes the unique character of each work as well as the developing sophistication of Verdi's style. He covers all of the operas, the late religious works, the songs, and the string quartet. A glossary explains even the most obscure operatic terms current in Verdi's time.
The Politics of Verdi's Cantica treats a singular case study of the use of music to resist oppression, combat evil, and fight injustice. Cantica, better known as Inno delle nazioni / Hymn of the Nations, commissioned from Italy's foremost composer to represent the newly independent nation at the 1862 London International Exhibition, served as a national voice of pride and of protest for Italy across two centuries and in two very different political situations. The book unpacks, for the first time, the full history of Verdi's composition from its creation, performance, and publication in the 1860s through its appropriation as purposeful social and political commentary and its perception by American broadcast media as a 'weapon of art' in the mid twentieth century. Based on largely untapped primary archival and other documentary sources, journalistic writings, and radio and film scripts, the project discusses the changing meanings of the composition over time. It not only unravels the complex history of the work in the nineteenth century, of greater significance it offers the first fully documented study of the performances, radio broadcast, and filming of the work by the renowned Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini during World War II. In presenting new evidence about ways in which Verdi's music was appropriated by expatriate Italians and the US government for cross-cultural propaganda in America and Italy, it addresses the intertwining of Italian and American culture with regard to art, politics, and history; and investigates the ways in which the press and broadcast media helped construct a musical weapon that traversed ethnic, aesthetic, and temporal boundaries to make a strong political statement.
Music lovers of all ages are drawn to the pure melodies of classical music. Now aficionados of this timeless genre can learn something about classical music every day of the year! Readers will find everything from brief biographies of their favorite composers to summaries of the most revered operas. Interesting facts about the world’s most celebrated songs and discussions of classical music–meets–pop culture make this book as fun as it is informative. Ten categories of discussion rotate throughout the year: Classical Music Periods, Compositional Forms, Great Composers, Celebrated Works, Basic Instruments, Famous Operas, Music Theory, Venues of the World, Museums & Festivals, and Pop Culture Medley.
But in the musical drama reality begins to blur, the musical forms lose their excessively neat patterns, and doubt and ambiguity undermine characters and situations, reflecting the crisis of character typical of modernity. Indeed, much of the interest and originality of Verdi's operas lie in his adherence to both these contradictory systems, allowing the composer/dramatist to be simultaneously classical and modern, traditionalist and innovator.
Class, Nation, and Culture in Nineteenth-century Europe
Author: Graeme Morton
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Civil society has become central to the historian's understanding of class, cultural and political power in the nineteenth century town and city. This volume brings together essays by an international group of urban historians who examine the construction of civil society from associational activity in the urban place. The volume shows that a deep and interlocking civil society does not automatically lead to a rise in democratic activity.