Well-known for leading audiences to a new appreciation of Verdi as a subtle and elaborate musical thinker, Pierluigi Petrobelli here turns his attention to the intriguing question of how musical theater works. In this collection of lively, penetrating essays, Petrobelli analyzes specific operas, mainly by Verdi, in terms of historical context, musical organization, and dramaturgical conventions.
Originally published in 1994.
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"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
Table of Contents:
A Note on Italian Prosody
1 From Rossini's Mose to Verdi's Nabucco 8
2 Verdi and Don Giovanni: On the Opening Scene of Rigoletto 34
3 Remarks on Verdi's Composing Process 48
4 Thoughts for Alzira 75
5 Toward an Explanation of the Dramatic Structure of Il trovatore 100
6 Music in the Theater (apropos of Aida, Act III) 113
7 More on the Three "Systems": The First Act of La forza del destino 127
8 Verdi's Musical Thought: An Example from Macbeth 141
9 The Musico-Dramatic Conception of Gluck's Alceste (1767) 153
10 Notes on Bellini's Poetics: Apropos of I puritani 162
11 Bellini and Paisiello: Further Documents on the Birth of I puritani 176
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Roger Parker:
Hardcover published in 1994