Dramma Per Musica: Italian Opera Seria of the Eighteenth Century

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Yale University Press, 1997 - Music - 326 pages
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Dramma per musica-the most usual term for Italian serious opera from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century-was a modern, enlightened form of theater that presented a unified, artistically designed, dramatic enactment of human stories, expressed by the voice and underscored by the orchestra. This book by one of the world's most eminent musicologists illustrates the diversity of this baroque art form and explains how it has given us opera as we know it.
 

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This is a significant and highly influential book for the revisionist approaches it offers to the much-misunderstood genre of opera seria -- the most important operatic genre of the eighteenth century. Its primary impact, however, has been on academic musicology (as its intended market), and as a collection of essays rather than a monograph on a single theme it does not make easy reading for opera buffs. Those wishing to develop a better understanding of opera seria might benefit from reading the introduction, though even this will be tough going for the uninitiated.
The rating given here is a reflection of the book's intrinsic worth and the impact it has had on the way we understand eighteenth-century opera, rather than on its accessibility to a general reader.
 

Contents

the dramma per musica in the eighteenth century
1
Court and city opera
31
the Teatro Capranica in Rome 17111724
33
The Neapolitans in Venice
61
The crisis of Baroque opera in Germany
81
Francesco Corsellis drammi per musica for Madrid
97
Tragedie into dramma per musica
119
Apostolo Zenos Teuzzone and its French models
121
Theory and practice
199
Handels opera and the rules of tragedy
201
musical dramaturgy
220
Sinfonia and drama in opera seria
237
Themes and dreams
253
Scotland and Arcadia
255
Rulers and states in Hasses drammi per musica
273
The Earl of Essex servitore di due padrone
294

dramatic speech and musical image
134
Antonio Salvis Amore e maestd and the funesto fine in opera
165
Amore e maestd the emancipation of an opera libretto
177

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Page 313 - Parallèle des Italiens et des François en ce qui regarde la Musique et les Opéra , qui occasionna une guerre littéraire.

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About the author (1997)

Reinhard Strohm is the Heather Professor of Music at the University of Oxford.

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