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Verdi’s Middle Period

Source Studies, Analysis, and Performance Practice

During the middle phase of his career, 1849-59, Verdi adopted new compositional procedures to create some of his best-loved and most-performed works. Focusing on the operas he composed during this period, this volume explores Verdi’s work from three interlinked perspectives: studies of the original source material, cross-disciplinary analyses of musical and textual issues, and the relationship of performance practice to Verdi’s musical and dramatic conception.

In addition to offering new insights into such staples as Il trovatore, La traviata, and Un ballo in maschera, Verdi’s Middle Period also highlights works which have only recently begun to re-enter public consciousness, such as Stiffelio, as well as lesser-known works such as Luisa Miller and Les Vêpres siciliennes. Comprising major essays by some of the best-known Verdians of our day, as well as articles from up-and-coming scholars, this volume has much to offer readers ranging from musicologists to serious opera buffs.

Contributors are Martin Chusid, Markus Engelhardt, Linda B. Fairtile, Philip Gossett, Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell, Elizabeth Hudson, James Hepokoski, Roberta Montemorra Marvin, Carlo Matteo Mossa, Roger Parker, Harold S. Powers, David Rosen, and Mary Ann Smart.

444 pages | 9 halftones, 58 musical examples, 19 tables | 6-5/8 x 9-3/8 | © 1997

Music: General Music

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Toward an Understanding of Verdi’s Middle Period
Martin Chusid
1: New Sources for Stiffelio: A Preliminary Report
Philip Gossett
2: Compositional Techniques in Stiffelio: Reading the Autograph Sources
Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell
3: "A Monk and At Least Some New Things": Verdi, Cammarano, and L’assedio di Firenze
Carlo Matteo Mossa
4: "Insolite forme," or Basevi’s Garden Path
Roger Parker
5: Ottocento Opera as Cultural Drama: Generic Mixtures in Il trovatore
James Hepokoski
6: "Something’s Been Done to Make Room for Choruses": Choral Conception and Choral Construction in Luisa Miller
Markus Engelhardt
7: A New Source for El trovador and Its Implications for the Tonal Organization of Il trovatore
Martin Chusid
8: "Proud, Indomitable, Irascible": Allegories of Nation in Attila and Les Vepres siciliennes
Mary Ann Smart
9: Masking Music: A Reconsideration of Light and Shade in Un ballo in maschera
Elizabeth Hudson
10: "La dama velata": Act II of Un ballo in maschera
Harold Powers
11: Meter, Character, and Tinta in Verdi’s Operas
David Rosen
12: Aspects of Tempo in Verdi’s Early and Middle-Period Italian Operas
Roberta Montemorra Marvin
13: The Violin Director and Verdi’s Middle-Period Operas
Linda B. Fairtile
List of Contributors

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