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The Opera A Sketch of the Development of Opera. With full Descriptions of all Works in the Modern Repertory.   By: (1866-1919)

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THE OPERA

A Sketch of the Development of Opera. With full Descriptions of all Works in the Modern Repertory.

BY R.A. STREATFEILD

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY J.A. FULLER MAITLAND

THIRD EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED

LONDON

GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS, LIMITED

PHILADELPHIA: J.B. LIPPINCOTT CO.

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

INTRODUCTION vii

I. THE BEGINNINGS OF OPERA 1

PERI MONTEVERDE CAVALLI CESTI CAMBERT LULLI PURCELL KEISER SCARLATTI HANDEL

II. THE REFORMS OF GLUCK 19

III. OPERA BUFFA, OPERA COMIQUE, AND SINGSPIEL 40

PERGOLESI ROUSSEAU MONSIGNY GRÉTRY CIMAROSA HILLER

IV. MOZART 52

V. THE CLOSE OF THE CLASSICAL PERIOD 74

MÉHUL CHERUBINI SPONTINI BEETHOVEN BOIELDIEU

VI. WEBER AND THE ROMANTIC SCHOOL 87

WEBER SPOHR MARSCHNER KREUTZER LORTZING NICOLAI FLOTOW MENDELSSOHN SCHUBERT SCHUMANN

VII. ROSSINI, DONIZETTI, AND BELLINI 106

VIII. MEYERBEER AND FRENCH OPERA 126

HÉROLD MEYERBEER BERLIOZ HALÉVY AUBER

IX. WAGNER'S EARLY WORKS 151

X. WAGNER'S LATER WORKS 176

XL. MODERN FRANCE 214

GOUNOD THOMAS BIZET SAINT SAËNS REYER MASSENET BRUNEAU CHARPENTIER DEBUSSY

XII. MODERN ITALY 262

VERDI BOITO PONCHIELLI PUCCINI MASCAGNI LEONCAVALLO GIORDANO

XIII. MODERN GERMAN AND SLAVONIC OPERA 302

CORNELIUS GOETZ GOLDMARK HUMPERDINCK STRAUSS SMETANA GLINKA PADEREWSKI

XIV. ENGLISH OPERA 323

BALFE WALLACE BENEDICT GORING THOMAS MACKENZIE STANFORD SULLIVAN SMYTH

INDEX OF OPERAS 351

INDEX OF COMPOSERS 361

INTRODUCTION

If Music be, among the arts, 'Heaven's youngest teemed star', the latest of the art forms she herself has brought forth is unquestionably Opera. Three hundred years does not at first seem a very short time, but it is not long when it covers the whole period of the inception, development, and what certainly looks like the decadence, of an important branch of man's artistic industry. The art of painting has taken at least twice as long to develop; yet the three centuries from Monteverde to Debussy cover as great a distance as that which separates Cimabue from Degas. In operatic history, revolutions, which in other arts have not been accomplished in several generations, have got themselves completed, and indeed almost forgotten, in the course of a few years. Twenty five years ago, for example, Wagner's maturer works were regarded, by the more charitable of those who did not admire them, as intelligible only to the few enthusiasts who had devoted years of study to the unravelling of their mysteries; the world in general looked askance at the 'Wagnerians', as they were called, and professed to consider the shyly confessed admiration of the amateurs as a mere affectation. In that time we have seen the tables turned, and now there is no more certain way for a manager to secure a full house than by announcing one of these very works. An even shorter period covers the latest Italian renaissance of music, the feverish excitement into which the public was thrown by one of its most blatant productions, and the collapse of a set of composers who were at one time hailed as regenerators of their country's art.

But though artistic conditions in opera change quickly and continually, though reputations are made and lost in a few years, and the real reformers of music themselves alter their style and methods so radically that the earlier compositions of a Gluck, a Wagner, or a Verdi present scarcely any point of resemblance to those later masterpieces by which each of these is immortalised, yet the attitude of audiences towards opera in general changes curiously little from century to century; and plenty of modern parallels might be found, in London and elsewhere, to the story which tells of the delay in producing 'Don Giovanni' on account of the extraordinary vogue of Martini's 'Una Cosa Rara', a work which only survives because a certain tune from it is brought into the supper scene in Mozart's opera... Continue reading book >>




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