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Contents

Music in the Nineteenth Century

THE POPULAR STYLE

Chapter:
CHAPTER 11 Artist, Politician, Farmer (Class of 1813, II)
Source:
MUSIC IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin
The Popular Style

fig. 11-3 Interior view of Teatro alla Scala, Milan, ca. 1830; painting by Ladislaus Rupp.

The most striking effect in the early Verdi operas, and the one most obviously allied to the mood of Risorgimento, was the big choral number sung—crudely or sublimely, according to the ear of the beholder—in unison. As a symbol of solidarity and of concerted action it could be read as political allegory no matter what the actual dramatic context. The prototype was “Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate” (“Go, my thought, on golden wings”), the chorus of Hebrew slaves in the third act of Nabucco (short for Nabucodonosor, “Nebuchadnezzar,” 1842), Verdi's third opera and the one that first made him a national figure (Ex. 11-1). Its text, by Temistocle Solera (1815–78), a poet and occasional composer of herculean physique, already known for his booming verses, paraphrases the famous 137th Psalm (“By the waters of Babylon …”). It was an inspired interpolation, precisely for the sake of tinta, into what was otherwise a love triangle—a prince of Jerusalem vs. two rival princesses of Bablyon—set against a background of biblical warfare.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 11 Artist, Politician, Farmer (Class of 1813, II)." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-011004.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 11 Artist, Politician, Farmer (Class of 1813, II). In Oxford University Press, Music in the Nineteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 20 Aug. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-011004.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 11 Artist, Politician, Farmer (Class of 1813, II)." In Music in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 20 Aug. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-011004.xml
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