COMPRESSION AND EXPANSION
That was the rhetoric. The reality, of course, was far more complicated and far more interesting. Take compression, to begin with. Fidelity itself demanded it: if Shakespeare was to be followed fully (even, as far as possible, at the level of actual dialogue), he would have to be radically condensed, since musical time moves so much more slowly than that of unmediated speech and action. Room had to be made for music, and that meant stripping away all nonessentials. In the case of Otello, Shakespeare's whole first act was famously treated as a nonessential, simply snipped. But to put it this way is obviously wrongheaded, for what is music if not the greatest “nonessential” of all; and what is supplying it unasked-for if not the most willful dramatic infidelity? Shakespeare's play, after all, had worked perfectly well all by itself for centuries.
- 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 Jun. 2013. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-011008.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 Jun. 2013, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-011008.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 Jun. 2013, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-011008.xml