Opera Libretti of the Eighteenth Century: Essays on the Libretto as Enlightenment Text (Hardback)
  • Opera Libretti of the Eighteenth Century: Essays on the Libretto as Enlightenment Text (Hardback)
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Opera Libretti of the Eighteenth Century: Essays on the Libretto as Enlightenment Text (Hardback)

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Hardback 241 Pages / Published: 01/01/2015
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The etymology of libretto, traced from the Italian libretti, portends its trans- formation as text during the Enlightenment, defining and differentiating Italian from French cultural ideals. Culminating in a reformulation of opera, numerous debates by the philosophes over the nature of the libretto, com- prising the feasibility of French as a language for opera and the possibility of a unified text comprised of word and tone, cause the emergence of the restyled libretto as Enlightenment text. Reflecting Enlightenment concerns with nature and the role played by music as a language of anthropological origin, elucidated in theoretical works by Diderot, Rousseau, d'Alembert, and others, these debates were concurrent with important musicological developments such as the rise of the modern symphony, and the genesis of the sonata form. As a result, they engendered a musical critique resulting in new theories for then-common musical terms such as recitative, expression, while proposing a theory of musical mimesis. During the period surrounding the Revolution, the readership of restyled libretti, aided by the proliferation of pamphlet literature, reified through opera a new readership and cultural consciousness.

Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press
ISBN: 9781495503009
Number of pages: 241

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