Download A Night at the Opera: An Irreverent Guide to The Plots, The by Denis Forman PDF

By Denis Forman

This a bit of irreverent advisor to opera summarizes the plots of 17 of the world's nice operas, together with Aida, los angeles Boheme, and Carmen, and describes their characters, artists, and composers.

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Additional info for A Night at the Opera: An Irreverent Guide to The Plots, The Singers, The Composers, The Recordings

Sample text

There is a crescendo, but it subsides and the basses are left with a pianissimo, in the rhythm of the ostinato, on the note B. This becomes a major third as Ex. 3 tries to enter in G major ; it stops after four bars, again leaving the basses with their B, which now rises a semitone. The C behaves like a major third, and Ex. 3 starts again in A flat. Its rocking accompaniment climbs lazily, and the tune has another easy-going try, now in D flat. Three attcmpts-G major, A flat, and D flat-and the first one in G makes sure that the A flat and D flat are Neapolitan inflexions of dominant and tonic.

7 (a) are beginning to sound vaguely familiar, and the entry of the first theme of all {Ex. 1), by now almost forgotten, is confirmation that Ex. 7 {a)-and in retrospect Ex. s (a)­ is really Ex. 1 (c). At this point F sharp minor contradicts the expected G major and by doing so makes a dramatic point of the whole incident. This is subtlety, both thematic and tonal, of an order that should make all but the most obtuse of Bruckner's detractors think twice about condescending to him. The subtlety is consummated by the fact that the appoggiatura Ex.

This skill gave rise to a good many of his finest pieces, not all of them official slow movements. The outline is simple, the mood serene, and the main theme is worked into three great paragraphs, each rising higher, separated by another theme used as a link between them. The key is A flat, and it is never seriously dis­ turbed. The calm main theme opens beautifully in five-part harmony : SYMPHONY N O . 2 , I N C MINOR 53 £'1C, 6 i:'clcrlich, ct� bc�I; � - � ----- f" f This first statement brings about no climax.

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