A Second Book of Operas

A Second Book of Operas

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Project Gutenberg's A Second Book of Operas, by Henry Edward Krehbiel This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: A Second Book of Operas Author: Henry Edward Krehbiel Posting Date: May 15, 2009 [EBook #3770] Release Date: February, 2003 First Posted: August 28, 2001 Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A SECOND BOOK OF OPERAS *** Produced by Charles Franks, Robert Rowe and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. HTML version by Al Haines. A SECOND BOOK OF OPERAS by Henry Edward Krehbiel CONTENTS AND INDEX CHAPTER I BIBLICAL OPERAS England and the Lord Chamberlain's censorship, et Gounod's "Reine de Saba," The transmigrations of "Un Ballo in Maschera," How composers revamp their music, et seq, —Handel and Keiser, Mozart and Bertati, Beethoven's readaptations of his own works, Rossini and his "Barber of Seville," Verdi's "Nebuchadnezzar," Rossini's "Moses," "Samson et Dalila," Goldmark's "Konigin von Saba," The Biblical operas of Rubinstein, Mehul's "Joseph," Mendelssohn's "Elijah" in dramatic form, Oratorios and Lenten operas in Italy, Carissimi and Peri, Scarlatti's oratorios, Scenery and costumes in oratorios, The passage of the Red Sea and "Dal tuo stellato," Nerves wrecked by beautiful music, "Peter the Hermit" and refractory mimic troops, "Mi manca la voce" and operatic amenities, Operatic prayers and ballets, Goethe's criticism of Rossini's "Mose," CHAPTER II BIBLE STORIES IN OPERA AND ORATORIO Dr. Chrysander's theory of the undramatic nature of the Hebrew, his literature, and his life, Hebrew history and Greek mythology, Some parallels, Old Testament subjects: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, The "Kain" of Bulthaupt and d'Albert, "Tote Augen," Noah and the Deluge, Abraham, The Exodus, Mehal's "Joseph," Potiphar's wife and Richard Strauss, Raimondi's contrapuntal trilogy, Nebuchadnezzar, Judas Maccabaeus, Jephtha and his Daughter, Judith, Esther, Athalia, CHAPTER III RUBINSTEIN AND HIS "GEISTLICHE OPER" Anton Rubinstein and his ideals, An ambition to emulate Wagner, "The Tower of Babel," The composer's theories and strivings, et seq.—Dean Stanley, "Die Makkabaer," "Sulamith," "Christus," "Das verlorene Paradies," "Moses," Action and stage directions, New Testament stories in opera, The Prodigal Son, Legendary material and the story of the Nativity, Christ dramas, Hebbel and Wagner, "Parsifal," CHAPTER IV "SAMSON ET DALILA" The predecessors of M. Saint-Saens, Voltaire and Rameau, Duprez and Joachim Raff, History of Saint-Saens's opera, et seq.—Henri Regnault, First performances, As oratorio and opera in New York, An inquiry into the story of Samson, Samson and Herakles, The Hebrew hero in legend, A true type for tragedy, Mythological interpretations, Saint-Saens's opera described, et seq.—A choral prologue, Local color, The character of Dalila, et seq.—Milton on her wifehood and patriotism, "Printemps qui commence," "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix," Oriental ballet music, The catastrophe, CHAPTER V "DIE KONIGIN VON SABA" Meritoriousness of the book of Goldmark's opera, Its slight connection with Biblical story, Contents of the drama et seq.—Parallelism with Wagner's "Tannhauser," First performance in New York, Oriental luxury in scenic outfit, Goldmark's music, CHAPTER VI "HERODIADE" Modern opera and ancient courtesans, Transformed morals in Massenet's opera, A sea-change in England, Who and what was Salome? Plot of the opera, Scenic and musical adornments, Performances in New York, (footnote). CHAPTER VII "LAKME" Story of the opera, et seq.—The "Bell Song," Some unnecessary English ladies, First performance in New York, American history of the opera, Madame Patti, Miss Van Zandt Madame Sembrich Madame Tetrazzini, Criticism of the drama, The music, CHAPTER VIII "PAGLIACCI" The twin operas, "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci," Widespread influence of Mascagni's opera, It inspires an ambition in Leoncavallo, History of his opera, A tragic ending taken from real life, et seq.—Controversy between Leoncavallo and Catulle Mendes, et seq.—"La Femme de Tabarin," "Tabarin" operas, The "Drama Nuevo" of Estebanez and Mr. Howells's "Yorick's Love," What is a Pagliaccio? First performances of the opera in Milan and New York, The prologue, et seq.—The opera described, et seq.—Bagpipes and vesper bells, Harlequin's serenade, The Minuet, The Gavotte, "Plaudite, amici, la commedia finita est!" Philip Hale on who should speak the final words, CHAPTER IX "CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA" How Mascagni's opera impressed the author when it was new, Attic tragedy and Attic decorum, The loathsome operatic brood which it spawned, Not matched by the composer or his imitators since, Mascagni's account of how it came to be written, et seq.—Verga's story, et seq.—Story and libretto compared, The Siciliano, The Easter hymn, Analysis of the opera, et seq.—The prelude, Lola's stornello, The intermezzo, "They have killed Neighbor Turiddu!" CHAPTER X THE CAREER OF MASCAGNI Influence of "Cavalleria Rusticana" on operatic composition, "Santuzza," a German sequel, Cilea's "Tilda," Giordano's "Mala Vita," Tasca's "A Santa Lucia," Mascagni's history, et seq. —Composes Schiller's "Hymn to Joy," "Il Filanda," "Ratcliff," "L'Amico Fritz," "I Rantzau," "Silvano," "Zanetto," "Le Maschere," "Vistillia," "Arnica," Mascagni's American visit, CHAPTER XI "IRIS" The song of the sun, Allegory and drama, Story of the opera, et seq.—The music, et seq. —Turbid orchestration, Local color, Borrowings from Meyerbeer, CHAPTER XII "MADAMA BUTTERFLY" The opera's ancestry, Loti's "Madame Chrysantheme," John Luther Long's story, David Belasco's play, How the failure of "Naughty Anthony" suggested "Madame Butterfly," William Furst and his music, Success of Mr. Belasco's play in New York, The success repeated in London, Brought to the attention of Signor Puccini, Ricordi and Co. and their librettists, "Madama Butterfly" fails in Milan, The first casts in Milan, Brescia, and New York, (footnote) Incidents of the fiasco, Rossini and Puccini, The opera revised, Interruption of the vigil, Story of the opera, et seq.—The hiring of wives in Japan, Experiences of Pierre Loti, Geishas and mousmes, A changed denouement, Messager's opera, "Madame Chrysantheme," The end of Loti's romance, Japanese melodies in the score, Puccini's method and Wagner's, "The Star-Spangled Banner," A tune from "The Mikado," Some of the themes of Puccini and William Furst, CHAPTER XIII "DER ROSENKAVALIER" The opera's predecessors, "Guntram," "Feuersnot," "Salome," Oscar Wilde makes a mistaken appeal to France, His necrophilism welcomed by Richard Strauss and Berlin, Conried's efforts to produce "Salome" at the Metropolitan Opera Blouse suppressed, Hammerstein produces the work, "Elektra," Hugo von Hoffmannsthal and Beaumarchais, Strauss and Mozart, Mozart's themes and Strauss's waltzes, Dancing in Vienna at the time of Maria Theresa, First performance of the opera at New York, "Der Rosenkavalier" and "Le Nozze di Figaro," Criticism of the play and its music, et seq.—Use of a melodic phrase from "Die Zauberflote," The language of the libretto, The music, Cast of the first American performance, (footnote) CHAPTER XIV "KONIGSKINDER" Story of the play, et seq.—First production of Hummerdinck's opera and cast, Earlier performance of the work as a melodrama, Author and composer, Opera and melodrama in Germany, Wagnerian symbolism and music, "Die Meistersinger" recalled, Hero and Leander, Humperdinck's music, CHAPTER XV "BORIS GODOUNOFF" First performance of Moussorgsky's opera in