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The Operas of Giuseppe Verdi$
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Abramo Basevi and Stefano Castelvecchi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226094915

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226095073.001.0001

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(p.11) 1 Nabucodonosor
The Operas of Giuseppe Verdi

Abramo Basevi

University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes Verdi's Nabucodonosor, first performed in March 1842 at Milan's Teatro alla Scala. It presents a summary of the libretto by Solera and examines in order the pieces that make up Nabucodonosor. The opera shows that Verdi was keeping very close to Rossini: indeed, in its majesty the music appears to be a reaction against the style of Donizetti. Verdi's attempt to approach Bellinian pathos was foiled by the very nature of his melodies. Like those of Rossini, Verdi's melodies are basically consonant, whereas Bellini's are rather dissonant, dominated by passing notes, suspensions, appoggiaturas, sevenths, tritones, and so forth. Verdi's melodies flow from a rich stream, and provide good testimony to the luminous talents of this composer.

Keywords:   Verdi, opera, Italian composers, Solera, libretto, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti

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