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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.42) (p.43) 3 Ernani
The Operas of Giuseppe Verdi

Abramo Basevi

University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes Verdi's Ernani, first performed in Venice in March 1844. The libretto by Piave was taken from play by Hugo, Hernani. At certain major points in this opera, Verdi deliberately used rhythms whose musical accent is not in its natural place within the measure. To some degree, this makes a melody resemble German music. The melodies of the opera are also composed for the most part of ascending patterns of notes, signaling a vigor that Verdi certainly possessed.

Keywords:   Verdi, opera, Italian composers, German music, melody, Piave, libretto, Hugo, Hernani

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