Notes On. Verdi

By Tanner, Michael | The Spectator, May 21, 2016 | Go to article overview

Notes On. Verdi


Tanner, Michael, The Spectator


Verdi has a peculiar if not unique place in the pantheon of great composers. If you love classical music at all, and certainly if you love opera, then it is almost mandatory to love him. The great and good of the musical world, the kind of people who sit on the boards of opera houses and other cultural institutions, go out of their way to advertise their adoration of Verdi, usually at the expense of the other considerable operatic composer who was born a few months before him in 1813, Wagner. In fact, Verdi's status and stature are often established by comparing the two. Verdi was a decent man from a lowly background who, through hard work, built an oeuvre which, lacking pretensions to any kind of revolutionary methods or goals, nonetheless reveals human nature in its essence (at least according to Isaiah Berlin in a famous essay). Comparisons with Shakespeare are not uncommon -- and given that Verdi set versions of several Shakespeare plays to music, they are inevitable.

And yet you have only to compare Macbeth and Macbeth to see that the play is in a different artistic class to the opera, exciting and sometimes moving as that is. Much the same can be said of Othello and Otello . Falstaff , utterly unlike any of Verdi's other operas, is a far greater piece than The Merry Wives of Windsor , but that play is feeble and Nicolai had already composed a far superior version of it. Verdi's art is almost always simple, which is perhaps one of its major charms. You can have a thoroughly enjoyable evening out watching Rigoletto , and feel no need to reflect on it afterwards or allow it to affect your post-opera supper. There are quite a few books on Verdi -- an insignificant number compared with the libraries Wagner has called forth -- but almost none of them attempts critical interpretation and evaluation, because his operas offer only a straightforward experience. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Notes On. Verdi
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.