Verismo in Italian Art Song: A Comparative Analysis of Veristic Literature, Opera and Art Song
Brooke, William Seth
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Verismo in Italian art song is examined through the application of seven primary characteristics, which are identified as the defining tenets of verismo in Italian literature and opera. These seven characteristics are: reaction against romanticism, character choice, linguistics, silent author, dramatic structure, milieu and violent extremes. These core elements of verismo are initially extracted from the veristic works of Giovanni Verga, as influenced by Émile Zola and French naturalism. Then they are applied to the operas of the veristi, including Giacomo Puccini, Ruggiero Leoncavallo, Pietro Mascagni and Umberto Giordano. Finally, having established their relevance to the classification of verismo in opera, they are likewise applied to the art songs of the veristi. In addition to surveying many art songs composed by the veristi from 1875 – 1920, this application identifies two works of pure verismo composition: 6 Liriche by Giordano and Imploration éperdue by Leoncavallo.
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