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Berlioz on MusicSelected Criticism 1824-1837$
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Katherine Kolb

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Gabussi’s Ernani at the Théâtre-Italien

Gabussi’s Ernani at the Théâtre-Italien

(p.109) 19 Gabussi’s Ernani at the Théâtre-Italien
Berlioz on Music

Katherine Kolb

Oxford University Press

Although no fan of the Théâtre-Italien, Berlioz cannot resist going to see an opera on the subject of Hugo’s drama of 1830, object of the famous Battle of Hernani. Likewise, this anthology cannot resist including his response, even though it means leaving out the article’s second part, a long, forgettable plot summary of an opera by Rifaut. Berlioz imagines the excitement that the composer must have felt at the idea of treating the drama’s consuming passions and of reviving the controversies of 1830. But alas, he reports, the audience seemed to have nothing to say about the work, let alone anything fiery—perhaps, he suggests, because the opera is no more Ernani than he is pope. Berlioz accords due admiration to the theater’s famous singers—Rubini, Tamburini, Grisi—and to the orchestra, whose excellent players he considers wasted in an ensemble too small to be effective.

Keywords:   Gabussi Ernani, Hugo, Battle of Hernani, Théâtre-Italien, bel canto singing, Rubini, Tamburini, Grisi, small orchestras, operatic adaptation of a play

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