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Two into Three Won't Go? Poetic Structure and Musical Forms in Mozart's Idomeneo

Abstract
Abstract

By the last quarter of the eighteenth century, the typical Metastasian two-stanza aria text could be set to music in one of two ways: in the ternary form typical of the earlier da capo aria (stanzas 1–2–1) or in a binary one (stanzas 1–2–1–2). Why did Mozart choose one form over the other in Idomeneo (1781); what does this tell us about the role of his librettist, Giovanni Battista Varesco, both before and after the composer left Salzburg for Munich to finish composing the opera and to prepare its performance; and how might these issues enable some rational inquiry into questions of music and drama?

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Sadie, ‘The Genesis of an operone’, in W. A. Mozart: ‘Idomeneo’, ed. Julian Rushton, Cambridge Opera Handbooks (Cambridge, 1993), 2547

Emily Anderson, ed., The Letters of Mozart and His Family, 3rd edn (London, 1985)

James Webster, ‘Aria as Drama’, in The Cambridge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Opera, ed. Anthony R. DelDonna and Pierpaolo Polzonetti (Cambridge, 2009), 2449

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Cambridge Opera Journal
  • ISSN: 0954-5867
  • EISSN: 1474-0621
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-opera-journal
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