Chapter

Higher and Lower

in Divas and Scholars

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780226304823
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226304885 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226304885.003.0010
Higher and Lower

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Only rarely can composer-generated transposition be found in Rossini's operas, but the problem of transposition has broader importance when the operas of Verdi are considered, and it becomes fundamental for those of Bellini and Donizetti. Although most of Verdi's modifications in tonality took place as he composed, Bellini transposed his own music constantly, during rehearsals, after an opera's premiere, or when adapting the music for different singers. Bellini also made a few emendations in the copyist's transposition of the orchestral parts, but his corrections were insufficient. Just as Bellini's most famous single passage in his most enduringly successful opera was written in a different key from the one people are used to hearing, so were the three entire pieces in Donizetti's masterpiece, Lucia di Lammermoor, including both solo numbers sung by Lucia herself and her duet with her brother, Enrico.

Keywords: Bellini; Donizetti; opera; transposition; tonality; copyist; Lucia; Enrico

Chapter.  13502 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Opera

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