Birdsong in the music of Olivier Messiaen, vol.1, vol.2 [PhD by Kraft D.

By Kraft D.

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Extra resources for Birdsong in the music of Olivier Messiaen, vol.1, vol.2 [PhD Thesis]

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L`a, | | l’orphelin qui mendie Et pleure par les chemins, Tombe, | | en fuyant l’incendie Sur des ossements humains! (Don Carlos, II,2,6) It is undoubtedly significant that none of the stanzas cited in nineteenth-century sources, not even those dealing with opera, is distributed among two or more characters. Does this imply that stanzas must be recited or sung by a single character? ” Even though the following conversation from Les Vˆepres siciliennes centers on a single issue (Henri’s refusal to acknowledge Montfort [the French governor on Sicily] as his father because Henri’s mother, who had been raped by Montfort, raised him to hate the French), the argument (and thus the thought) changes whenever the other character takes over.

This limitation would make it easy to determine the appropriate stanzas were it not for inconsistencies and errors as they appear in the original printed librettos. We thus must first determine the characteristics of a stanza and then suggest a solution for these problems. A comparison of French and Italian verse has shown that the Italians relied on a few determined accentual patterns regardless of syntax, while the French often took into account the syntactic structure and allowed for a wide variety of patterns.

8 6 8 6 (Don Carlos, I,4) Verses of odd syllable count often cannot be combined in these ratios. Instead, librettos may include verses of an odd number of syllables juxtaposed with those of either one syllable more or less. Such inharmonious combinations seem to indicate that a librettist did not intend to create a stanza, but this is by no means a safe conclusion. S´elika’s “Air du Sommeil” from Giacomo Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine, for instance, includes meters of five, six, and eight syllables. Despite the inharmonious ratios, Meyerbeer and his librettist Scribe clearly conceived this passage as a stanza: it demonstrates unity on the levels of verse and stanza, a complete rhyme scheme, and a restriction to no more than three meters.

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