German Opera Since Wagner

—Among those opera composers who are not direct imitators of Wagner, Carl Goldmark ( eszthely;, Hungary, 1830) is the most noted. Son of a ca tor in a synagogue, he showed decided musical taste while still a child, and at twelve played the violin in public. After a few conservatory lessons at Vienna, he was […]

Symphonic Poem In Germany

Wagner’s Influence.—The genius of Wagner produced and applied to Opera a far richer and more complicated orchestration than had existed before his day. Since then, in many periods and in many countries, composers have tried to adopt his style, and apply it to the symphonic as well as to the operatic stage. In the field […]

The Art-song – Oratorio After Mendelssohn

—A most simple phase of musical activity is that center around song for solo voice. In the period before the opera singing was the principal medium for vocal music the Opera came a style of composition from which developed the principle of the Aria, the latter dominate Opera and Oratorio for many years, as the […]

Romantic Opera – Weber, Spohr, Marschner

—The revolutionary spirit which arose in Europe toward the end of the 18th century had its counterpart in a similar intellectual and artistic reaction, commonly known as the Romantic Movement. In Literature, this movement was led by France; in Music, by Germany. Briefly described, it consisted in casting aside the classical traditions which the Renaissance […]

Orchestra And Absolute Music

—The most perfect means for expression in music is presented by the orchestra, which, in its complete form as shown today, is the result of a long development in many directions. To give us this magnificent mass-instrument required a sifting of the various instruments and the choice of those that offered the best possibilities, a […]

Opera In Germany – Handel And Gluck

—The introduction of the opera into Germany dates from 1627. In that year a German translation of Rinuccini’s Dafne, which, it will be remembered, was the text of Peri’s first opera, was set to music by Heinrich Schuetz (1585-1672) and performed on the occasion of the wedding of the Landgraf of Hesse. Schütz, who also […]

Opera In France And England

The fame of Italian opera soon spread to other countries. Princes and kings, eager to hear the new style of music, held out golden inducements to Italian composers and singers to come to their courts ; it was generally thought that none but an Italian could compose an opera or sing an aria. The consequence […]

Oratorio And Development Of The Opera

—The novelty of the new style, which was called the stilo rappresentativo (representative style), the vigor and freedom it gave to an impressive delivery of the text, aroused universal attention. Among the composers who essayed it was Emilio del Cavaliere (1550-1599). By applying it to a sacred subject, he originated the Oratorio. Roman by birth, […]

Opera (continued)

One of the most disputed questions in modem music is that of opera. Although we have many controversies as to what purely instrumental or vocal music may do, the operatic art, if we may call it so, always remains the same. In creating the music drama, Wagner put forth a composite art, something which many […]


No art form is so fleeting and so subject to the dictates of fashion as opera. lt has always been the plaything of fashion, and suffers from its changes. Today the stilted figures of Hasse, Pergolesi, Rameau, and even Gluck, seem as grotesque to us as the wigs and buckles of their contemporaries. To Palestrina’s […]