Dramatic Expression in Rameau's Tragédie en Musique: Between Tradition and Enlightenment
Cynthia Verba's book explores the story of music's role in the French Enlightenment, focusing on dramatic expression in the musical tragedies of the composer-theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau. She reveals how his music achieves its highly moving effects through an interplay between rational design, especially tonal design, and the portrayal of feeling and how this results in a more nuanced portrayal of the heroine. Offering a new approach to understanding Rameau's role in the Enlightenment, Verba illuminates important aspects of the theory-practice relationship and shows how his music embraced Enlightenment values. At the heart of the study are three scene types that occur in all of Rameau's tragedies: confession of forbidden love, intense conflict and conflict resolution. In tracing changes in Rameau's treatment of these, Verba finds that while he maintained an allegiance to the traditional French operatic model, he constantly adapted it to accommodate his more enlightened views on musical expression.
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Rameau versus Rousseau on musical expression 12
In theory and
Rameaus ﬁrst tragedy Hippolyte etAricie
Intense conﬂict 64
Conﬂict resolution 84
Comparative overview of Rameaus tragedies ﬁrst
Castor etPollux premiere 1737 117
Les Boréades 157
Other editions - View all
Abaris Abramane Abramane’s accompanied recitative Alphise Alphise’s Amélite Anténor Aricie’s articulation B.C. Example Basse Continue Boréades Borée Borée’s Borilée Bouissou C’est Calisis capo aria Castor Castor et Pollux celebration chorus chromatic close conﬁrms conﬂict cont conveyed D major Da capo aria Dardanus dialogue scenes Dieux divertissement scene dominant dramatic scenes Eb major emotions Erinice evil feelings ﬁgures ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬂat keys ﬂat region forbidden love French lyrics English G major G minor gender gods harmonic heroine Hippolyte et Aricie Iphise jours key of G l’amour Les Boréades love scene lovers lyrics English lyrics monologue aria musical setting Neptune noted opening opera orchestral Phébé Phedre Phedre’s Pollux prelude Rameau’s Rameau’s tragedies Recitative dialogue reﬂected resolution role sacriﬁce scene of conﬂict sharp region shift signiﬁcant simple recitative singing structure Téla'i're Teucer Thésée tonal tonal anchoring tonic tragédie en musique vengeance Violons Vlns vocal Zoroastre Zoroastre’s