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Cold War

Subject: History

The antagonism between the USA and USSR lasting from the late 1940s until the late 1980s, ‘cold’ because it was waged through diplomatic and ideological means rather than force. Britain ...

Amore dei tre re, L’

Amore dei tre re, L’   Quick reference

The Grove Book of Operas (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Music, Opera, Performing arts
Length:
997 words

...The ostinato figures have an essential function. In some cases they have a precise meaning, such as the swift dactylic rhythm associated with barbarity, war and invasion; elsewhere they combine to form groups of suspended sonorities. The orchestration itself strongly underlines the meaning of the words and actions: a good example is provided by the sustained chords of pairs of woodwind linked to the cold courtesy with which Fiora addresses her husband. Donald Grout described the work as ‘without doubt the greatest Italian tragic opera since Verdi's ...

Scarpia

Scarpia   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Opera Characters (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Music, Opera, Performing arts
Length:
684 words

...Second World War, the notionally Napoleonic setting of Tosca seems to me thin and unconvincing by comparison with the one which Rossellini projected in his painfully unwatchable film Rome Open City . The narrative parallels are sufficiently close to allow an almost frictionless transposition and the character of Scarpia undergoes an intriguing metamorphosis, without dishonouring or deforming the words and music which were written for him. He emerges as someone disconcertingly ‘ordinary’, sorting and signing papers, absent‐mindedly sipping cold coffee,...

Tabarro, IL

Tabarro, IL   Quick reference

The Grove Book of Operas (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Music, Opera, Performing arts
Length:
1,488 words

...motion of the Seine theme as Michele returns, and in the course of a long scène à deux permeated by a new warmth, melodic and harmonic, he tries to reawaken his wife's affection for him. He recalls the child, now dead, whose cradle they used to tend, and how when the nights were cold he used to enfold them in his cloak ( tabarro ) – and here a faintly sinister motif is heard. He asks Giorgetta why she now seems never to sleep at night and she replies that the air of the cabin suffocates her; she must go on deck to breathe. For the last time Michele begs her to...

Midsummer Marriage, The

Midsummer Marriage, The   Quick reference

The Grove Book of Operas (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Music, Opera, Performing arts
Length:
2,455 words
Illustration(s):
1

...stage in the journey towards his operatic vision was his war‐time oratorio A Child of our Time ( 1939–41 ), for which, acting on the advice of T. S. Eliot , he wrote his own text. With this achievement as a foundation he embarked on the creation of an operatic scenario, again taking inspiration from Eliot (among many other sources). This began as a vision in his mind's eye: I saw a stage picture … of a wooded hilltop with a temple, where a warm and soft young man was being rebuffed by a cold and hard young woman … to such a degree that the collective,...

Clemenza di Tito, La

Clemenza di Tito, La   Quick reference

The Grove Book of Operas (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Music, Opera, Performing arts
Length:
2,644 words

...The ensemble freezes in the Allegro, Sextus's angular line again dominating while the others comment on his evident terror. Titus reduces Sextus to tears of contrition by addressing him kindly. But Sextus, protecting Vitellia, cannot justify his treachery. Titus dismisses him coldly. Gathering his feelings into a nobly arching melody, Sextus asks Titus to remember their earlier friendship (rondò, ‘Deh, per questo istante solo’). In the Allegro the boundaries of the tonic (A major) are twice burst by cries of despair; its gentler principal melody (‘Tanto...

Frau ohne Schatten, Die

Frau ohne Schatten, Die   Quick reference

The Grove Book of Operas (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Music, Opera, Performing arts
Length:
2,337 words
Illustration(s):
1

...no shadow’, because her immature huntsman‐Emperor does nothing but self‐absorbedly pursue his game. The librettist chose to give them no scene together until Act 3, when the Emperor is already freezing into stone. Understandably, the composer complained that he found this pair cold and uninspiring. The other childless couple were another matter: the librettist had confessed at the start that he was imagining the Dyer's Wife after Strauss's own formidable Pauline, and Strauss could comfortably identify himself with the decent, much‐put‐upon Barak. At almost no...

Peter Grimes

Peter Grimes   Quick reference

The Grove Book of Operas (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Music, Opera, Performing arts
Length:
3,319 words
Illustration(s):
1

...in speech, not song – tells him in as many words to take his own life. This, after Grimes's movingly restrained recapitulation of ‘What harbour shelters peace?’, accompanied only by distant choral reiterations of Grimes's name, may seem a harsh effect, and a harsh judgment: but as cold reality, both are appropriate. The ‘dawn’ music returns, the orchestra heard for the first time since Act 3 scene i, and there are three further stanzas of the choral song that began Act 1; the only remarks of the various subsidiary characters who assemble are that a boat, seen...

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