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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the pursuit of national style in opera as a peculiarly nineteenth-century issue that first emerged among nations at the margins of operatic culture (Germany, Russia) but spread later in the century to the formerly confident operatic cultures of France and even Italy, in attempts to counteract Wagnerism. After a review of recent musicological studies that have examined the issue (with reference to Weber, Glinka, Charpentier, Verdi, and Puccini), the chapter then focuses on one type of practice in particular, the creation of a “national” style through the imitation of intonational and rhythmic patterns in spoken language, with a comparison of Musorgsky’s, Debussy’s, and Janáček’s “dialogue operas.”

Keywords: national style, operatic culture, Musorgsky, Debussy, Janacek, dialogue opera

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