Festschrift für Ernst Lichtenhahn zum 80. Geburtstag – Festschrift for Ernst Lichtenhahn’s 80th Birthday
Without any exaggeration one can call Ernst Lichtenhahn a doyen of Swiss music research. As one of the few musicologists in the German-speaking sphere he has succeeded in merging different linguistic-cultural and disciplinary research traditions. In his manner of scientific understanding, historical and systematic musicology, ethnomusicology and music practice are methodologically and topically related closely to each other, entirely consistent with the holistic concept of music research as developed by Guido Adler. With the title «Communicating Music», this Festschrift for Ernst Lichtenhahn’s 80 birthday attempts to take up and to further develop the diversity of scientific issues as emerged through such an understanding. It collects papers that come from a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives to deal with issues about the discursive nature of music, about mediation and transformation processes of music as well as about the discourse on music itself.
Verdi’s Gustavo III and the Critical Edition
Summary: Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera has a troubled and complex history. When Verdi submitted the libretto (then titled Gustavo III and set in Stockholm) to the censors in Naples, they rejected it twice. Verdi, willing to compromise after the first rejection (Una vendetta in dominò, set in Stettin) but not after the second one (Adelia degli Adimari, set in Florence), withdrew the opera and offered it – once again as Gustavo III and set in Stockholm – to Rome. But Rome, too, required a change of locale; under the title Un ballo in maschera, the opera was eventually set in Boston.Due to its significant dramatic advantages, stage directors increasingly prefer the Swedish setting to the American one. Several solutions for such a version have been conceived, but none is at the same time dramatically convincing, fully compatible with the music of Un ballo in maschera, and thus readily usable as an alternative reading in a critical edition. This article proposes ways in which a hardly known existing version – one that largely draws on the Rome libretto of Gustavo III and the final version of the score – can be modified by using the Rome libretto of Gustavo III more consistently and by improving the prosody. The proposed version not only offers a practical and dramatically powerful reading compatible with the music of Un ballo in maschera, it also uncovers a fairly egregious textual mistake in the existing editions of the opera.
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