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Berlioz on MusicSelected Criticism 1824-1837$
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Katherine Kolb

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.001.0001

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On the Score of Hérold’s Zampa

On the Score of Hérold’s Zampa

Chapter:
(p.176) 30 On the Score of Hérold’s Zampa
Source:
Berlioz on Music
Author(s):

Katherine Kolb

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.003.0031

The composer deceased, Berlioz can speak frankly of Hérold’s Zampa, newly revived at the Opéra-Comique, where it was created in 1831. He conveys the flavor of the work, a watered-down Don Giovanni, by quoting from its insipid verse, which contrasts with the vigor both of Mozart’s libretto and of the Molière text familiar to his readers. Yet he warmly praises certain parts of the score. His real target is the Paris coterie—very much alive—of Adam, Auber, and others, whose crowd-pleasing “Parisian music,” as he disdainfully calls it, he finds devoid of any distinctive style. The opening evocation of grandiose open-air concerts in the wilds of Italy, played by the winds, or by an erupting Vesuvius, is vintage Berlioz—a reinvigorating plunge into fantasy and memory before returning to Parisian pettiness and prettiness.

Keywords:   Hérold Zampa, Mozart Don Giovanni, Parisian music, Italian theaters, ancient theaters in Italy, Italian scenery, Weber overtures, vocal vs. instrumental hierarchy

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