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Subject: Re: Offstage instruments
From: daaaac <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:daaaac <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 12 Sep 2017 23:36:11 -0400
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In act 2 of Tosca, Scarpia opens the window and hears music being played.  There’s the offstage piano in Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” (how fitting).

Can one say Papageno's pan flute in Zauberflöte?

Donald

> On Sep 12, 2017, at 11:09 PM, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I think it’s much more common to hear offstage voices or chorus in opera,
> either a cappella or accompanied by an instrument, rather than having
> offstage instrumental music only. But there are instances of that as well.
> 
> A few examples of strictly instrumental music played offstage from Verdi.
> There is the offstage dance music in the final act of UN BALLO IN MASCHERA,
> I believe more than once. In Act 1 of TRAVIATA, we hear the band playing
> waltz music in one of the back rooms at Violetta’s party. Verdi also used
> offstage band to play dance music in the opening scene in RIGOLETTO while
> the Duke is partying with the courtiers, telling them about a young woman
> he saw in the church, and so on. I’m sure there are more instances in Verdi
> but these are the first ones that I recalled off the top of my head.
> 
> There is the offstage band playing interchangeably with the orchestra in
> the opening scene of LA SONNAMBULA while the villagers chorus can also be
> heard in the background.
> 
> In FIDELIO, Beethoven used the offstage trumpets to announce the governor’s
> arrival in the final scene. Having the four characters suspend their talk
> to listen to the sound of trumpets achieves an effective dramatic effect
> that the rescue and freedom are finally in sight.
> 
> IN CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA there are instrumental accompaniments on harp and
> organ, both played backstage. After the orchestral prelude, the opera opens
> with the voice of Turridu singing his ‘Siciliana’ accompanied by offstage
> harp. Later on, ‘Regina coeli’ starts with the chorus singing it a cappella
> offstage and the orchestra joins in once the choral procession enters the
> stage. At some point during this Easter scene, we then hear organ in the
> background. Quite beautiful.
> 
> These are just some for a start. Good luck with the project.
> 
> Vesna
> 
> On Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 4:49 PM, Hansen, Niels Christian <[log in to unmask]
>> wrote:
> 
>> Dear collective wisdom (with apologies for cross-posting),
>> 
>> For a research project at Ohio State University, School of Music, we are
>> currently assembling a database of musical pieces in which composers call
>> for one or more instruments to be played "offstage".
>> 
>> Classic examples from the Western symphonic repertoire include: (1) the
>> offstage trumpet in Ludwig van Beethoven's Leonore Overtures Nos. 2 & 3,
>> (2) the offstage oboe in the third movement ("Scène aux champs") from
>> Hector Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique, and (3) the offstage female choir in
>> "Neptune" from Gustav Holst's The Planets.
>> 
>> We would be very grateful for your kind help in drawing our attention to
>> as many other examples as possible that you may be aware of!
>> 
>> Thanks in advance,
>> Niels Chr. Hansen & David Huron
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Niels Chr. Hansen (PhD, MSc, MMus) | Postdoctoral Fellow in Music
>> Cognition | Cognitive and Systematic Musicology Laboratory<
>> http://musiccog.ohio-state.edu> | School of Music<https://music.osu.edu/>
>> | Ohio State University<https://www.osu.edu/> | [log in to unmask]<mailto:
>> [log in to unmask]>
>> 
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