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Subject: Re: when is an aria not an aria? - was extra long musical introductions
From: Wendell Eatherly <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Wendell Eatherly <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Feb 2018 06:42:35 -0500

text/plain (47 lines)

On Fri, 2 Feb 2018 23:57:21 -0500, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Jon's excellent post made most of the points I was going to make, but his
mention of baroque opera brings to mind "V'adore, pupille", where Cesare
interjects a line before the repeat of the first section of Cleopatra's ARIA.

To Jon's question about Baroque purists would object to calling something
that didn't have the ABA form an aria, I'd guess they wouldn't. Handel
didn't always observe the ABA form. Examples include Rodelinda's first aria
and one of Handel's most famous arias, Serse's "Ombra mai fu". Side-note:
checking the score, I see the tempo marking is "Larghetto", so why do they
call it the Largo from Serse?

>Let's not get ridiculous. All of the aforementioned examples are arias, by
form and by 
>their overwhelming nature as solo pieces. It is crazy and a disservice to
say that a mere 
>interjection of "si" renders an other wise long, vocally showy solo piece
NOT an aria. 
>Especially when it's always referred to, by singers, conductors, and
audiences alike, as an 
>In the case of "Ah fors' e lui" - the (possibly original) Ricordi score
says "scena ed aria." 
>Scena, naturally, would refer to the orchestrally-accompanied recit - and
then the rest is 
>an aria, regardless of Alfredo's singing. 
>In the Baroque era, "aria" was essentially defined by its A-B-A (da capo)
form. When the 
>cavatina/cabaletta form started appearing after that, were Baroque purists
refusing to call 
>such a construct an aria? (Legit question to which I don't know the answer.) 

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