Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Budden, Julian. "Verdi and Meyerbeer in Relation to Les vêpres siciliennes." Studi verdiani 1 (1982): 11-20.

Although some scholars claim that in Les vêpres siciliennes Verdi's compositional voice is lost as he engages with Meyerbeer, Verdi's work ultimately suggests inspiration by, rather than surrender to, Meyerbeer. Although Meyerbeer had influenced some of Verdi's operatic works in terms of music-dramatic techniques, Verdi remained at odds with Meyerbeer in terms of approach to structure, as Meyerbeer's strength was not in large-scale development, but in small numbers. With Les vêpres siciliennes, Verdi faced direct comparison to Meyerbeer, as the work was in French and as the libretto was typical of that used by Meyerbeer. In particular, the Sicilienne and the Mélodie from the last act demonstrate Verdi's successful tackling of Meyerbeerian miniatures.

Works: Verdi: Les vêpres siciliennes (11-12, 15-20), Attila (15); Meyerbeer: Les Huguenots (13).

Sources: Meyerbeer: Les Huguenots (11-13, 16), Robert le Diable (15); Martin Luther: Ein Feste Burg (13); Donizetti: Le Duc d'Albe (15-17, 19).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Virginia Whealton

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