Classical Revolution / Révolution classique
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Happy 200th Birthday Giuseppe Verdi!

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(EIRNS)—October 10, 2013, is the two-hundredth anniversary, the duecento, of composer Giuseppe Verdi’s birth. Verdi is not only the most famous Italian composer, but the composer most performed in opera theaters throughout the world. A musical and dramatic genius, a statesman and Senator, Verdi revolutionized opera, maintained the highest standards of classical artistic composition, and fought for the scientific tuning pitch. Well versed in counterpoint and the works of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, he worked with Andrea Maffei, the translator of Schiller into the Italian language, and he participated in the salons of Clara Maffei, where he and other poets, politicians, and the leading intellectuals of the United Italy movement discussed the scientific and political affairs of the day, as well as their translations of the works of Schiller and Shakespeare.

From Friedrich Schiller’s plays, Verdi composed Giovanna d’Arco (Joan of Arc) from Die Jungfrau von Orleans, I Masnadieri (The Robbers) from Die Räuber, Luisa Miller from Kabale und Liebe, Don Carlo from Don Carlos, and scenes from Wallenstein’s Camp in La Forze del Destino. From the revered Shakespeare, whom he called "Father," Verdi composed and reworked Macbeth, Othello, and Falstaff. Verdi always hoped to compose an opera based on King Lear, but he never was able to obtain an adequate libretto.

In 1989, with the unjust frame-up trial and incarceration of Lyndon LaRouche and associates, the international LaRouche movement adopted Verdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, "Va Pensiero" from Nabucco as our anthem, along with the Ode to
(An Die Freude by Beethoven and Schiller), and sang it at events and on deployments, successfully inspiring others to join our battle against the oligarchy. See bicentennial.html and va_pensiero.html

Understanding music as physical science, Verdi insisted on the proper tuning of orchestras, and he fought for and succeeded in promoting national legislation passed in Italy that set the standard for tuning for the La (A) to be no higher than 432 Hz, which corresponds to C=256 Hz. He not only understood the
importance of the color differentiation in different vocal registers, but he adamantly insisted on this lower, proper tuning both to save the voices of the bel-canto singers, and to ensure that the poetic content of the music was properly conveyed. The Schiller Institute reinvigorated this fight in Italy in 1988, when we were able to get a similar bill introduced into the Italian Parliament. eirv15n38-19880923_046 italian_tuning_bill_wins_support.pdf.

This month there are many events, including some freeevents, around the world for his bicentennial, which may present us some good organizing opportunities. [SB]

Nota Bene: There are many Verdi performances available on the Internet: Our own performances from the April 2013 New Paradigm conference can be found at the website. Other useful links for getting an introduction to Verdi include: /verdi_opera_200th_birthday_anniversary/3104/; WQXR Classical Music Channel online!/ and Verdi Requiem Broadcast - Oct. 10 - Chicago Symphony Orchestra oct-10-requiem-webcast/ [Connie Carr]