What is the course about?
Verdi had already written some sacred music, including parts of a Mass in memory of Rossini, but this was never performed. The poet and novelist (and humanist) Alessandro Manzoni died in 1873, and Verdi was determined to complete a Requiem for him, including parts written by him of the one for Rossini. With opera singers as soloists and a large orchestra, the Mass was successful in its day and has lasted until our own times. We will examine individual sections in some detail and look at the overall effect of this music, on religious and non-religious audiences alike.
What will we cover?
- Brief background to Verdi’s style and the creation of the work
- Some general principles of the music and how it fits the text
- Some musical highlights.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify the various studied sections of the work
- Understand the circumstances of its composition
- Appreciate and discuss some of the sections in the context of their times, and today.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Some knowledge of opera is useful but not essential. No technical knowledge of music is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught using a range of techniques including short lectures, slide shows and discussions, practical demonstrations on the piano and guided listening sessions. Courses use a variety of materials including YouTube clips. Links to these are given on handouts so that further exploration may take place between classes if you wish.
Occasional short preparation tasks, such as listening to a piece or reading a review, may be set from time to time. Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and, once enrolled, further online resources will be available via Google Classroom.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a notebook and pen.
You may wish to buy some of the music, books or DVDs recommended in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers a wide range of music history classes, as well as related courses in history, art history and philosophy.
Pauline will be teaching another short course: MD642C Great musicians: Noël Coward, at the end of this term.