By Burton D. Fisher
Giordano's ANDREA CHENIER, that includes vital Characters, short tale Synopsis, tale Narrative with track spotlight Examples, and a entire and insightful research and remark.
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Giordano's ANDREA CHENIER, that includes critical Characters, short tale Synopsis, tale Narrative with track spotlight Examples, and a entire and insightful research and remark.
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Extra info for Andrea Chenier (Opera Journeys Mini Guide)
Giordano uses his musical language to provide profound atmospheric contrasts. The first act’s aristocratic ambience contrasts powerfully with Gérard’s music: his emotional explosion of outrage as he addresses the sofa before the ball, a metaphor for horrible servitude; and later in the act, his denunciation of the aristocracy as he leads the peasants in revolt. But after the first act concludes with the Gavotte, the ancien régime has disappeared, and the action of the melodrama transforms to the verismo world, a fast and furious depiction of life during the Reign of Terror that is saturated with brutal human cruelty and injustice.
Maddalena indeed comes to Gérard and confronts him with an appeal to save her beloved Chénier. Gérard, exulting in his triumph, explodes into a Scarpia-like assault on Maddalena. But Maddalena, the intended victim, becomes the victor after Gérard realizes the intensity of her love for Chénier; he is overcome by profound compassion. Gérard’s inner soul transforms from lechery, and he heroically vows to use all of his powers to save Chénier from the guillotine, the man he earlier falsely accused.
Chénier’s exalted nobility evolves from his outspoken criticism of the Revolution, and in particular, the Reign of Terror, an hypocrisy and betrayal of ideals that ultimately led to his execution by the distorted injustice of the very Reign of Terror he condemned. His noble humanistic ideals are earnestly expressed in his first act aria, the “Improviso,” “Un di Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series Page 32 all’azzuro spazio,” the text abounding with poetic metaphors that are dramatized by a combination of sublime lyrical explosions and declamatory harangues, in which the idealistic poet challenges aristocratic hypocrisy and makes a fervent plea for human compassion.