This was not due to a lack in confidence as a composer: 1926, his sabbatical year from operas, saw the composition of two of his greatest and most substantial nonoperatic
works: the Sinfonietta for orchestra and the Glagolitic Mass.
It worked, charmingly but a little unexpectedly: it was the nonoperatic
Geminiani that provided the more appealing music and the more delicious theatre.
Occasionally, inserted arias were drawn from nonoperatic
The editor's excellent Preface addresses the need for classical singers to be at home with music theater, gives notes on the compilation itself, on common pitfalls for classical singers singing theater music, on choosing a song, on the necessity for nonoperatic
, standard American diction, and on the benefits that singing music that demands direct emotional and character expression might have on the singer's operatic expression.
I want to revisit this earlier incarnation to explore the capabilities of nonoperatic
drama to meet the particular challenges posed by James's tale.
In comparison, most of the nonoperatic
works were written very quickly and easily and leave less trace in the correspondence.
has yet to play host to a nonoperatic
production from China.
Even in nonoperatic
orchestral works the inclusion of the harp was extremely rare before the Revolution, and few works use harp as the sole accompaniment for an aria.
The last notable nonoperatic
La Dame aux camelias to appear on a New York stage was probably Charles Ludlam's, and that underlines the difficulty.
After the briefest of editorial prefaces and a useful chronology, the volume is arranged in two large sections: the first with essays on "contexts and concepts" (twentieth-century aesthetics, English "traditions," early music, politics, sexuality, the creative process), and the second with essays focused on particular "works and genres" (King Priam and related works, symphony, concerto, piano sonatas, string quartets, opera, nonoperatic
Music theater singers like Ethyl Merman were searching for a nonoperatic
(more speech-like) voice quality that would fill a large house without amplification.
There is no doubt some truth to these assertions, but she fails to mention, or perhaps even realize, that in embracing those elements that emphasize the unreality of the stage, Brecht had several nonoperatic
theatrical traditions to draw upon, not least of which being the medieval morality play, the highly stylized and codified conventions of Baroque theater, and the political cabaret of his own time.