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Music, Letters and National Identity: Reading the 1890s' Italian Music Press1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 April 2011

Alexandra Wilson
Affiliation:
Oxford Brookes University

Extract

Much ink was spilled on the subject of music in fin-de-siècle Italy. With the rapid expansion of the bourgeoisie during the last decades of the nineteenth century, opera-going in Italy was at its apogee, and as opera attendance surged so too did the demand for gossip about singers, titbits about the lives of composers and reviews of the latest works. This was a moment at which the booming Italian opera and journalism industries converged, particularly in the large northern cities, to produce an explosion of periodicals devoted to opera, encompassing a range of critical methods. The 1890s, however, also saw the development in Italy of a new branch of criticism devoted to more ‘serious’ types of music, penned by writers explicitly hostile to opera's domination of Italian musical life, who looked to the north as their cultural spiritual home.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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References

2 Valerio Castronovo and Nicola Tranfaglia, La stampa italiana nell'età liberale, Vol. 3, Storia della stampa italiana, ed. Tranfaglia, Castronovo and Fossati, Luciana Giacheri (Rome and Bari: Laterza, 1979): 10Google Scholar.

3 By the turn of the century, Il secolo, the Corriere della sera, and La tribuna each had a circulation of approximately 100,000 copies. See Murialdi, Paolo, Storia del giornalismo italiano: dalle prime gazzette ai telegiornali (Turin: Gutenberg 2000, 1986): 83Google Scholar.

4 Vigo, Giovanni, ‘Gli italiani alla conquista dell'alfabeto’, in Fare gli italiani: scuola e cultura nell'Italia contemporanea, I, La nascita dello Stato nazionale, ed. Soldani, Simonetta and Turi, Gabriele (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1993): 39, 47.Google Scholar

5 On the history of the ‘third page’, see Briganti, Alessandra, Intellettuali e cultura tra ottocento e novecento: nascita e storia della terza pagina (Padua: Liviana, 1972)Google Scholar.

6 For a more detailed account of the general cultural reviews, see Romagnoli, Sergio, ‘Un secolo di stampa periodica in Italia (1815–1915)’, in Fare gli italiani, ed. Soldani, and Turi, , 305–39Google Scholar.

7 For further reading about the GMM during the late nineteenth century, see the introduction to the RIPM index to this periodical: Luke Jensen and Marcello Conati, ‘Gazzetta musicale di Milano (1866–1902)’, RIPM, 1800–1950 (2008), www.ripm.org/pdf/ Introductions/GMM1866-1902introEnglish.pdf (accessed 22 Jun. 2010).

8 Criscione, Caterina, Luigi Torchi: un musicologo italiano tra Otto e Novecento (Imola: Editrice La Mandragora, 1997): 73.Google Scholar

9 Capra, Marco, ‘Alla ricerca dei periodici musicali: in margine alla pubblicazione del catalogo dei periodici musicali delle biblioteche della Campania’, Rivista italiana di musicologia 32/2 (1997): 367–82, 373.Google Scholar

10 Anon. (presumed to be Mantovani), ‘Il solito sistema dilettantesco, basato su di un soggettivismo nebuloso’, Cronaca musicale 1/1 (18 Feb. 1896): 1Google Scholar.

11 In our day, the RMI has been referred to as ‘the comprehensive general [Italian] music periodical of high quality’; Imogen Fellinger et al., ‘Periodicals, §II: Continental and National Surveys’; Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, www.oxfordmusiconline. com/subscriber/article/grove/music/21338pg2 (accessed 10 Oct. 2008).

12 The most significant quartet societies were established in Florence and Milan. For further reading, see: Edoardo Guglielmi, ‘Il quartetto di Verdi e la rinascita della musica strumentale in Italia’, in Atti del I o congresso internazionale di studi verdiani (Parma: Istituto di Studi Verdiani, 1966): 126–31Google Scholar ; Salvetti, Guido, ‘I quartetti di Beethoven nella ‘rinascita strumentale italiana’ dell'Ottocento’, Studien zur italienischen Musikgeschichte. Analecta musicologica 22 (1984): 479–95Google Scholar ; Barblan, Guglielmo, ‘Beethoven in Lombardia nell'Ottocento’, Nuova rivista musicale italiana 4 (1972): 363Google Scholar ; and Barblan, , ‘La musica strumentale e cameristica a Milano dalla seconda metà del ‘500 alla fine del ‘700. L'Ottocento e gli inizi del secolo XX’, in Storia di Milano, Vol. XVI: Principio di secolo (1901–1915) (Milan: Treccani degli Alfieri, n.d.): 588618Google Scholar ; Martinotti, Sergio, Ottocento strumentale italiano (Bologna: Forni, 1972)Google Scholar.

13 For further reading on Martucci, see Caroccia, Antonio, Maione, Paologiovanni and Seller, Francesca, eds, Giuseppe Martucci e la caduta delle Alpi (Lucca: LIM, 2008)Google Scholar.

14 Roger Parker has shown that Austro-German Classical instrumental works came to be held in high regard by musical cognoscenti in Austrian-controlled Milan as early as the 1830s ( Parker, Roger, ‘“Classical” Music in Milan during Verdi's Formative Years’, Studi musicali 13/2 (1984): 259–73.)Google Scholar However, such works did not reach a wider public until much later in the century. For further reading on attempts to introduce foreign concert music to Italy during the nineteenth century, see Waterhouse, John, ‘The Emergence of Modern Italian Music (up to 1940)’ (DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 1969)Google Scholar , and Allen, Aaron S., ‘Beethoven's Music in Nineteenth-Century Italy: A Critical Review of its Reception Through the Early 1860s’ (PhD diss., Harvard University, 2006)Google Scholar.

15 For a general overview of initiatives to foster a shared sense of cultural identity following Unification, see Simonetta and Turi, eds, Fare gli italiani. On this subject and anxieties about internationalism during the 1890s, see also my ‘Inventing an Italian Composer’, in The Puccini Problem: Opera, Nationalism, and Modernity (Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 2007): 1139CrossRefGoogle Scholar . An earlier perspective is provided in Ascoli, Albert and Henneberg, Krystyna Von, eds, Making and Remaking Italy: The Cultivation of National Identity around the Risorgimento (Oxford: Berg, 2001).Google Scholar

16 ‘Volemmo esclusi i lavori cosí detti di volgarizzazione che mal si acconcerebbero all'indole della Rivista’. Torchi, , ‘Ai lettori’, Rivista musicale italiana 1 (1894): 16, 3Google Scholar.

17 Torchi, Luigi, ‘Tosca’, Rivista musicale italiana 7 (1900): 78114, 84.Google Scholar

18 Torchi, Luigi, Riccardo Wagner (Bologna: Zanichelli, 1890)Google Scholar . For further reading on Torchi's enthusiasm for Wagner, see Criscione, , Luigi Torchi, 9, 73Google Scholar . The Torinese Wagner mania even coloured the initial reception of Puccini's La bohème: see Wilson, , ‘La bohèmeGoogle Scholar : Organicism, Progress and the Press’, in The Puccini Problem, 40–68.

19 On contemporary orchestral music, see, for instance , Torchi, Luigi, ‘La sinfonia in re minore di Giuseppe Martucci’, Rivista musicale italiana 3 (1896): 128–66Google Scholar , and Torchi, , ‘La seconda sinfonia (in fa maggiore) di Giuseppe Martucci’, Rivista musicale italiana 12 (1905): 151209Google Scholar.

20 An extensive list of instrumental and sacred vocal works transcribed by Torchi is catalogued in Criscione, , Luigi Torchi, 153–74Google Scholar . For further reading on the Italian early music movement, see Carter, Tim, Monteverdi's Musical Theatre (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 2002): 57Google Scholar.

21 On Fétis's promotion of early music, see Ellis, Katharine, Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century France: La Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris, 1834–80 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995): 57CrossRefGoogle Scholar , and on the French early music revival in general, see Ellis, Katharine, Interpreting the Musical Past: Early Music in Nineteenth-Century France (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005)Google Scholar.

22 Torrefranca's appointment as a contributor to the RMI in 1907 may seem uncharacteristic insofar as he did not share Torchi's positivistic ideology, but he was as committed as the journal's editor to early music, to contemporary Italian instrumental composers and to the denunciation of popular Italian opera. I have written extensively on this critic elsewhere: see Wilson, Alexandra, ‘Torrefranca vs. Puccini: Embodying a Decadent Italy’, Cambridge Opera Journal 13/1 (2001): 2953CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

23 In defence of Puccini, whose Madama Butterfly had recently been savaged in Milan, Ricordi wrote to Luigi Illica in 1904: ‘The boorish style, the acrimony that emanates everywhere is one more sign of the envy that consumes these bilious people, castrati, eunuchs, impotents, rachitics, syphilitics. The prey is still fresh, still young, and it is natural for an army of stinking carcasses to hurl themselves upon it to drag it down to their level’ (‘La forma villana, l'acredine che spira dovunque è una prova di più dell'invidia che rode i fegatosi, i castrati, gli eunuchi, gli impotenti, i rachitici, i sifilitici. La preda è ancor fresca, ancora giovane, ed è naturale che un esercito di carogne puzzolenti si slanci su di essa per ridurla al pari'). Cited in Gara, Eugenio, ed., Carteggi Pucciniani (Milan: Ricordi, 1958): 266Google Scholar.

24 ‘C'è una critica abbastanza colta, illuminata e appassionata per l'arte, essa è in assoluta minoranza, e nel campo opposto avvi una turba di scrittori leggeri, superficiali, che si atteggiano a critici, e, opponendosi a qualunque progresso dell'arte, si fanno complici dell'ignoranza, beati e contenti di dichiarare brutto tutto quello che non comprendono o che non vogliono comprendere’. Cited in Corte, Andrea Della, La critica musicale e i critici (Turin: Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese, 1961): 535Google Scholar.

25 ‘Dottor Libertà’, ‘La critica odierna’ , Gazzetta musicale di Milano, 41/10 (7 Mar. 1886): 71–2, 71Google Scholar.

26 The article provoked an approving response from a certain ‘Dottor Schiettezza’ (‘Doctor Sincerity’), who thanked his colleague for exposing ‘the truly phenomenal ineptitude’ of certain critics who wrote for supposedly authoritative newspapers. ‘Dottor Schiettezza’ derided the efforts of those who, barely capable of playing a melody on the piano using one finger, presumed to write about an art of which they knew nothing, judged compositions that they did not understand and examined historical works without knowing their significance. Among such dilettantes he included failed writers purporting to be misunderstood geniuses; those who railed against the new; those who were, conversely, attracted only by bizarre novelties; and self-confessed technical ignorants. Vexed by the regard of many for music criticism as the easiest of occupations, he complained that the mission of the average music critic consisted merely of adopting a pseudo-academic tone and throwing in the odd technical term to impress empty-headed simpletons. ‘Dottor Schiettezza’, ‘Una certa critica in Italia’, Gazzetta musicale di Milano 41/14 (4 Apr. 1886): 103–4, 104Google Scholar.

27 For a typically angry retort about the poor state of criticism and musical culture in Italy in general in the 1910s, see Torrefranca, Fausto, ‘Contro l'andazzo anti-musicale’, La riforma musicale 1/4 (24 May 1913): 1Google Scholar.

28 ‘La critica musicale della stampa periodica farebbe ridere davvero, se non si trattasse di argomento lagrimevole’. Chilesotti, Oscar, Cronache musicali illustrate 28 (1900)Google Scholar ; cited in Corte, Della, La critica musicale e i critici, 652–3Google Scholar.

29 ‘[P]ur troppo, in Italia, non esiste critica musicale’. Virgilio, Michele, Della decadenza dell'opera in Italia: a proposito di ‘Tosca’ (Milan: Gattinoni, 1900): 15Google Scholar.

30 ‘Da noi è credenza generale che chiunque sappia, anche sgrammaticando, mettere due parole sulla carta, possa assumersi il compito di giudicare e di sentenziare dei prodotti all'ingegno!’ (Ibid., 17)

31 Cited in Corte, Della, La critica musicale e i critici, 553Google Scholar.

32 Verdi shared the critics’ enthusiasm for a spontaneous approach to listening, although he disputed the notion that such a response was peculiarly ‘Italian’. He wrote in 1872 to Cesare De Sanctis: ‘What on earth do these “schools” [e.g. German, French, Italian music] represent, these preoccupations about song, harmony, Germanism, Italianism, Wagnerism, etc. etc. There is something more in music… it's the music itself!… The audience shouldn't be concerned with the means the artist uses … they shouldn't have preferences for “schools”… If [the music] is beautiful, applaud. If it's ugly, boo. That's it. Music is universal. The imbeciles and the pedants [are the ones who] insisted on finding and inventing schools and systems!!! I would like the audience to judge nobly, not by the wretched views of journalists, teachers, and pianists, but by their own impressions!!… Do you understand? Impressions, impressions, and nothing else…‘. (‘Cosa significano mai queste scuole, questi pregiudizi di canto, d'armonia, di tedescheria, d'italianismo, di wagnerismo, et. et.? Vi è qualche cosa di più nella musica… Vi è la musica! … Che il pubblico non s'occupi dei mezzi di che l'artista si serve… non abbia pregiudizi di scuola… Se è bello applauda. Se brutto! fischi… Ecco tutto. La musica è universale. Gl'imbecilli ed i pedanti hanno voluto trovare, ed inventare delle scuole, dei sistemi!!!. Io vorrei che il publico [sic] giudicasse altamente, non colle miserabili viste dei Giornalisti, Maestri, e Suonatori di Piano-forte, ma delle sue impressioni!!… Capite? Impressioni, impressioni e nient'altro’.) Verdi to De Sanctis, 17 April 1872, in Luzio, Alessandro, ed., Carteggi verdiani, 4 vols, vol. 1 (Rome, Reale Accademia d'Italia – Accademia nazionale dei Lincei, 19351947): 149–50Google Scholar . The English translation above appears in Marvin, Roberta Montemorra, Verdi the Student – Verdi the Teacher (Parma: Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani, 2010): 121Google Scholar.

33 ‘Io la musica non la discuto, la sento. E quando mi penetra nell'intelletto, quando mi invade ogni recesso dell'anima, e tutto mi avvolge e tutto mi trasporta, e quando, sopratutto, mi penetra giù giù nel cuore, nel fondo di questo muscolo misterioso ove è tutta la vita, io non chiedo all'incanto nuovissimo il suo nome, la sua bolletta d'origine, la sua genesi, la sua classificazione artistica o scientifica …’. ‘C’, no title, Gazzetta musicale di Milano 48/6 (5 Feb. 1893): 82–3, 83Google Scholar.

34 ‘Nei giornali di Torino, arrivati oggi, vediamo che essi infatti, pur non potendo negare l'incontrastato successo della Bohème, per criticare il nuovo spartito del Puccini, sono costretti a tirar fuori gli accordi in terza e quinta, le successioni di quinte scoperte, e tutte le altre definizioni del linguaggio tecnico, ignorati dal buon pubblico il quale in un'opera di musica non ricerca altro che delle soavi melodie che lo divertano e lo commuovano’. Anon., La tribuna (4 Feb. 1896), reproduced in Gazzetta musicale di Milano 51/6 (6 Feb. 1896): 91Google Scholar.

35 G. Conrado of the GMM responded to Luigi Torchi's detailed critique of Tosca – complete with music examples – in the RMI with the words: ‘But, oh illustrious Minos, how have you managed to become so Germanized as even to forget your own language? Why don't you just go ahead and write in German?’ (‘Ma come avete potuto, o illustre Minosse, intedescarvi tanto da dimenticare perfino la vostra lingua? E perchè non scrivete addirittura in tedesco, allora?') G. Conrado, ‘A proposito della Tosca’, Gazzetta musicale di Milano 55/22 (31 May 1900): 302–3, 302Google Scholar.

36 Criscione, , Luigi Torchi, 74.Google Scholar

37 See, for example , Lombroso, Cesare, ‘Le più recenti inchieste scientifiche sui suoni e la musica’, Rivista musicale italiana 1 (1894): 117–30Google Scholar , and ‘La sordità fra i musicisti – Sugli effetti psichichi della musica’ , Rivista musicale italiana 1 (1894): 524–31Google Scholar.

38 Torchi, , ‘Ai lettori’, 4.Google Scholar

39 To cite a not untypical case, of the eighteen books reviewed in the third issue of the 1900 RMI, ten were in German, five were in French, two were in English and one was in Portuguese. None was in Italian. The book-review pages tell us much about the editor's priorities – as Criscione argues, this section was fundamental in shaping the journal's ideological and aesthetic slant ( Criscione, , Luigi Torchi, 112).Google Scholar The reviews covered history, aesthetics, theory, scientific research and law, in addition to music.

40 ‘Gente che non sa, non studia, non osserva’. Torchi, Luigi, cited in Criscione, Luigi Torchi, 102Google Scholar . One might contend that the journal was part of a pan-European movement within serious music criticism toward anti-democratic ideals. In turn-of-the-century France, a new breed of music journals developed, including the Bulletin français de la Société internationale de musique and the Mercure musical, which promoted a consciously anti-populist agenda (deriding Italian opera in particular). I am grateful to Clair Rowden for drawing my attention to these publications. Rowden discusses the French critical antipathy for ‘low brow’ verismo opera in her article ‘Werther, La Navarraise and Verismo: A Matter of Taste’, Franco-British Studies 37 (20062007): 334Google Scholar.

41 The music of Wagner was always Torchi's benchmark when assessing new Italian operas, but the German composer's philosophical ideals and modernist outlook influenced him too. Torchi attacked contemporary Italian opera composers as servile, saying that they lacked an original style or the courage to propose new musical ideas (see Criscione, , Luigi Torchi, 98)Google Scholar , criticisms about his fellow countrymen that might almost have been lifted from ‘Das Judenthum in der Musik’, first made available to Italian readers through the RMI, where it appeared in translation as Richard Wagner, ‘Il Giudaismo nella musica’, Rivista musicale italiana 4 (1897): 95113Google Scholar.

42 RIPM, 1800–1950 (n.d.), www.ripm.org/index.php (accessed 22 Jun. 2010).

43 Nicolodi, Fiamma and Trovato, Paolo, eds, LesMu. Lessico della letteratura musicale italiana 1490–1950 (CD-rom, Florence, Cesati, 2007)Google Scholar . Corte, Della, La critica musicale e i critici; Sartori, Claudio, ed., Casa Ricordi: 1908–1958 (Milan: Ricordi, 1958)Google Scholar . Della Corte has also written about the Italian music press in various issues of Verdi: Bollettino dell'Istituto di Studi Verdiani di Parma.

44 See for instance Criscione, Luigi Torchi ; Seta, Fabrizio Della and Rampoldi, Alessandra, Oscar Chilesotti: diletto e scienza agli albori della musicologia italiana: studi e ricerche (Florence: Olschki, 1987)Google Scholar ; Toffolo, Stefano, Oscar Chilesotti, 1848–1916: un intellettuale veneto tra cultura e musica (Negarine S. Pietro in Cariane: Il Segno, 1998)Google Scholar ; Ferraro, Giuseppe and Pugliese, Annunziato, eds, Fausto Torrefranca: L'uomo, il suo tempo, la sua opera. Atti del convegno internazionale di studi Vibo Valentia, 15–17 dicembre 1983 (Vibo Valentia: Istituto di bibliografia musicale calabrese, 1993)Google Scholar.

45 Centro internazionale di ricerca sui periodici musicali (2010), cirpem. lacasadellamusica.it/menu.htm (accessed 22 Jun. 2010).

46 Models for this sort of study might be Colclough, Stephen, Consuming Texts: Readers and Reading Communities, 1695–1870 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar ; Hammond, Mary, Reading, Publishing and the Formation of Literary Taste in England, 1880–1914 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006)Google Scholar ; Jordan, John O., ed., Literature in the Marketplace: Nineteenth-Century British Publishing and Reading Practices (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)Google Scholar ; Raven, James, Small, Helen and Tadmor, Naomi, The Practice and Representation of Reading in England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)Google Scholar ; and Clair, William St, The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004)Google Scholar.

47 On French criticism, see Ellis, , Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century FranceGoogle Scholar ; Murphy, Kerry, Hector Berlioz and the Development of French Music Criticism (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1988)Google Scholar ; and Parker, Roger and Smart, Mary-Ann, eds, Reading Critics Reading: Opera and Ballet Criticism in France from the Revolution to 1848 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)Google Scholar . The study of the French music press looks set to expand further with the foundation in 2006 of a research network entitled ‘Francophone Music Criticism, 1789–1914’, based at the Institute of Musical Research at the University of London: the network's projects include an online repository of numerous French press reviews. On Austria, see McColl, Sandra, Music Criticism in Vienna, 1896–1897: Critically Moving Forms (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996)Google Scholar . On British music criticism of the later nineteenth century, see Hughes, Meirion, The English Musical Renaissance and the Press 1850–1914: Watchmen of Music (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002); andGoogle ScholarSolie, Ruth A., ‘Music in a Victorian Mirror: Macmillan's Magazine in the Grove Years’, in Music in Other Words: Victorian Conversations (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: California University Press, 2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

78 See, for example, Beckson, Karl, London in the 1890s: A Cultural History (London and New York: Norton, 1992)Google Scholar ; Service, Alastair, London 1900 (New York: Rizzoli, 1979)Google Scholar ; Schneer, Jonathan, London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999)Google Scholar ; Weber, Eugen, France, Fin de Siècle (Cambridge, MA: Bellknap Press, 1986)Google Scholar ; and Schorske, Carl, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture (New York: Knopf, 1980). Studies of the urban experience in London, Paris and Berlin that take a longer chronological view includeGoogle Scholar : Harvey, David, Paris, Capital of Modernity (New York: Routledge, 2003)Google Scholar ; Maxwell, Richard, The Mysteries of Paris and London (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1992)Google Scholar ; Nead, Lynda, Victorian Babylon: People, Streets, and Images in Nineteenth-Century London (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000)Google Scholar ; Phillips, Lawrence, ed., A Mighty Mass of Brick and Smoke: Victorian and Edwardian Representations of London (Amsterdam: Rodopi Press, 2007)Google Scholar ; Pike, David L., Subterranean Cities: The World Beneath Paris and London, 1800–1945 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005)Google Scholar ; Schlor, Joachim, Nights in the Big City: Paris, Berlin, London, 1840–1940, translated by Imhof, Pierre and Roberts, Dafydd Rees (London: Reaktion Books, 1998). I am grateful to Alex Windscheffel for drawing some of these sources to my attentionGoogle Scholar.

49 See, for example , Buch, Esteban, Beethoven's Ninth: A Political History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004)Google Scholar ; Burnham, Scott, ‘The Four Ages of Beethoven: Critical Reception and the Canonic Composer’, in Stanley, Glenn, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000): 272–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar ; Burnham, Scott, Beethoven Hero (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996)Google Scholar ; Cook, Nicholas, Beethoven: Symphony no. 9 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar ; Comini, Alessandra, The Changing Image of Beethoven: A Study in Mythmaking (New York: Rizzoli, 1987)Google Scholar ; and DeNora, Tia, Beethoven and the Construction of Genius: Musical Politics in Vienna, 1792–1803 (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1995)Google Scholar.

50 With reference to France, Roger Parker writes: ‘even recent investigations have tended to rely on a critical “canon” made up almost exclusively of writers who were also prominent as practitioners, usually composers’ ( Parker, and Smart, , Reading Critics Reading, 3)Google Scholar . Likewise, in the case of Austria, McColl notes that historians of Viennese music criticism have tended to emphasize the significance of Hanslick to the exclusion of other, arguably equally interesting, critics (McColl, Music Criticism in Vienna, vii).

51 Ellis, , Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century France, 127, 239.Google Scholar

52 Ibid., 237.

53 ‘Feste’, ‘Ad Libitum’, The Musical Times 66/990 (1 Aug. 1925): 698701, 699Google Scholar.

54 The story of Italian opera's slow and arduous rise to academic respectability has been told many times in recent years. See, for example , Seta, Fabrizio Della, ‘Some Difficulties in the Historiography of Italian Opera’, Cambridge Opera Journal 10/1 (Mar. 1998): 313Google Scholar . Scholars whose work helped to open up Italian opera as a respected field of musicological investigation include: Lorenzo Bianconi, Julian Budden, Fedele d'Amico, Philip Gossett, Joseph Kerman, David Kimbell, Massimo Mila, Frits Noske, Roger Parker, Giorgio Pestelli, Pierluigi Petrobelli, Nino Pirrotta, Harold Powers, Ellen Rosand, David Rosen, Reinhard Strohm and others. Since the rise of the ‘New Musicology’ during the 1980s, Italian opera studies has become an extremely diverse field, embracing methodological approaches drawn from disciplines as diverse as film studies, psychoanalysis and gender studies.

55 Seta, Della, ‘Some Difficulties in the Historiography of Italian Opera’, 3.Google Scholar

56 Ellis, , Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century France, 7.Google Scholar

57 McColl, , Music Criticism in Vienna, 177.Google Scholar

58 Parker, and Smart, , Reading Critics Reading, 9.Google Scholar

59 Smith, Anthony, ‘The “Golden Age” and National Renewal’, in Myths and Nationhood, ed. Hosking, Geoffrey and Schöpflin, George (London: Hurst and Company, 1997): 3659Google Scholar, 57. Recent scholarship has acknowledged the centrality of popular culture to the nation-building process. Geoffrey Cubitt urges us to be sensitive towards: ‘“banal nationalism” – to assumption as well as assertion, to clichéd utterance as well as heroic gesture, to stale as well as to vibrant symbolism, to the “repertoire of the obvious” in the culture under investigation as well as to its canonical texts’. Cubitt, Geoffrey, ed., Imagining Nations (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1998): 3Google Scholar.