Posts Tagged by Hour 6
|September 22, 2018||Posted By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, H24H||
2018.09.22 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. One of the most popular songs in the vast history of opera is a two-man aria sung by a tenor and a baritone in Les pêcheurs de perles, or The Pearl Fishers, by Georges Bizet, with libretto by Eugène Cormon and Michel Carré. The formal title of this aria, commonly known in English as “The Pearl Fishers Duet,” is “Au fond du temple saint”, which I translate as “In the inner sanctum of the holy temple.” The première of Pearl Fishers took place on 30 September 1863 in Paris. Bizet had not yet even reached the age of 25. Only ten years later, there will be Carmen. And it will be only even later that the popularity of the “Duet” eventually takes hold. Nowadays, in any case, this aria is universally celebrated for its singular beauty as a self-standing piece of music. I focus here on one special feature of the musicality that is built into the “Duet”: the music of this aria, words and all, compresses the entire story of the opera into a single song. What I find most remarkable about such compression is an artistic effect that I will describe here as lyrical. And the lyric compression of this aria, I will argue, can be enhanced visually in the art of film making.[Essay continues here…]
|May 20, 2015||Posted By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, H24H|
2015.05.20 | By Gregory Nagy
The image below is a detail from a Corinthian Hydria, dated somewhere between 575 and 550 BCE. Walters Art Museum, Accession Number 48.2230.
Off to our left, we see the charioteer of Achilles, Automedon (labeled ΑΥΤΟΜΕΔΟΝ in a right-to-left writing), standing on the platform of Achilles’ chariot.
In the center, we see Achilles (labeled ΑΧΙΛΛΕΥΣ left to right) about to inflict a mortal blow upon his enemy Memnon (labeled ΜΕΜΝΟΝ left to right), using his spear.[Essay continues here…]