Sentimentality indicated the reliance on feelings as a guide to truth, but in current usage the term connotes a reliance on shallow, uncomplicated emotions at the expense of reason. Sentimentalism in philosophy is a view in meta-ethics according to which morality is somehow grounded in moral sentiments or emotions. Sentimentalism in literature refers to techniques a writer employs to induce a tender emotional response disproportionate to the situation at hand; the term may characterize the tendency of some readers to invest strong emotions in trite or conventional fictional situations."A sentimentalist", Oscar Wilde wrote, "is one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it." In James Joyce's Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus sends Buck Mulligan a telegram that reads "The sentimentalist is he who would enjoy without incurring the immense debtorship for a thing done." James Baldwin considered that "Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel...the mask of cruelty".
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald contrasts sentimentalists and romantics, with Amory Blaine telling Rosalind, "I'm not sentimental—I'm as romantic as you are; the idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last—the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won't." In the mid-18th century, a querulous lady had complained to Richardson: "What, in your opinion, is the meaning of the word sentimental, so much in vogue among the polite... Everything clever and agreeable is comprehended in that word...such a one is a sentimental man. What she was observing was the way the term was becoming a European obsession—part of the Enlightenment drive to foster the individual's capacity to recognise virtue at a visceral level. Everywhere in the sentimental novel or the sentimental comedy, "lively and effusive emotion is celebrated as evidence of a good heart". Moral philosophers saw sentimentality as a cure for social isolation. By the close of the century, however, a reaction had occurred against what had come to be considered sentimental excess, by seen as false and self-indulgent—especially after Schiller's 1795 division of poets into two classes, the "naive" and the "sentimental"—regarded as natural and as artificial.
In modern times "sentimental" is a pejorative term, casually applied to works of art and literature that exceed the viewer or reader's sense of decorum—the extent of permissible emotion—and standards of taste: "excessiveness" is the criterion. As a social force sentimentality is a hardy perennial, appearing for example as "'Romantic sentimentality...in the 1960s slogans'flower power' and'make love not war'". The 1990s public outpouring of grief at the death of Diana, "when they go on about fake sentimentality in relation to Princess Diana" raised issues about the "powerful streak of sentimentality in the British character"—the extent to which "sentimentality was a grand old national tradition". Baudrillard has cynically attacked the sentimentality of Western humanitarianism, suggesting that "in the New Sentimental Order, the affluent become consumers of the'ever more delightful spectacle of poverty and catastrophe, of the moving spectacle of our own attempts to alleviate it'". There is the issue of what has been called "indecent sentimentality... pornographical pseudo-classics", so that one might say for example that "Fanny Hill is a sentimental novel, a faked Eden".
However, in sociology it is possible to see the "sentimental tradition" as extending into the present-day—to see, for example, "Parsons as one of the great social philosophers in the sentimental tradition of Adam Smith, Burke, McLuhan, Goffman...concerned with the relation between the rational and sentimental bases of social order raised by the market reorientation of motivation". Francis Fukuyama takes up the theme through the exploration of "society's stock of shared values as social capital". In a "subjective confession" of 1932, Ulysses: a Monologue, the analytic psychologist Carl Jung anticipates Baudrillard when he writes: "Think of the lamentable role of popular sentiment in wartime! Think of our so-called humanitarianism! The psychiatrist knows only too well how each of us becomes the helpless but not pitiable victim of his own sentiments. Sentimentality is the superstructure. Unfeelingness is the counter-position and suffers from the same defects." Complications enter into the ordinary view of sentimentality, when changes in fashion and setting— the "climate of thought"—intrude between the work and the reader.
The view that sentimentality is relative is inherent in John Ciardi's "sympathetic contract", in which the reader agrees to join with the writer when approaching a poem. The example of the death of Little Nell in Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop, "a scene that for many readers today mi
Laurence Sterne was an Irish novelist and an Anglican clergyman. He wrote the novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, published many sermons, wrote memoirs, was involved in local politics. Sterne died in London after years of fighting tuberculosis. Sterne was born in County Tipperary, his father, Roger Sterne, was an ensign in a British regiment returned from Dunkirk, disbanded on the day of Sterne's birth. Within six months the family had returned to Yorkshire, in July 1715 they moved back to Ireland, having "decamped with Bag & Baggage for Dublin", in Sterne's words; the first decade of Sterne's life was spent moving from place to place as his father was reassigned throughout Ireland. During this period Sterne never lived in one place for more than a year. In addition to Clonmel and Dublin, his family lived in, among other places, Wicklow Town, Drogheda and Carrickfergus. In 1724, his father took Sterne to Roger's wealthy brother, Richard, so that Sterne could attend Hipperholme Grammar School near Halifax.
Sterne was admitted to a sizarship at Jesus College, Cambridge, in July 1733 at the age of 20. His great-grandfather Richard Sterne had been the Master of the college as well as the Archbishop of York. Sterne graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in January 1737. Sterne was ordained as a deacon in March 1737 and as a priest in August 1738, his religion is said to have been the "centrist Anglicanism of his time", known as'latitudinarianism." Shortly thereafter Sterne was awarded the vicarship living of Sutton-on-the-Forest in Yorkshire. Sterne married Elizabeth Lumley in 1741. Both were ill with consumption. In 1743, he was presented to the neighbouring living of Stillington by Rev. Richard Levett, Prebendary of Stillington, patron of the living. Subsequently Sterne did duty both there and at Sutton, he was a prebendary of York Minster. Sterne's life at this time was tied with his uncle, Dr Jaques Sterne, the Archdeacon of Cleveland and Precentor of York Minster. Sterne's uncle was an ardent Whig, urged Sterne to begin a career of political journalism which resulted in some scandal for Sterne and a terminal falling-out between the two men.
Jaques Sterne was a powerful clergyman but a rabid politician. In 1741–42 Sterne wrote political articles supporting the administration of Sir Robert Walpole for a newspaper founded by his uncle but soon withdrew from politics in disgust, his uncle became his arch-enemy. Sterne lived in Sutton for twenty years, during which time he kept up an intimacy which had begun at Cambridge with John Hall-Stevenson, a witty and accomplished bon vivant, owner of Skelton Hall in the Cleveland district of Yorkshire. In 1759, to support his dean in a church squabble, Sterne wrote A Political Romance, a Swiftian satire of dignitaries of the spiritual courts. At the demands of embarrassed churchmen, the book was burnt. Thus, Sterne discovered his real talents. Having discovered his talent, at the age of 46, he turned over his parishes to a curate, dedicated himself to writing for the rest of his life, it was while living in the countryside, having failed in his attempts to supplement his income as a farmer and struggling with tuberculosis, that Sterne began work on his best known novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, the first volumes of which were published in 1759.
Sterne was at work on his celebrated comic novel during the year that his mother died, his wife was ill, his daughter was taken ill with a fever. He wrote as fast as he could, composing the first 18 chapters between January and March 1759. An initial satiric version was rejected by Robert Dodsley, the London printer, just when Sterne's personal life was upset, his mother and uncle both died. His wife had threatened suicide. Sterne continued his comic novel, but every sentence, he said, was "written under the greatest heaviness of heart". In this mood, he softened the satire and recounted details of Tristram's opinions, eccentric family and ill-fated childhood with a sympathetic humour, sometimes hilarious, sometimes sweetly melancholic—a comedy skirting tragedy; the publication of Tristram Shandy made Sterne famous on the continent. He was delighted by the attention, famously saying "I wrote not be fed but to be famous." He spent part of each year in London. After the publication of volumes three and four of Tristram Shandy, his love of attention remained undiminished.
In one letter, he wrote "One half of the town abuse my book as bitterly, as the other half cry it up to the skies—the best is, they abuse it and buy it, at such a rate, that we are going on with a second edition, as fast as possible." Indeed, Baron Fauconberg rewarded Sterne by appointing him as the perpetual curate of Coxwold, North Yorkshire. Sterne continued to struggle with his illness, departed England for France in 1762 in an effort to find a climate that would alleviate his suffering. Sterne was lucky to attach himself to a diplomatic party bound for Turin, as England and
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Art of Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations as well as for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time; the Bach family counted several composers when Johann Sebastian was born as the last child of a city musician in Eisenach. After becoming an orphan at age 10, he lived for five years with his eldest brother Johann Christoph Bach, after which he continued his musical development in Lüneburg. From 1703 he was back in Thuringia, working as a musician for Protestant churches in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen and, for longer stretches of time, at courts in Weimar—where he expanded his repertoire for the organ—and Köthen—where he was engaged with chamber music. From 1723 he was employed as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, he composed music for the principal Lutheran churches of the city, for its university's student ensemble Collegium Musicum.
From 1726 he published some of his organ music. In Leipzig, as had happened in some of his earlier positions, he had a difficult relation with his employer, a situation, little remedied when he was granted the title of court composer by King Augustus III of Poland in 1736. In the last decades of his life he extended many of his earlier compositions, he died of complications after eye surgery in 1750 at the age of 65. Bach enriched established German styles through his mastery of counterpoint and motivic organisation, his adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include hundreds of both sacred and secular, he composed Latin church music, Passions and motets. He adopted Lutheran hymns, not only in his larger vocal works, but for instance in his four-part chorales and his sacred songs, he wrote extensively for other keyboard instruments. He composed concertos, for instance for violin and for harpsichord, suites, as chamber music as well as for orchestra.
Many of his works employ the genres of fugue. Throughout the 18th century Bach was renowned as an organist, while his keyboard music, such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, was appreciated for its didactic qualities; the 19th century saw the publication of some major Bach biographies, by the end of that century all of his known music had been printed. Dissemination of scholarship on the composer continued through periodicals and websites devoted to him, other publications such as the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis and new critical editions of his compositions, his music was further popularised through a multitude of arrangements, including for instance the Air on the G String, of recordings, for instance three different box sets with complete performances of the composer's works marking the 250th anniversary of his death. Bach was born in the duchy of Saxe-Eisenach, into a great musical family, his father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was the director of the town musicians, all of his uncles were professional musicians.
His father taught him to play the violin and harpsichord, his brother Johann Christoph Bach taught him the clavichord and exposed him to much contemporary music. At his own initiative, Bach attended St. Michael's School in Lüneburg for two years. After graduating he held several musical posts across Germany: he served as Kapellmeister to Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, a position of music director at the main Lutheran churches and educator at the Thomasschule, he received the title of "Royal Court Composer" from Augustus III in 1736. Bach's health and vision declined in 1749, he died on 28 July 1750. Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, the capital of the duchy of Saxe-Eisenach, in present-day Germany, on 21 March 1685 O. S.. He was the son of Johann Ambrosius Bach, the director of the town musicians, Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt, he was the eighth and youngest child of Johann Ambrosius, who taught him violin and basic music theory. His uncles were all professional musicians, whose posts included church organists, court chamber musicians, composers.
One uncle, Johann Christoph Bach, introduced him to the organ, an older second cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach, was a well-known composer and violinist. Bach's mother died in 1694, his father died eight months later; the 10-year-old Bach moved in with his eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach, the organist at St. Michael's Church in Ohrdruf, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. There he studied and copied music, including his own brother's, despite being forbidden to do so because scores were so valuable and private, blank ledger paper of that type was costly, he received valuable teaching from his brother. J. C. Bach exposed him to the works of great composers of the day, including South German composers such as Johann Pachelbel and Johann Jakob Froberger. During this time, he was taught theology, Greek and Italian at the local gymnasium. By 3 April 1700, Bach and his schoolfriend Georg Erdmann—who was two years Bach's elder—were enrolled in the prestigious St. Michael's School in Lüneburg, some two weeks' travel north of Ohrdruf
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political and educational thought, his Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract are cornerstones in modern political and social thought. Rousseau's sentimental novel Julie, or the New Heloise was important to the development of preromanticism and romanticism in fiction, his Emile, or On Education is an educational treatise on the place of the individual in society. Rousseau's autobiographical writings—the posthumously published Confessions, which initiated the modern autobiography, the unfinished Reveries of a Solitary Walker —exemplified the late-18th-century "Age of Sensibility", featured an increased focus on subjectivity and introspection that characterized modern writing. Rousseau befriended fellow philosophy writer Denis Diderot in 1742, would write about Diderot's romantic troubles in his Confessions.
During the period of the French Revolution, Rousseau was the most popular of the philosophers among members of the Jacobin Club. He was interred in 1794, 16 years after his death. Rousseau was born in Geneva, at the time a city-state and a Protestant associate of the Swiss Confederacy. Since 1536, Geneva had been the seat of Calvinism. Five generations before Rousseau, his ancestor Didier, a bookseller who may have published Protestant tracts, had escaped persecution from French Catholics by fleeing to Geneva in 1549, where he became a wine merchant. Rousseau was proud. Throughout his life, he signed his books "Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva". Geneva, in theory, was governed "democratically" by its male voting "citizens"; the citizens were a minority of the population when compared to the immigrants, referred to as "inhabitants", whose descendants were called "natives" and continued to lack suffrage. In fact, rather than being run by vote of the "citizens", the city was ruled by a small number of wealthy families that made up the "Council of Two Hundred".
There was much political debate within Geneva, extending down to the tradespeople. Much discussion was over the idea of the sovereignty of the people, of which the ruling class oligarchy was making a mockery. In 1707, a democratic reformer named Pierre Fatio protested this situation, saying "a sovereign that never performs an act of sovereignty is an imaginary being", he was shot by order of the Little Council. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's father, was not in the city at this time, but Jean-Jacques's grandfather supported Fatio and was penalized for it; the trade of watchmaking had become a family tradition by the time of Rousseau's father, Isaac Rousseau. Isaac followed his grandfather and brothers into the business, except for a short stint teaching dance as a dance master. Isaac, notwithstanding his artisan status, was well educated and a lover of music. "A Genevan watchmaker", Rousseau wrote, "is a man. In 1699, Isaac ran into political difficulty by entering a quarrel with visiting English officers, who in response drew their swords and threatened him.
After local officials stepped in, it was Isaac, punished, as Geneva was concerned with maintaining its ties to foreign powers. Rousseau's mother, Suzanne Bernard Rousseau, was from an upper-class family, she was raised by a Calvinist preacher. He cared for Suzanne. In 1695, Suzanne had to answer charges that she had attended a street theater disguised as a peasant woman so she could gaze upon M. Vincent Sarrasin, whom she fancied despite his continuing marriage. After a hearing, she was ordered by the Genevan Consistory to never interact with him again, she married Rousseau's father at the age of 31. Isaac's sister had married Suzanne's brother eight years earlier, after she had become pregnant and they had been chastised by the Consistory; the child died at birth. The young Rousseau was told a romantic fairy-tale about the situation by the adults in his family—a tale where young love was denied by a disapproving patriarch but that prevailed by sibling loyalty that, in the story, resulted in love conquering all and two marriages uniting the families on the same day.
Rousseau never learnt the truth. Rousseau was born on 28 June 1712, he would relate: "I was born dying, they had little hope of saving me", he was baptized on 4 July 1712, in the great cathedral. His mother died of puerperal fever nine days after his birth, which he described as "the first of my misfortunes", he and his older brother François were brought up by their father and a paternal aunt named Suzanne. When Rousseau was five, his father sold the house that the family had received from his mother's relatives. While the idea was that his sons would inherit the principal when grown up and he would live off the interest in the meantime, in the end the father took most of the substantial proceeds. With the selling of the house, the Rousseau family moved out of the upper-class neighborhood and moved into an apartment house in a neighborhood of craftsmen—silversmiths and other watchmakers. Growing up around craftsmen, Rousseau woul
Sturm und Drang
Sturm und Drang was a proto-Romantic movement in German literature and music that occurred between the late 1760s and early 1780s. Within the movement, individual subjectivity and, in particular, extremes of emotion were given free expression in reaction to the perceived constraints of rationalism imposed by the Enlightenment and associated aesthetic movements; the period is named for Friedrich Maximilian Klinger's play of the same name, first performed by Abel Seyler's famed theatrical company in 1777. The philosopher Johann Georg Hamann is considered to be the ideologue of Sturm und Drang. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller were notable proponents of the movement early in their life, although they ended their period of association with it by initiating what would become Weimar Classicism. French neoclassicism, a movement beginning in the early Baroque, with its emphasis on the rational, was the principal target of rebellion for adherents of the Sturm und Drang movement. For them, sentimentality and an objective view of life gave way to emotional turbulence and individuality, enlightenment ideals such as rationalism and universalism no longer captured the human condition.
The term Sturm und Drang first appeared as the title of a play by Friedrich Maximilian Klinger, written for Abel Seyler's Seylersche Schauspiel-Gesellschaft and published in 1776. The setting of the play is the unfolding American Revolution, in which the author gives violent expression to difficult emotions and extols individuality and subjectivity over the prevailing order of rationalism. Though it is argued that literature and music associated with Sturm und Drang predate this seminal work, it was from this point that German artists became distinctly self-conscious of a new aesthetic; this spontaneous movement became associated with a wide array of German authors and composers of the mid-to-late Classical period. Sturm und Drang came to be associated with literature or music aimed at shocking the audience or imbuing them with extremes of emotion; the movement soon gave way to Weimar Classicism and early Romanticism, whereupon a socio-political concern for greater human freedom from despotism was incorporated along with a religious treatment of all things natural.
There is much debate regarding whose work should or should not be included in the canon of Sturm und Drang. One point of view would limit the movement to Goethe, Johann Gottfried Herder, Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, their direct German associates writing works of fiction and/or philosophy between 1770 and the early 1780s; the alternative perspective is that of a literary movement inextricably linked to simultaneous developments in prose and drama, extending its direct influence throughout the German-speaking lands until the end of the 18th century. The originators of the movement came to view it as a time of premature exuberance, abandoned in favor of conflicting artistic pursuits; the literary topos of the "Kraftmensch" existed as a precursor to Sturm und Drang among dramatists beginning with F. M. Klinger, the expression of, seen in the radical degree to which individuality need appeal to no outside authority save the self nor be tempered by rationalism; these ideals are identical to those of Sturm und Drang, it can be argued that the name exists to catalog a number of parallel, co-influential movements in German literature rather than express anything different from what German dramatists were achieving in the violent plays attributed to the Kraftmensch movement.
Major philosophical/theoretical influences on the literary Sturm und Drang movement were Johann Georg Hamann and Johann Gottfried Herder, both from Königsberg, both in contact with Immanuel Kant. Significant theoretical statements of Sturm und Drang aesthetics by the movement's central dramatists themselves include Lenz' Anmerkungen übers Theater and Goethe's Von deutscher Baukunst and Zum Schäkespears Tag; the most important contemporary document was the 1773 volume Von deutscher Art und Kunst. Einige fliegende Blätter, a collection of essays that included commentaries by Herder on Ossian and Shakespeare, along with contributions by Goethe, Paolo Frisi, Justus Möser; the protagonist in a typical Sturm und Drang stage work, poem, or novel is driven to action—often violent action—not by pursuit of noble means nor by true motives, but by revenge and greed. Goethe's unfinished Prometheus exemplifies this along with the common ambiguity provided by juxtaposing humanistic platitudes with outbursts of irrationality.
The literature of Sturm und Drang features an anti-aristocratic slant while seeking to elevate all things humble, natural, or intensely real. The story of hopeless love and eventual suicide presented in Goethe's sentimental novel Die Leiden des jungen Werthers is an example of the author's tempered introspection regarding his love and torment. Friedrich Schiller's drama, Die Räuber, provided the groundwork for melodrama to become a recognized dramatic form; the plot portrays a conflict between two aristocratic brothers and Karl Moor. Franz is cast as a villain attempting to cheat Karl out of his inheritance, though the motives for his action are comp
Opera seria is an Italian musical term which refers to the noble and "serious" style of Italian opera that predominated in Europe from the 1710s to about 1770. The term itself was used at the time and only attained common usage once opera seria was becoming unfashionable and beginning to be viewed as a historical genre; the popular rival to opera seria was opera buffa, the'comic' opera that took its cue from the improvisatory commedia dell'arte. Italian opera seria was produced not only in Italy but in Spain, Habsburg Austria, Saxony, German states, other countries. Opera seria was less popular in France. Popular composers of opera seria included Alessandro Scarlatti, Johann Adolph Hasse, Leonardo Vinci, Nicola Porpora, George Frideric Handel, in the second half of the 18th century Niccolò Jommelli, Tommaso Traetta, Josef Mysliveček, Mozart. Opera seria built upon the conventions of the High Baroque era by developing and exploiting the da capo aria, with its A–B–A form; the first section presented a theme, the second a complementary one, the third a repeat of the first with ornamentation and elaboration of the music by the singer.
As the genre developed and arias grew longer, a typical opera seria would contain not more than thirty musical movements. A typical opera would start with an instrumental overture of three movements and a series of recitatives containing dialogue interspersed with arias expressing the emotions of the character, this pattern only broken by the occasional duet for the leading amatory couple; the recitative was secco: that is, accompanied only by continuo. At moments of violent passion secco was replaced by stromentato recitative, where the singer was accompanied by the entire body of strings. After an aria was sung, accompanied by strings and oboe, the character exited the stage, encouraging the audience to applaud; this continued for three acts before concluding with an upbeat chorus, to celebrate the jubilant climax. The leading singers each expected their fair share of arias of varied mood, be they sad, heroic or meditative; the dramaturgy of opera seria developed as a response to French criticism of what were viewed as impure and corrupting librettos.
As response, the Rome-based Academy of Arcadia sought to return Italian opera to what they viewed as neoclassical principles, obeying the dramatic Unities of Aristotle and replacing "immoral" plots, such as Busenello's for L'incoronazione di Poppea, with moral narratives that aimed to instruct, as well as entertain. However, the tragic endings of classical drama were rejected out of a sense of decorum: early writers of opera seria librettos such as Apostolo Zeno felt that virtue should be rewarded and shown triumphant, while the antagonists were to be put on their way to remorse; the spectacle and ballet, so common in French opera, were banished. The age of opera seria corresponded with the rise to prominence of the castrati prodigiously gifted male singers who had undergone castration before puberty in order to retain a high, powerful soprano or alto voice backed by decades of rigorous musical training, they were cast in heroic male roles, alongside another new breed of operatic creature, the prima donna.
The rise of these star singers with formidable technical skills spurred composers to write complex vocal music, many operas of the time were written as vehicles for specific singers. Of these the most famous is Farinelli, whose debut in 1722 was guided by Nicola Porpora. Though Farinelli did not sing for Handel, his main rival, did. Opera seria acquired definitive form early during the 1720s. While Apostolo Zeno and Alessandro Scarlatti had paved the way, the genre only came to fruition due to Metastasio and composers. Metastasio's career began with the serenata Gli Orti Esperidi. Nicola Porpora, set the work to music, the success was so great that the famed Roman prima donna, Marianna Bulgarelli, "La Romanina", sought out Metastasio, took him on as her protégé. Under her wing, Metastasio produced libretto after libretto, they were set by the greatest composers in Italy and Austria, establishing the transnational tone of opera seria: Didone abbandonata, Catone in Utica, Alessandro nelle Indie, Semiramide riconosciuta and Artaserse.
After 1730 he was settled in Vienna and turned out more librettos for the imperial theater, until the mid-1740s: Adriano in Siria, Issipile, Olimpiade, La clemenza di Tito, Achille in Sciro, Temistocle, Il re pastore and what he regarded as his finest libretto, Attilio Regolo. For the librettos and his imitators customarily drew on dramas featuring classical characters from antiquity bestowed with princely values and morality, struggling with conflicts between love and duty, in elegant and ornate language that could be performed well as both opera and non-musical drama. On the other hand, working far outside the mainstream genre, set only a few Metastasio libretti for his London audience, preferring a greater diversity of texts. At this time the leading Metastasian composers were Hasse, Antonio Caldara, Vinci and Pergolesi. Vinci's settings of Didone abbandonata and Artaserse were much praised for their stromento recitative, he played a crucial part in establishing the new style of melody.
Hasse, by contrast, indulged in
Antoine Houdar de la Motte
Antoine Houdar de la Motte was a French author. De la Motte was died in Paris. In 1693 his comedy, Les Originaux, was a complete failure, so depressed the author that he contemplated joining the Trappists. Four years he began writing texts for operas and ballets, e.g. L'Europe galante, tragedies, one of which, Inès de Castro, was an immense success at the Theâtre Français, he was a champion of the moderns in the revived controversy of the moderns. His Fables nouvelles was regarded as a modernist manifesto. Anne Dacier had published a translation of the Iliad, La Motte, who knew no Greek, made a translation in verse founded on her work, he said of his own work: "I have taken the liberty to change what I thought disagreeable in it." He defended the moderns in the Discours sur Homère prefixed to his translation, in his Réflexions sur la critique. Apart from the merits of the controversy, it was conducted on La Motte's side with a wit and politeness which compared favourably with his opponents' methods.
He was elected to the Académie française in 1710, but soon afterwards went blind. La Motte carried on a correspondence with the duchesse du Maine, was the friend of Fontenelle, he had the same freedom from prejudice and the same inquiring mind as the latter, it is on the excellent prose in which his views are expressed that his reputation rests. His Œuvres du theâtre appeared in 1730, his Œuvres in 1754. See Hippolyte Rigault, Histoire de la querelle des anciens et des modernes. 1701: Le Premier livre de l'Iliade, translated into French verse 1707: Églogue sur la naissance de Mgr le duc de Bretagne Odes 1707: Odes avec un Discours sur la poésie en général, et sur l'ode en particulier, 1712: Le Deuil de la France, ode 1712: Le Souverain, ode 1716: Ode sur la mort de Louis le Grand, ode 1720: La critique, ode Fables 1714: Le Cygne, fable allegorique 1719: Fables nouvelles, Paris, 1720: L'Indien et le soleil 1714: Discours sur Homère 1715: Réflexions sur la critique, Paris, G. Du Puis 1719: Discours sur la fable, Paris, Grégoire Dupuis 1754: Discours sur la poésie, Prault l'aîné 1754: Discours sur la tragédie, Prault l'aîné 1730: Suite des Réflexions sur la tragédie 1693: Les Originaux ou l'Italien, three-act comedy, music by M. de Masse, presented at théâtre de l'Hôtel de Bourgogne, 13 August 1697: Issé, pastorale héroïque in 3 acts with prologue, présented at Château de Fontainebleau 7 October 1697: L'Europe galante, opéra-ballet in 4 acts and a prologue, music by André Campra, given at Théâtre du Palais-Royal 24 October 1699: Amadis de Grèce, tragédie lyrique in 5 acts and a prologue, music by André Cardinal Destouches, given 25 March 1699: Marthésie, première reine des Amazones, tragédie lyrique in 5 acts and one prologue, music by André Cardinal Destouches, presented at Château de Fontainebleau 11 October 1700: Le Triomphe des arts, opéra-ballet in 5 acts, music by Michel de La Barre, presented at théâtre du Palais-Royal 16 May 1700: Canente, tragédie lyrique in 5 acts and one prologue, music by Pascal Collasse and Antoine Dauvergne, presented at Théâtre du Palais-Royal 4 November 1701: Les Trois Gascons, comédie avec divertissements in 1 act, with Nicolas Boindin, music by Giuseppe Maria Cambini and Nicolas Racot de Grandval, dit Grandval le Père, presented at Comédie-Française 4 June 1701: Omphale, tragédie lyrique in 5 acts and one prologue, music by André Cardinal Destouches, presented at Théâtre du Palais-Royal 10 November 1702: La Matrone d'Éphèse, comedy in 1 act and in prose, presented at Comédie-Française 23 September 1703: Le Carnaval et la folie, comédie-ballet in 4 acts and one prologue, music by André Cardinal Destouches, presented at Château de Fontainebleau 3 January 1704: Le Port de mer, comedy in 1 act and in prose, with Nicolas Boindin, music by Nicolas Racot de Grandval, called Grandval le Père, presented at Comédie-Française 27 May 1705: La Vénitienne, opéra-ballet in one prologue and 3 acts, music by Michel de La Barre, presented at Théâtre du Palais-Royal 26 May.