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The Singing TurkOttoman Power and Operatic Emotions on the European Stage from the Siege of Vienna to the Age of Napoleon$
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Larry Wolff

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804795777

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804795777.001.0001

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Rossini’s Siege of Paris

Rossini’s Siege of Paris

Ottoman Subjects in the French Restoration

(p.337) 11 Rossini’s Siege of Paris
The Singing Turk

Larry Wolff

Stanford University Press

This chapter considers the flourishing of operas on Turkish themes in Restoration France, including Rossini’s Turkish operas in Paris—especially as Rossini became director of the Théâtre-Italien in the 1820s. His most important contribution to Turkishness in Paris was his refashioning of Maometto Secondo as Le Siège de Corinthe for the Paris Opéra in 1826, and this was powerfully shaped by the ongoing Greek War of Independence and the potency of French Philhellenism. The Venetians of Maometto Secondo were now made into Greeks, at war with the Ottomans, and the opera was thus made relevant to contemporary Greece. Public response to Rossinian orchestration suggested that what was once considered “Janissary” percussion was now being generally absorbed into the percussion section of the modern orchestra. In 1824 Beethoven allowed for the brief nostalgic appearance of a Janissary band playing a Turkish march in the score of the Ninth Symphony.

Keywords:   Beethoven, Greek War of Independence, Janissary style (alla turca), Sultan Mehmed II (the Conqueror), Napoleon, Paris Opéra, Philhellenism, Restoration Europe, Gioachino Rossini, Le Siège de Corinthe (Rossini)

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