Verdi – La forza del destino Ouverture [analysis]

Last updated Dec 22, 2020 | Published on Dec 31, 2020

Winner of a fellowship at the Bayreuther Festspiele, Mr. Griglio’s conducting has been praised for his “energy” and “fine details”. Mr. Griglio took part in the first world recording of music by composer Irwin Bazelon and conducted several world premieres like "The song of Eddie", by Harold Farberman, a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize. Principal Conductor of International Opera Theater Philadelphia for four years, Mr.Griglio is also active as a composer. His first opera, Camille Claudel, debuted in 2013 to a great success of audience and critics. Mr. Griglio is presently working on an opera on Caravaggio and Music Director of Opera Odyssey.

 

Introduction

In January 1861 Verdi – who hadn’t worked on a new opera for 2 years (his last opera, “Un ballo in maschera” is from 1859) – was still debating whether or not accepting to be a candidate to the first Italian parliament. In the same period he received an offer from the St. Petersburg theater to compose a new opera for the following season.

He debated on the subject for some time but eventually opted for the Spanish drama Don Alvaro, o La fuerza del sino by Angel de Saavedra y Ramirez. As Verdi himself wrote to his French editor, La forza del destino is a “big and powerful drama, and I’m really in love with it“. He started writing in September and was done with it by December.

[...]

Aside from the dramatic purposes of introducing us to the subject of the opera, these chords were also telling the audience that the show was about to start.

Verdi -La Forza del Destino Overture - ex 1

The Sinfonia is makes use of the main themes from the opera: we hear the first one after the 3 chords have been reiterated

[...]

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