"Victories and coronations" : cultural nationalism and the sacred music of Giuseppe Verdi
The sacred music of Giuseppe Verdi remains one of the least appreciated corners of his output; as a result, its significance for the composer has been largely unexplored. Considering that Verdi was both agnostic and anti-clerical, it is surprising to observe a repeated return to sacred and quasi-sacred texts at the end of career. Looking at the political and cultural identity crisis following the unification of Italy, I interpret the homage to figures of national significance displayed in Verdi’s sacred compositions as examples of cultural nationalism affirming the creation of a unified Italy.
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