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“Victories and coronations” : cultural nationalism and the sacred music of Giuseppe Verdi
Logan John Harrison Skirm
May 11, 2011
Department or Program
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.