Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Fall 5-11-2011

Major Department or Program



Lee Thompson


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.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Nationalism, Music -- 19th century, Giuseppe (1813-1901), Composers -- Italy, Risorgimento, Social movements -- Italy, Arts and revolutions, Operas -- Interpretation, Expression in art, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2011 -- Music Department : Music History

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Whitman Community Accessible Thesis

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