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Valent, Eleonora

The spectacle of sounds: Lully's and Charpentier's stage music for "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme" and "Le Malade Imaginaire"

Laurea, Letters/Musicology, Università "La Sapienza", Rome, 1998
(evalent@hotmail.com)

The two Molière comedies Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and Le Malade Imaginaire are among the most meaningful examples of Comédie-Ballet. It is a musical play very common during the second half of eighteen century in the French royal court. In the comedie-ballet drama, music and dance merge in a single very fascinating artistic representation.

This degree thesis examines the different ways in which the stage music of Lully (for Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme) and of Charpentier (for Le Malade Imaginaire) work together with the other components of the play. The work evaluates the effectiveness of the musical element, it analyses the expressive synergies it activates with other stage elements and always considers the receptive capabilities of the public the whole artistic representation is addressed to. Lully and Charpentier musics are therefore analysed together with the several representation elements.

The overall structure of this degree thesis is as follows:

Introduction:
1. The "bel composto" of the scene.
2. The musical element as integrated part of the comédie

Chapter I: The text
1. Easy text perception
2. Prosodiacal and syntactic segmentation
3. Symmetries and parallelisms
4. Textual content

Chapter II: Stage setting
1. Emotional preparation to the play: the "overture"
2. The different ways of solemnity
3. The martiality
4. The different way of serenity
5. The ridiculous, object of laughter

Chapter III: The character
1. The character affections: carrying out the emotional functionality
2. The character as a "type"
3. The character as bearer of national features

Chapter IV: The action
1. The action time
2. The interaction