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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Compositori, impresari e pubblico nell’Anello di Ugo Fleres: Un ritratto del mondo musicale operistico alle soglie del Novecento.

  • Author(s): Bombara, Daniela
  • et al.

The purpose of this research is to examine the relationship between literary and musical forms in a novel by Ugo Fleres, l’Anello ( 1898). Fleres, italian writer, Pirandello and Luigi Capuana’s friend , tells the story of Ottavio, mediocre composer, who inherites by a suicidial musician a drama, L’Anello. He decides to stage the opera and lives by proxy the experience of artistic perfection, pretending to be the author of this brilliant composition ; the Anello, wagnerian drama, shocks the public at first but,  after a while,  it arouses an incredible enthusiasm. Ottavio, unable to repeat the work that he stole, characterized by  incomparable modernity,  composes wearily trivial operettas, and he turns into the distorted doppelgänger of an ingenious artist. On the other hand, in his desperate attempts to create, the main character gets to futuristic solutions, that seem to overcome the antithesis among sound and noise as it will be placed by Luigi Russolo in his manifesto L’arte dei rumori, years later. The novel focuses the mechanism of musical composition and  the interaction between word and sound, taking inspiration by Wagnerian total art but, at the same time, denying it in the deeply divided self of Ottavio. Equally significant  in the story  is the representation of  contemporary Italian music and opera world, seen in all its aspects – public, singers, journalists, managers - , with a wickedness that eliminates definitively the last traces of Romantic idealization. 

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