La passacaglia nel teatro musicale del Novecento come espressione della logica drammatica
In twentieth-century musical theatre many forms seem to refer to passacaglia principles; on the contrary, similar forms were considered inadequate in nineteenth- century theatre (either in Verdi’s realism or in Wagner’s rein menschliche). By resorting to a wide range of examples, not to systematic analyses, and adopting a comparative perspective, this article sheds light on some common features among very different composers-dramatists like Puccini, Dallapiccola, Hindemith, S?ostakovic?, Petrassi, and Britten. Such research aims at demonstrating not how a theatrical passacaglia is made, but why this form is used, and what its structural development means in the context of the whole score and dramatic plot. Conclusions reveal that in such dramaturgical choices there is no intention of “returning to”, of recovering an estranged form from the past. Passacaglia instead is always the meaningful very core of dramatic action, both from the narrative point of view and with regards to the music material. Most passacaglias analyzed here contain the main motives of the operas; besides they are placed in the Ho?hepunkt of the processes of the protagonists’ psychosis. Therefore passacaglia becomes the best device to realize what Peter Szondi called «subjective dramaturgy», which in the first half of the twentieth century distinguishes European theatre. This means that passacaglias, rondos, variations, ostinatos or ciacconas reveal themselves as particularly effective to realize the new neurotic processes staged by dramatists.