VERDI, v6r'de (Fortunino) Giuseppe (Francesco), Italian composer: b. Le Roncole, near Busseto, Parma, 9 Oct. 1813; d. Milan, 27 Jan. 1901. His earlier musical education he received from a local musician of Le Roncole and Giovanni Provesi, maestro di cuppella of the cathedral of Busseto and director of the Societa Filarmonica, there. He wrote for this orchestra several marches, a symphony and other instrumental pieces now treasured in manuscript in the Busseto library. In 1831 he went to Milan to continue his studies, but non his application for a scholarship at the Conservatorio was rejected °for want of musi cal ability," according to the report of the director. He then studied composition and in strumentation with Vincenzo Lavigna. Upon his return to Busseto, he became conductor of the Filarmonica and organist of San Bortolom meo. From 1838 he was again at Milan, where his first opera, (Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio,) was presented with considerable success at La Scala (1839) ; (Un Giorno di Regno) (1840), called °tin bazar de reminiscences,° was an utter failure, but (Nabuccodonosor) (1842), to a Biblical libretto by Solera, was received so well as at once to establish his reputation. (I Lom-' bardP (1843) and (Ernani> (1843), with libretto from Hugo's (Hernani,) were even more pro nouncedly successfuL The Austrian government in both cases made objections to the revolu tionary ideas contained in the works. The po litical demonstrations of the time were no doubt of aid to the composer, and, in fact, the name Verdi was employed by the patriot party as an acrostic for Vittorio Emanuele Re D'Italia. (Ernani) was the first of Verdi's works to be produced in England. He was now kept busy supplying impresarios with operas. Most of these were inferior to his earlier successes. Perhaps the worst was (I Masnadieri,' which Verdi traveled to London to conduct (1847), but could not redeem. Yet with (Rigoletto' (1851) he entered his most brilliant period. This, with (II Trovator0 (1852) and (La Traviata) (1853), are classed as marking his second manner. They reveal a great advance over (ErnanP in the treatment of both voice and orchestra. Their success in and beyond Italy was very great. They confirmed Verdi's reputation and they have remained incorpo rated in the general repertoire of Italian opera. Then followed another series of semi-failures. (Les Vepres Siciliennes' (1855), written for the Paris Opera, to be produced during the Universal Exhibition, had, indeed, a somewhat temporary success, and (Un Ballo in Ma.schera) (1859) has been at intervals revived. Orsini having recently (13 Jan. 1858) made an attempt on the life of Napoleon, the scene of the latter was changed from Sweden to Boston, Mass., and one Riccardo, Earl of Warwick and colo nial governor, was assassinated instead of Gus tavus III. Verdi was now working out a new
method of expression, liberated from the tra ditional utterance of the Italian school. With (Aida,' on an Emtian subject, written at the request of Ismail Pasha and presented at Cairo in 1871, he first declared his third manner, re vealing to a considerable degree Wagnerian influence, without, however, surrendering the leading features of Italian music. The orchestral resources were greatly increased but the vocal score was still the major part of his sc.heme. A (Requiem Mass,' his only non-operatic work of considerable importance, written in 1874 in commemoration of the death of Manzoni, applied this new manner to sacred music. It was the centre of rnuch discussion, being at tacked by von Billow and defended by Brahms. A revised version of (Simone Boccanegra,' a vvork which had failed in 1857, was presented with much success at Milan in 1881 and in 1887 (Otello,' with a libretto by Boito, who had largely rewritten that of (Simone Boc canegra.' Here and in (Falstaff' (1893), a comic opera, with a libretto also by Boito, there ts an increase in dramatic characterization. In 1898 Verdi wrote four sacred. works, a (Te Detun,) a (Stabat Mater,' an (Ave Maria'. and (Laudi Virgine) (words from Dante). Besides these and the Manzoni (Requiem,' he wrote for the most part little save operas and a string quartet (1873). A chronological list of his operas is as follows: (Oben()) (1839) ; (Un Giorno di Rev()) (1840) ; (Nabuccodono, sot-) (1842); 'I Lombardi' (1843) ; (Ernani) (1844); (I Due Foscal s OW\ (C: &Arco' (1845 ) ; tAlzira' (16451 ; 'A ttila' (1846) ; (Macbeth) (1847); '1 Masnadieri) (1847); '11 Corsaro) (1848) ; (La Battaglia di Legnano' (1849) ; (Luisa Miller) (1849); (Stif felio) (1850); (Rigoletto' (1851); <11 Trova tore) (1833) ; (La Traviata) (1853) ; (Les Vepres Siciliennes) (1855); (Simone Boc canegra) (1837; rev. 1881); (Aroldo' (revision of (Stiffelio,' 1857) ; lin Ballo in Maschera' (1859) ; (La Forza del Destino' (1862) ; (Don Carlos) (1867) ; (Aida) (1871); (Otello) (1887); (Falstaff) (1893) ; (Quattro pezzi sacri) (1898). In his work Verdi was greatly aided by his wife, the famous prima donna, Giuscp pina Strepponi, whom he married in 1849, after she had made a successful appearance in several of his operas.
_C., (Verdi) (Paris 1911) ; Crowest, F., (Verdi: Man and Musician) (New York 1897) ; Garibald, F., 'Giuseppe Verdi nella vita y nella arte) (Florence 1904) ; Pongin, (Verdi, an Anecdotic History of his life and works' (1887); Perinello, C.,