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« L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato » de Haendel : une contradiction réconciliée ?

Abstract : This paper aims at analysing the various principles underlying Handel and his librettists' adaptation of Milton's twin-poems "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso." Paradoxically, the new structure of James Harris's text reinforces the dialogic nature of the diptych, while depriving the two poems of their paradigmatic essence. Besides, Charles Jennens's addition of the third part "Il Moderato" seems to synthesise the two incompatible opposites, the fundamentally open and baroque nature of Milton's initial work being transformed into the rational compromise that one tends to associate with the classical age. However, Handel's music infuses ambiguousness into the new text, restoring the basic contradictions erased by Jennens's words. The final work also lends itself to a reading according to which the tension between the two extremes of the human mind can be seen as Handel's own artistic and aesthetic hesitations, at this stage of his career, between the allure of Italian opera and the call of – and for – English oratorio.
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Pierre Degott. « L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato » de Haendel : une contradiction réconciliée ?. Recherches Anglaises et Nord Americaines, Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 2002. ⟨hal-02886335⟩



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