The Great Caruso

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Important less for its new biographical details than for the balance and thoroughness of its coverage, this is a comprehensive critical account of Enrico Caruso's amazing career, from his first engagements at 22 in 1895 until his tragic death at 48 in 1921, when he was the world's most famous singer. Scott, author of the noted The Record of Singing, dispels some of the Caruso myths and adds to our understanding of his significance by explaining musical developments that influenced the singer and those that he influenced in turn. Stressing the importance of the phonograph in making Caruso's voice familiar throughout the world, Scott is particularly successful in showing the tenor's constant change and development in singing technique and style. With its complete chronology of Caruso's appearances (by Thomas G. Kaufman) and detailed discography (by John R. Bolig), this authoritative study will bring much pleasure and reference information to the legions of music lovers who still thrill to Caruso's voice. (July)
Library Journal
Scott, author of The Record of Singing ( LJ 7/78), here turns his energies to an exhaustive and thoroughly documented biography of celebrated tenor Enrico Caruso. The result is a superb appreciation of the singer from his humble birth and his early studies to his success as the greatest singer of his time. Extensive quotations from contemporary accounts and reviews flesh out the legend, though one would have liked more on his relations with contemporary singers. A thorough chronology of Caruso appearances, with notes on local and world premieres; documentation for 498 recordings, of which 245 are known to exist; and a bibliography listing monographs, but not the very significant periodical literature about Caruso, complete the work. An excellent study. William Shank, CUNY Graduate Sch.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394536811
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/12/1988
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Pages: 336

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    How Rare and Unique

    The Great Caruso is a rare and wonderful exploration of the personal and professional life of one of the finest tenors of our age - Enrico Caruso. The reader is carried along in a surge of opportunities and performances too numerous to list here. At his height, Caruso handled a blistering appearance and performance schedule, one which would have done in a lesser tenor. His incredible talents shone brilliantly in operas both in the United States and overseas, in between brief and cherished weeks or months spent in his Italian retreat.

    I found the tale of his personal life most engaging. Caruso's first marriage was a little rocky, but eventually he found wedded bliss and it is clear that he adored his children. Family always came first for him and my heart was so touched by Enrico's tragic end, a death which might have been avoided if the signs had been correctly interpreted and his demanding schedule lightened. Nevertheless, for all too brief a time, Enrico Caruso dazzled and inspired audiences worldwide, his star burning brightly whether it was within the intimate setting of a friend's parlor or upon the lofty boards of the Met. For anyone who adores music, this book is a treasure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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