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This is the first English-language biography of the beloved Swedish tenor, incorporating recollections by his widow, information from the family archives, and material from operatic archives the world over. A chronology of his performances is also included.

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This is the first English-language biography of the beloved Swedish tenor, incorporating recollections by his widow, information from the family archives, and material from operatic archives the world over. A chronology of his performances is also included.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A major English-language biography of Jussi Bjrling (1912-1960), the Swede who from the late 1930s to his untimely death was the premier lyric tenor of his time, the logical successor to Enrico Caruso and Beniamino Gigli, has been long overdue. The fact that it has finally been produced by Bjrling's widow, who in later years frequently sang with him, might be suspect; but she has, as it turns out, been exceptionally frank about Bjrling's weakness for alcohol, which seems to have been his only dark side. He was a professional from the age of five, touring the States with his brothers and father as part of a family choral act, and soon developed, at the Swedish Royal Opera, into a singer who attracted international attention with the lyric purity of his voice, his apparently effortless virtuosity and his adaptability: he was equally at home in opera (where he favored the Italian lyric roles) and on the recital stage, where he commanded a large repertoire including Sibelius and lesser-known Scandinavians. His professional colleagues, many of whom speak of him here, were unanimous in their admiration of his voice (if not always of his acting), but a 1960 recording contretemps with Georg Solti, at a time when Bjrling's heart was showing alarming weakness, seems to have hastened his death. His story, of inspired professionalism in what now seems a golden age of extraordinary singers, is a salutary one for the present exhibitionist, star-obsessed, fickle time. (A discography is to be published separately.) Photos. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Amidst the recent hype about "The Three Tenors," many opera lovers remain convinced that Jussi Bjrling, "the Swedish Caruso," surpassed them all. Although he died in 1960 at the age of 49, his recording career spanned 30 years, and his performing career was even longer. His wife, an accomplished singer, and Andrew Farkas (with Enrico Caruso Jr., Enrico Caruso: My Father and My Family, LJ 7/90) have collaborated to produce this long-overdue English-language biography. The early years-touring with his father and brothers, his first adult professional engagements, and his courtship of Anna-Lisa-are particularly fascinating. The remarkable international career that followed is well documented, with excerpts from reviews, letters from the singer to his family, and reminiscenses by his many famous colleagues. The authors have been honest about the alcoholism and sometimes erratic behavior that troubled Bjrling's personal and professional life. Highly recommended.-Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Tenor Jussi Bj<:o>rling (1911-1960) was widely acclaimed for his exceptional voice, flawless technique, and impeccable musical taste, among other attributes. This biography, written with his widow and stage companion, Lisa Bj<:o>rling, incorporates information from the family archives, documentation held by the Jussi Bj<:o>rling Museum in Sweden, and material from worldwide operatic, as well as extensive interviews with friends and colleagues. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574670103
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 3/1/2003
  • Series: Opera Biography Series, #7
  • Pages: 522
  • Lexile: 1160L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2006

    The greatest of the great

    This is a wonderful book on the life of possibly the greatest tenor of the 20th century. His deep humility and dedication to his art shines through this work. His wife too shows her love and understanding of this tormented genius and makes a unique contribution to perpetuating and preserving his memory. A must for all Bjorling lovers. The work is filled with anecdotes and information about other singers and features some of the highlights in the life of this truly great master.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Remarkable Biography

    By Dag Stomberg, St. Andrews, Scotland

    After a decade since this book was first published it remains the definitive one beyond any doubt.

    Jussi Bjoerling's voice was pure and outstanding in its quality.
    He was a tenor with a truly remarkable range; his low notes were
    strong, his high register extraordinary.

    Today, digital transfers from 78 rpm discs makes his voice even more appreciated for moments of great listening.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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