Luciano Pavarotti: The Myth of the Tenor

Overview

Luciano Pavarotti is an operatic superstar whose popularity reaches far beyond the opera house. Through television appearances, performances in sports arenas and clubs, commercials for fur coats and credit cards, and promotional hype, he has transformed himself into a living legend with "the unique voice in all the world." In this controversial work, Jurgen Kesting skillfully combines a critical assessment of Pavarotti's singing career with incisive commentary on stardom, the myth of the tenor, the ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $65.00   
  • Used (18) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$65.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(181)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Luciano Pavarotti is an operatic superstar whose popularity reaches far beyond the opera house. Through television appearances, performances in sports arenas and clubs, commercials for fur coats and credit cards, and promotional hype, he has transformed himself into a living legend with "the unique voice in all the world." In this controversial work, Jurgen Kesting skillfully combines a critical assessment of Pavarotti's singing career with incisive commentary on stardom, the myth of the tenor, the commercialization of art, and the forces that shape audience perception in a market-driven society. An expert on the history of singing, Kesting weaves his analysis of Pavarotti's early training, debuts, recordings, and concerts into a penetrating examination of the nature, creation, and consequences of fame. He also considers the concept of the tenor voice and discusses the composers and compositional styles of the repertoire. Kesting examines how the myth of the tenor originated with Enrico Caruso, whose recordings opened the operatic repertoire to mass audiences, and discusses the ways in which Pavarotti both represents and defines the tradition of idolizing the great tenor voice.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is a peculiar hybrid of a book that starts out by suggesting that it is going to reveal the great tenor as a schlock cultural phenomenon, much as Joseph Horowitz did to Arturo in Understanding Toscanini. One could hardly make a book out of such a slender and obvious premise, however, and after a couple of chapters in which Kesting notes that these days Pavarotti is "famous chiefly for being famous," and pours scorn on the singer's professed belief that his sellout bellowing matches with the Three Tenors helps bring more people to opera, Kesting settles down into something much more interesting. This is a history of the role of the operatic tenor in the popular imagination (a comparatively recent development, barely a century old) and the way in which a hitherto little-used voice has become central to the traditional opera experience. Kesting, a German cultural journalist, is fantastically knowledgeable about niceties of performance, and traces his hero's (or villain's) rise, through ever more limited displays of his real abilities, to his present meaningless eminence. In the process he offers many acute observations on the ways in which performance standards have coarsened, particularly in the past 50 years. There is a careful critical evaluation of Pavarotti's more presentable recordings, and a discography that includes them all, even the dross. It's no book for fans, but for a serious opera lover, it offers much to think about. (Sept.) The Painted Photograph, 1839-1914:
Library Journal
Head of Stern magazine's cultural department and author of a respected book on the career and recordings of Maria Callas, Kesting here updates a work published in Germany in 1991. He examines the tenor voice, its evolution, and the changing demands placed on it by major composers. More enticingly, he posits that "Pavarotti is no longer famous because of the quality of his singing, but simply because he is so incredibly famous," and he goes on to consider the conflicts between fame and art. He disputes Pavarotti's claim that his appearances outside the opera house are meant to attract a new audience to the theater. In fact, the tenor has become an industry and as a result is no longer judged by any standard musical or aesthetic criteria. Throughout, Kesting demonstrates an exhaustive knowledge of vocal techniques and repertoire and is able to support his opinions with specific examples. Pavarotti's fans will find much to disagree with, but this is a welcome balance to the many flattering books about Pavarotti. Recommended for most collections.Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Booknews
An English translation of a controversial German work critically assessing Pavarotti's singing career, his stardom, the myth of the tenor, and the commercialization of art. Kesting analyzes the singer's early training, debuts, recordings, and concerts demonstrating how Pavarotti defines the idolization of the tenor<-->a tradition that originated with Enrico Caruso. Though the discussion centers on opera, the author raises serious questions regarding the price of such fame and its consequences on art. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
Kesting, the editor of the German magazine Stern's cultural department, offers a grim indictment of Pavarotti, accusing the tenor "of no longer being a singer in an artistic world that functions according to strict rules, but rather a cult figure in a faceless amusement industry."

Pavarotti, the author asserts, is guilty of surrendering to (and even embodying) the evils of modern "mass entertainment," having long ago "given up any pretense of high quality" while in desperate pursuit of a mass audience. It's his personality, not the music, that is being marketed. But while an interesting argument about such matters might be made, it isn't offered here. Approximately a third of the text traces Pavarotti's career; another third offers Kesting's equally declamatory opinions of other tenors (from Nourrit and Duprez to Caruso and Björling). The remainder is an unsurprising review of Pavarotti's recordings. Who, finally, is this intended for? Music lovers who have collected Pavarotti's recordings over the years, as well as heard him in live performance, have read dozens of similar reviews in magazines and newspapers over the years, and Kesting's often snide opinions are neither fresh nor convincing. There is no shortage of biographical material on Pavarotti. The larger number of likely readers, who know Pavarotti from such events as the "Three Tenor" spectaculars, are fans and would be bored by the steady theoretical repetitiousness surrounding the nuggets of criticism.

The uncomfortable mix of classical music, money, and modern marketing techniques is a troubling issue. But Kesting doesn't so much anatomize it here as offer a series of assertions, insufficiently worked out, that sound both cranky and shallow.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555532826
  • Publisher: Northeastern University Press
  • Publication date: 9/5/1996
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.77 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)