Mozart And His Operas

Overview

David Cairns weaves a brilliantly engaging narrative which puts Mozart’s operas in the context of his life, showing how they illuminate his creativity as a whole. Mozart’s unusual childhood as a musical prodigy touring Europe as a performer from an early age is well known. But even more remarkable is that the genius grew up, surviving his unnatural early years and producing works of increasing maturity and originality. Using the operas as his guide, Cairns traces the steady deepening of Mozart’s musical style ...

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Overview

David Cairns weaves a brilliantly engaging narrative which puts Mozart’s operas in the context of his life, showing how they illuminate his creativity as a whole. Mozart’s unusual childhood as a musical prodigy touring Europe as a performer from an early age is well known. But even more remarkable is that the genius grew up, surviving his unnatural early years and producing works of increasing maturity and originality. Using the operas as his guide, Cairns traces the steady deepening of Mozart’s musical style from his beginnings as a child prodigy, through his coming of age with what Cairns sees as the most Romantic and forward-looking of all Mozart’s operas, Idomeneo, the later genius displayed in the three comic operas, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte, and in The Magic Flute, the final and greatest triumph of his career.

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Editorial Reviews

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In this immensely readable biography, David Cairns puts Mozart’s operas front and center, letting the music illuminate the creative aspects of the composer’s life. Revealing both a scholar’s understanding and an aficionado’s passion, Cairns’s commentary -- as colorful and character driven as the operas themselves -- is a true delight.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140296747
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • Publication date: 2/27/2007
  • Pages: 304

Meet the Author

David Cairns has been chief music critic of the Sunday Times and music critic and arts editor of the Spectator. He has also written for the Evening Standard, the Financial Times and the New Statesman. He has been Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California, a visiting scholar at the Getty Center in Santa Monica, and a visiting fellow of Merton College, Oxford. His two-volume biography of Berlioz won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year and the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize.

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Table of Contents

1 Imitation, assimilation : the early operas 17
2 "Such great things in so small a head" : Indomeneo 32
3 Vienna and a new life : Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail 69
4 Lorenzo Da Ponte and the perfect marriage : Le nozze di Figaro 99
5 Prague and "the opera of all operas" : Don Giovanni 136
6 Catechisms of love : Cosi fan tutte 169
7 Mozart the visionary : The magic flute 194
8 Propaganda and parable : La clemenza di Tito 229
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