Puccini Companion

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This informative volume offers 27 photographs and drawings, select bibliographies, a chronology of Puccini’s life and works, a dramatis personae of the countless individuals who played a role in Puccini’s career, a list of first performances, and plot summaries of all the operas.
What forces helped shape the output of this high-living, often arrogant, but immensely talented composer? This fascinating collection includes Simonetta Puccini's essay full of intimate details about her family, as well as writings by experts on the racist politics behind the creation of Madama Butterfly; Puccini's fascination with American culture as exemplified in Fanciulla del West; his grappling with twentieth-century musical practices in Trittico and Turandot; and the changes that early recording technology sparked in turn-of-the-century operatic performance style.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Weaver, noted translator and music writer, and Puccini, granddaughter of Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) and editor of two volumes of his letters, here present a wide-ranging collection of essays by music historians, critics and scholars who delve into various aspects of the composer's life and work. The high level of scholarship and readability of these pieces distinguish this volume, replete with insights into Puccini's musical development, his working methods, the evolution of his operatic characters and his relationships with his collaborators. Among the contributors are Harvey Sachs, who describes the composer's long friendship with the conductor Arturo Toscanini; Arthur Groos, who examines the genesis of Madame Butterfly and shows how Puccini and his librettists differed over the complex character of Pinkerton; and Mary Jane Phillips-Matz, who explores Puccini's representation of American frontier life in La fanciulla del West. Annotated bibliographies, a chronology of Puccini's life, a dramatis personae of the people who were important throughout his career, and an appendix with plot summaries enhance the book. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393320527
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/1962
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 452
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

The Puccini Family 3
The Musical World of the Young Puccini 39
Le Villi, Edgar, and the "Symphonic Element" 61
Puccini's Manon and His Other Heroines 111
Manon, Mimi, Artu 122
La Jeunesse Qui N'a Qu'un Temps: La Boheme and Its Origins 142
Tosca and Pessimism 154
Lieutenant F. B. Pinkerton: Problems in the Genesis and Performance of Madama Butterfly 169
Puccini's America 202
Giacomo Puccini's Trittico and the Twentieth Century 228
La Rondine 244
Turandot and the Theatrical Aesthetics of the Twentieth Century 265
The Nonoperatic Works of Giacomo Puccini 279
Early Puccini Performance: A Condition of Transition 303
Puccini: A Bibliographical Sketch 315
A Select Bibliography of Articles and Dissertations About Puccini and His Operas 327
A Chronology of Puccini's Life and Works 335
Appendix A: Dramatis Personae 359
Appendix B: First Performances of Puccini Operas 387
Appendix C: Plot Summaries 393
Index 413
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