Puccini: A Biography

Puccini: A Biography

2.3 3
by Mary Jane Phillips-Matz
     
 

ISBN-10: 1555535305

ISBN-13: 9781555535308

Pub. Date: 10/03/2002

Publisher: Northeastern University Press

Descended from four generations of distinguished composers and organists, Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) was driven by family tradition and an ambitious mother to pursue a career that brought him worldwide recognition as the greatest composer of Italian opera after Giuseppe Verdi. But behind the brilliant creator of such lasting works as La Bohème, Tosca, Madama…  See more details below

Overview

Descended from four generations of distinguished composers and organists, Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) was driven by family tradition and an ambitious mother to pursue a career that brought him worldwide recognition as the greatest composer of Italian opera after Giuseppe Verdi. But behind the brilliant creator of such lasting works as La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West, La Rondine, and Turandot, there was a person racked with indecision, self-doubt, bouts of depression, and private misfortunes.

In this beautifully written work, Mary Jane Phillips-Matz brings to life both the man and his circle. Setting Puccini's intriguing story within the worlds of his beloved Tuscany and the cutthroat opera business, the author follows the composer from boyhood in his ancestral Lucca, to his struggling student years at the Milan Conservatory, to his early successes and failures, to the artistic triumphs that earned him international celebrity and considerable wealth.

Filled with colorful details and anecdotes drawn from extensive primary sources as well as interviews with descendents, family friends, and colleagues, the book chronicles Puccini's personal sorrows and scandals, and recounts his stormy professional rivalries and associations in England, Europe, and the United States. Phillips-Matz also skillfully untangles the threads of the gifted artist's complex and contradictory character. She reveals a sophisticated composer who often drew upon exotic thematic material and an elegant cosmopolite who loved his several villas, expensive cars, boats, and fine clothes. Yet Puccini remained passionately wedded to the simple life of the Tuscan countryside of his youth.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555535308
Publisher:
Northeastern University Press
Publication date:
10/03/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
801,119
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrationsix
Forewordxi
Preface and Acknowledgmentsxiii
Abbreviations Used in Source Citationsxxi
Chapter 1A Musical Dynasty 1600-18803
Chapter 2Milan and the Old Guard: 1880-188321
Chapter 3Le Willis, Later Called Le Villi: 1884-188639
Chapter 4Edgar, Elvira, and Antonio: 1886-188955
Chapter 5Manon Lescaut: 1890-189367
Chapter 6La Boheme: 1893-189880
Chapter 7Tosca: 1887-1900106
Chapter 8Madama Butterfly: 1900-1906123
Chapter 9The International Celebrity at Home and Abroad: 1905-1908156
Chapter 10La Fanciulla del West and Beyond: 1908-1913184
Chapter 11La Rondine, War, and Il Trittico: 1913-1920223
Chapter 12The Unfinished Turandot: Spring 1919-November 1924257
Afterword: Turandot Reaches the Stage307
List of Puccini's Works313
Puccini and His Contemporaries317
Selected Bibliography319
Index327

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Puccini 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Phillips-Matz may believe that her great strength is in research but as her biography of Verdi proved she can breathe life into individuals, families, and even an era or two. She is a writer of significance. Why then would a writer of this caliber be content with the work she did on Puccini: A Biography? I doubt that she is. Her Puccini is far beneath the standard she set with Verdi. Read her Verdi and you must hope that Phillips-Matz will again choose to gift us with her best writing.