The Life of Verdi

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Overview

Verdi's long life spanned Napoleonic rule and the age of broadcasting. In this new biography, John Rosselli considers a boldly innovative artist whose twenty-eight operas still speak to us. He investigates Verdi's businesslike running of a landed estate as well as a highly successful career, and looks into his complex relationships with two women singers: his second wife Giuseppina Strepponi and his probable lover Teresa Stolz. At the same time Roselli reinterprets the operas with novel insights showing us why Verdi still fills theaters and rouses enthusiasm.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As the muscial world starts to weary of the Bach year and look forward to a Verdi year, beginning with the 100th anniversary of that composer's death in January, a new Verdi biography by John Rosselli is timely. So, for different reasons in the absence of any imminent Mendelssohn year, is a companion volume on that master by Peter Mercer-Taylor. Both form part of an unsually stimulating series of brief lives of the composers, now numbering a baker's dozen, from Cambridge University Press. ...both biographies are entertaining...and each, like several other biographies in the series, offers a fine introduction to its subject for the general reader as well as a firm critical tack that even the specialists may enjoy testing: about the most one could ask of a small book." —New York Times, Books of the Times

"Both [Life of Mendelssohn] form part of an unsually stimulating series of brief lives of the composers, now numbering a baker's dozen, from Cambridge University Press...offers a fine introduction to its subject for the general reader as well as a firm critical tack that even the specialist may enjoy testing: about the most one could ask of a small book." International Herald Tribune

"The composer emerges as a complex, often conflicted personality through Rosselli's clear, compact, and vivid prose. Carefully annotated, with some uncommon illustrations and a well-considered guide to further reading, this is an excellent choice for libraries seeking to replace or supplement volumes on Verdi. Highly recommended." Library Journal

"Rosselli offers a rich view of the events and experiences that shaped Verdi as a musician and a man. He makes frequent references to Verdi's correspondence and the supplementary readings, but he manages these in a way that does not interrupt the narrative flow. A useful index of names, works, and ideas helps readers wind their way among the characters and themes in still other ways. Recommended especially for undergraduates and general readers." Choice

Library Journal
This latest entry in Cambridge's respected "Musical Lives" series provides a thorough overview of the man who dominated musical life in Italy for nearly 50 years. As William Berger does in Verdi with a Vengeance (LJ 9/15/00), Rosselli (The Life of Bellini, The Life of Mozart) examines Verdi's life in relation to the political and social climate of 19th-century Italy. However, while the Berger volume serves more as a congenial guide to the operas themselves, here the man, rather than the music, is the focus. Verdi's works are examined as only one of many illustrative elements, which include his somewhat stormy personal life and his role in Italian politics. The composer emerges as a complex, often conflicted personality through Rosselli's clear, compact, and vivid prose. Carefully annotated, with some uncommon illustrations and a well-considered guide to further reading, this is an excellent choice for libraries seeking to replace or supplement volumes on Verdi. Highly recommended.--Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty. P.L., NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521660112
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Series: Musical Lives Series
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: truth and theatre; 1. The innkeeper's son, 1813–1842: Oberto to Nabucco; 2. The galley slave, 1842–1847: Nabucco to Macbeth; 3. Turning-points, 1847–49: I masnadieri to La battaglia di Legnano; 4. The people's composer, 1849–1859: Luisa Miller to Un ballo in maschera; 5. Complications, 1859–1872: La forza del destino, Don Carlos, and Aida; 6. Evergreen, 1872–1901: the Requiem, Othello and Falstaff.

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