45.99 In Stock
This three-volume biography, first published in 1796, recounts the colourful life of the popular Italian poet and librettist Pietro Trapassi (1698-1782), better known by his pseudonym Metastasio. Charles Burney (1726-1814), a British composer and the author of a celebrated four-volume History of Music published between 1776 and 1789, interweaves his own accounts of the poet's life with Metastasio's original letters translated into English. Metastasio's posthumously published correspondence with his friends and patrons provides the essential thread to understanding his complex life and affairs. The son of a shopkeeper, Metastasio was adopted as a young boy by the director of the Arcadian Academy, Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina, who was charmed by the child's extraordinary talent for improvising poetry. Volume 1 covers Metastasio's life from his early childhood until 1751, including his musical debut in Rome after his tutor's death, and the beginning of his career in Vienna.