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Verdi's long life spanned Napoleonic rule and the age of broadcasting. He was the last great composer to give direct voice to basic human emotions yet he was not always as straightforward as the directness of his work suggests: he was neither the uneducated peasant he claimed to be nor the conservative nationalist he seemed to become in his later years. In this biography, John Rosselli traces the life and work of a boldly innovative artist. He investigates Verdi's businesslike running of a landed estate as well as a highly successful career, and looks into his complex relationships - still not quite clear - with two women singers: his second wife Giuseppina Strepponi and his probable lover Teresa Stolz. At the same time he considers the music with clarity and insight, dwelling on the most important operas and showing us why they still fill theatres and rouse enthusiasm today.
Reviews & endorsements
'… in the last 50 years … has also brought a mighty growth of serious critical interest in Verdi. …That Mr Rosselli - one of the three or four best interpreters of 19th-century Italian opera, who died last week at 73 - could write this beautiful little book proves the point.' Sunday TelegraphSee more reviews
'John Rosselli's latest contribution to this admirable series has all the virtues of his earlier Bellini study … both man and musician are worthily served.' Julian Budden, Gramophone
' [a] beautiful little book.' Frank Johnson, Sunday Telegraph
'I would require students, both performers and incipient musicologists, to read extensively from this volume, with full confidence that it would open their minds to the myriad problems inherent in editing and performing music and engender lively, thoughtful discussion.' The Opera Quarterly
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- Date Published: August 2000
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521669573
- length: 220 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 139 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.26kg
- contains: 24 b/w illus. 1 map
- availability: Available
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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