The Guarneri Quartet is fabled for its unique longevity and high-spirited virtuosity. Here is its story from the inside--a story filled with drama, humor, danger, compassion, and, of course, glorious music.
A player who studies and performs the exalted string-quartet repertoire has opted for a very special life. Arnold Steinhardt, tracing his own development as a student, orchestra player, and budding young soloist, gives a touching account of how he and his intrepid colleagues were converted to chamber music despite the daunting odds against success. And he reveals, as no one has before, the intensely difficult process by which--on the battlefield of daily three-hour rehearsals--four individualists master and then overcome the confining demands of ensemble playing.
Italy was the birthplace of opera. In this authoritative and accessible account of Italian opera, David Kimbell introduces those who, over three hundred years, created not only a national tradition but the central tradition from which others have drawn their inspiration. He traces the history of Italian opera from its origins in the humanism of the Renaissance to Puccini in the early twentieth century, drawing attention not only to musical issues but also to the social, literary, and philosophical ideas that have shaped modern Italian civilization.
Near the end of his life, Richard Wagner supervised the publication of his collected writings, providing an extensive view of his thoughts about art and politics from his youth to his final period of triumph. After his death, there was still more to be told: his admirers discovered a large number of writings he had forgotten, misplaced, never published, or had chosen to omit from his collected works. This volume, the last of eight volumes now reprinted by the University of Nebraska Press, collects the most illuminating of those works. The title work, "Jesus of Nazareth," was written in 1848 or 1849; its composition coincided with the most widespread revolutionary ferment seen in Europe. It expresses Wagner's own revolutionary ideals, thoroughly justified (or so he thought) by Jesus and the early Church. At the time Wagner considered Jesus as a revolutionary leader whose struggles with authority and traditions were much like his own. The opening work is "Siegfried's Death," a poem written in 1848 that set the tone for his most famous operatic work, the tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen. Whole sections of the poem were later incorporated into the fourth Ring opera, Gotterdammerung, but the differences are as revealing as the carryover. The essays that Wagner published in journals but saw fit to exclude from his Gesammelte Schriften might have embarrassed the elderly sage but are key documents to Wagner's activities in his revolutionary period. For example, his ardently prorevolutionary essay, "The Revolution," would have displeased the wealthy patrons of his later years. This edition includes the full text of volume 8 of the translation of Wagner's works published in 1899 for the London Wagner Society.
The keys provided by Herv Lacombe in this richly informed book open the door to understanding the essence of nineteenth-century French lyric theater. Lacombe illuminates the diverse elements that constitute opera by focusing his investigation around three main categories: composition and production; words, music, and drama; and the interaction of society, genre, and aesthetics.
Lacombe chooses Bizet's Pearl Fishers (1863) as the exemplar of French opera that combines tradition and innovation. He uses Pearl Fishers as a paradigmatic point of reference for exploring questions of genesis, style, and aesthetic in other nineteenth-century French operatic works. French opera was a social art, he writes, and looping between past and future, between tradition and innovation, it achieved the seemingly impossible union of two antithetical aspects of Romanticism: the taste for theatricality and the desire for intimacy.
The voices of contemporary witnesses are heard throughout Lacombe's book. He makes abundant use of the writings of such musician-critics as Berlioz, Reyer, and Saint-Sa ns and also draws on the works of many French writers, including Stendhal, Balzac, Baudelaire, and Zola. Illustrations showing costume sketches, scenery, posters, paintings, photographs, and magazine articles are attractive complements to discussions of particular operas. Together with Edward Schneider's accessible translation, the illustrations make this well-rounded and original study a trove of information for both music scholars and French historians.
One of Verdi's most popular opera, La Traviata is based on La Dame aux Cam lias (Camille), the novel and play by Alexandre Dumas, fils that enthralled Parisian audiences of the 1850s with a stirring portrayal of a beautiful courtesan redeemed by love. With his librettist, Francesco Maria Piave, Verdi transformed the Dumas story of a passionate, ultimately poignant love affair within the intoxicating demimonde of Paris in the mid-1800s to an exciting, deeply moving musical drama.
La Traviata fortunately survived its dismal first production in Venice in 1853 to become a worldwide favorite, treasured by musical artists and audiences alike for the lyric beauty of its arias and ensembles, and for the dramatic force and finesse of its orchestral scoring. This full-score edition, designed to provide a lifetime of study and enjoyment, is reproduced from the authoritative edition prepared for G. Ricordi of Milan. It will afford opera lovers a rare opportunity to study intimately Verdi's genius for operatic composition in the early years of its greatest flowering.
Kat'a Kabanova is both the first Janacek opera to have been performed in Britain and the one which has received the most productions in Britain and the USA. In this book John Tyrrell brings together letters, early reviews and other documents (most of them translated from Czech for the first time) on the opera's composition and its early performances. A group of key interpretations of the opera ranges from one by the opera's German translator and Janacek's first biographer Max Brod to specially commissioned essays by Wilfrid Mellers and by David Pountney, producer of the highly successful Welsh National Opera/Scottish Opera Janacek cycle."
(Amadeus). Step behind the glory-and-glamour enchantment of grand opera with this candid look at life in the opera world. Life in Opera: Truth, Tempo, and Soul is a collection of encounters with great stars and personalities that shape and enhance the opera universe of today. In Part I The Interviews, the conversations take center stage. From their earliest sparks of passion for opera to the exploration of their voices, from the unflinching devotion to their art to the development of personal philosophies about singing and life, the singers open the door to their world with uninhibited frankness. The administrators discuss the paths that led them to become the protectors and nurturers of this art form. The conductors confirm the complex roles they play, while the film directors and fashion designers describe their exciting contributions to opera. Interviews include Placido Domingo, James Levine, Peter Gelb, Joseph Volpe, Renee Fleming, Ramon Vargas, and over twenty others. In Part II Author's Corner, join the author on her surprising journey through the opera world as she recounts the unconventional and at times amusing path where she met and came to know the stars of the lyric universe.
The popular opera star Lily Pons (1898-1976) was the reigning coloratura at the Metropolitan Opera from 1931 to 1959, and her career included several Hollywood films. She was as beautiful and charming as she was talented - a combination that made her a true celebrity. This collection brings together the impressions of colleagues, critics and scholars about this much-beloved diva, with more than 100 rare photographs from Lily Pons' own archives, largely owned by Ludecke and her family. HARDCOVER.
From the Wall Street Journal's opera critic, a wide-ranging narrative history of how and why the New York City Opera went bankrupt--and what it means for the future of the arts
In October 2013, the arts world was rocked by the news that the New York City Opera--"the people's opera"--had finally succumbed to financial hardship after 70 years in operation. The company had been a fixture on the national opera scene--as the populist antithesis of the grand Metropolitan Opera, a nurturing home for young American talent, and a place where new, lively ideas shook up a venerable art form. But NYCO's demise represented more than the loss of a cherished organization: it was a harbinger of massive upheaval in the performing arts--and a warning about how cultural institutions would need to change in order to survive.
Drawing on extensive research and reporting, Heidi Waleson, one of the foremost American opera critics, recounts the history of this scrappy company and reveals how, from the beginning, it precariously balanced an ambitious artistic program on fragile financial supports. Waleson also looks forward and considers some better-managed, more visionary opera companies that have taken City Opera's lessons to heart.
Above all, Mad Scenes and Exit Arias is a story of money, ego, changes in institutional identity, competing forces of populism and elitism, and the ongoing debate about the role of the arts in society. It serves as a detailed case study not only for an American arts organization, but also for the sustainability and management of nonprofit organizations across the country.