Book picks similar to
The Assoluta Voice in Opera, 1797-1847 by Geoffrey S. Riggs
Great Singers on Great Singing: A Famous Opera Star Interviews 40 Famous Opera Singers on the Technique of Singing
Jerome Hines - 1982
This collection includes the commentary of Licia Albanese, Franco Corelli, Placido Domingo, Nicolai Gedda, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Birgit Nilsson, Luciano Pavarotti, Rose Ponselle, Beverly Sills, Joan Sutherland and many others. "Probably the best book on the subject." Publishers Weekly
The Romantic Generation
Charles Rosen - 1995
An exhilarating exploration of the musical language, forms, and styles of the Romantic period, it captures the spirit that enlivened a generation of composers and musicians, and in doing so it conveys the very sense of Romantic music. In readings uniquely informed by his performing experience, Rosen offers consistently acute and thoroughly engaging analyses of works by Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Bellini, Liszt, and Berlioz, and he presents a new view of Chopin as a master of polyphony and large-scale form. He adeptly integrates his observations on the music with reflections on the art, literature, drama, and philosophy of the time, and thus shows us the major figures of Romantic music within their intellectual and cultural context.Rosen covers a remarkably broad range of music history and considers the importance to nineteenth-century music of other cultural developments: the art of landscape, a changed approach to the sacred, the literary fragment as a Romantic art form. He sheds new light on the musical sensibilities of each composer, studies the important genres from nocturnes and songs to symphonies and operas, explains musical principles such as the relation between a musical idea and its realization in sound and the interplay between music and text, and traces the origins of musical ideas prevalent in the Romantic period. Rich with striking descriptions and telling analogies, Rosen's overview of Romantic music is an accomplishment without parallel in the literature, a consummate performance by a master pianist and music historian.
Schumann: The Faces and the Masks
Judith Chernaik - 2018
With the rigorous research of a scholar and the eloquent prose of a novelist, Judith Chernaik takes us into Schumann's nineteenth-century Romantic milieu, where he wore many "masks" that gave voice to each corner of his soul. The son of a book publisher, he infused his pieces with literary ideas. He was passionately original but worshipped the past: Bach and Beethoven, Shakespeare and Byron. He believed in artistic freedom but struggled with constraints of form. His courtship and marriage to the brilliant pianist Clara Wieck--against her father's wishes--is one of the great musical love stories of all time. Chernaik freshly explores his troubled relations with fellow composers Mendelssohn and Chopin, and the full medical diary--long withheld--from the Endenich asylum where he spent his final years enables her to look anew at the mystery of his early death. By turns tragic and transcendent, Schumann shows how this extraordinary artist turned his tumultuous life into music that speaks directly--and timelessly--to the heart.
Molto Agitato: The Mayhem Behind the Music at the Metropolitan Opera
Johanna Fiedler - 1994
Until now.Johanna Fiedler, who was the Met’s general press representative for fifteen years, draws upon her insider’s knowledge and rivetingly reveals for the first time the company’s Byzantine inner workings and the personal, social, economic, and artistic struggles that have always characterized the Met.Molto Agitato is a tale with an appropriately operatic cast of characters_haughty blue bloods, ambitious social climbers, determined administrators, stubborn board members, temperamental artists_all maneuvering to use their power and influence to make the Met conform to their own agendas. Fiedler brings to life the early days of the Met, with the imperious Toscanini arriving from Italy and Caruso filling the house; the post-WW II years, when the unions gained strength and plagued the company with strikes; and the ever present passions of tenors and sopranos, clashing offstage as well as on. But most revelatory are Fiedler’s portrayals of James Levine and Joseph Volpe and their practically parallel ascendancies_Levine rising from prodigy to artistic director, Volpe advancing from stagehand to general manager_and their once strained relationship that was compounded by Volpe’s much publicized firing of the soprano Kathleen Battle.With its swift-flowing narrative, Molto Agitato is a wonderfully entertaining and thoroughly engaging account not only of one of the world’s most respected and richest music institutions but also of power, politics, ambition, and egos.From the Hardcover edition.
The Toughest Show on Earth: My Rise and Reign at the Metropolitan Opera
Joseph Volpe - 2006
This book is the story of Volpe's years leading up to those at the Met, from his first job as a stagehand at the Morosco Theater to the odd jobs he picked up moonlighting: setting up a searchlight or laying down a red carpet for a movie premiere, changing titles on the marquees at the Astor, Victor, and Paramount theaters. It is his Met years--from apprentice carpenter to general manager--that give us a story about New York and the business of culture. Volpe looks at the Met today, an institution full of vast egos and complicated politics, as well as its glittering past--the old Met at Thirty-ninth and Broadway, and the political and artistic intrigues that exploded around its move to Lincoln Center. With stunning candor, he writes about the general managers he worked under, including Rudolf Bing and Anthony Bliss; his own embattled rise to the top; the maneuverings of the blue-chip board; his bad-cop, good-cop collaboration with the conductor James Levine; and his masterful approach to making a family of such highly charged artist-stars as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Teresa Stratas, and Renee Fleming, and such visionary directors as Franco Zeffirelli, Robert Wilson, and Julie Taymor.
When the Fat Lady Sings: Opera History As It Ought To Be Taught
David W. Barber - 1990
Now, to celebrate a decade of delighting opera fans and foes alike, musical historian and humorist David Barber has prepared a special revised and expanded edition of his hilarious bestselling history of opera. Chapters such as Serious Buffoonery, Teutonic Tunesmiths and, of course, Italian Sausage Machines display Barber's rapier wit and knack for knowing fascinating, if sometimes useless, information about music, musicians and the offbeat world they live in. This expanded edition includes new material ranging from Strauss to ragtime, opera to the Tenor Menace. From Italian castrati to German Ring-bearers, from Handel's fights with rival sopranos to Puccini's nicotine habit, the author of Bach, Beethoven and the Boys and Tenors, Tantrums and Trills delivers a funny yet informative, irreverent yet affectionate history of serious music's most serious art form as only he can - and as only he would dare to do.
Fanny Brice: The Original Funny Girl
Herbert G. Goldman - 1992
I've acted for Belasco and I've laid 'em out in the rows at the Palace. I've doubled as an alligator; I've worked for the Shuberts; and I've been joined to Billy Rose in the holy bonds. I've painted the house boards and I've sold tickets and I've been fired by George M. Cohan. I've played in London before the king and in Oil City before miners with lanterns in their caps. Fanny Brice was indeed show business personified, and in this luminous volume, Herbert G. Goldman, acclaimed biographer of Al Jolson, illuminates the life of the woman who inspired the spectacularly successful Broadway show and movie Funny Girl, the vehicle that catapulted Barbra Streisand to super stardom. In a work that is both glorious biography and captivating theatre history, Goldman illuminates both Fanny's remarkable career on stage and radio--ranging from her first triumph as Sadie Salome to her long run as radio's Baby Snooks--and her less-than-triumphant personal life. He reveals a woman who was a curious mix of elegance and earthiness, of high and low class, a lady who lived like a duchess but cursed like a sailor. She was probably the greatest comedienne the American stage has ever known as well as our first truly great torch singer, the star of some of the most memorable Ziegfeld Follies in the 1910s and 1920s, and Goldman covers her theatrical career and theatre world in vivid detail. But her personal life, as Goldman shows, was less successful. The great love of her life, the gangster Nick Arnstein, was dashing, handsome, sophisticated, but at bottom, a loser who failed at everything from running a shirt hospital to manufacturing fire extinguishers, and who spent a good part of their marriage either hiding out, awaiting trial, or in prison. Her first marriage was over almost as soon as it was consummated, and her third and last marriage, to Billy Rose, the Bantam Barnum, ended acrimoniously when Rose left her for swimmer Eleanor Holm. As she herself remarked, I never liked the men I loved, and I never loved the men I liked. Through it all, she remained unaffected, intelligent, independent, and, above all, honest. Goldman's biography of Al Jolson has been hailed by critics, fellow biographers, and entertainers alike. Steve Allen called it an amazing job of research and added Goldman's book brings Jolson back to life indeed. The Philadelphia Inquirer said it was the most comprehensive biography to date, and Ronald J. Fields wrote that Goldman has captured not only the wonderful feel of Al Jolson but the heartbeat of his time. Now, with Fanny Brice, Goldman provides an equally accomplished portrait of the greatest woman entertainer of that illustrious era, a volume that will delight every lover of the stage.
The Last Waltz: The Strauss Dynasty and Vienna
John Suchet - 2015
Two generations of this remarkable family transformed and popularised the waltz, delighting all of Viennese society with their prolific compositions. But behind the melody lay a darker discord, as the Strausses tore themselves apart while Vienna itself struggled to secure its place in a rapidly changing world.In The Last Waltz John Suchet skilfully portrays this gripping story, capturing the family dramas, the tensions, triumphs and disasters, all set against the turbulent backdrop of Austria in the nineteenth century, from revolution to regicide.Discover the truth behind Vienna’s extraordinary musical dynasty.
21 Kesaris: The Untold Story of the Battle of Saragarhi
Kiran Nirvan - 2019
Twenty-one Sikh soldiers. One epic battle. On 12 September 1897, 21 soldiers of 36th Sikh Regiment stood undeterred as they guarded the post of Saragarhi against the onslaught of almost 10,000 Afghan tribesmen a battle for the ages that ended in them laying down their lives in a final hand-to-hand confrontation. The unparalleled heroics of these 21 men have, however, been long forgotten by history. What led to the Battle of Saragarhi? What was the socio-political scenario at the time? Who were these tribesmen and why did they attack an outpost in such great numbers? Who were the 21 soldiers and how were they able to keep the enemy at bay against all odds? Based on colonial era records and information provided by the 4th Sikh Battalion, the legatee unit of 36th Sikhs, 21 Kesaris attempts to answer these questions while paying homage to the brave soldiers who defended the Kesari flag depicting their Khalsa heritage with their last breaths.
Big Bangs: Five Musical Revolutions
Howard Goodall - 2000
The author aims to make these complicated musical advances both clear to the layman and interesting, as well as offering a sense of culture of trial and error and competition, be it in 11th century Italy or 19th century America, in which all progress takes place.
Victor Hugo: A Biography
Graham Robb - 1997
He was also a radical political thinker and eventual exile from France; a gifted painter and architect; a visionary who conversed with Virgil, Shakespeare, and Jesus Christ; in short, a tantalizing personality who dominated and maddened his contemporaries.
Barry Cooper - 2000
In the case of Beethoven, however, the standard approach has been to treat his life and his art separately. Now, Barry Cooper's new volume incorporates the latest international research on many aspects of the composer's life and work and presents these in a truly integrated narrative. Cooper employs a strictly chronological approach that enables each work to be seen against the musical and biographical background from which it emerged. The result is a much closer confluence of life and work than is usually achieved, for two reasons. First, composition was Beethoven's central preoccupation for most of his life: I live entirely in my music, he once wrote. Second, recent study of his many musical sketches has enabled a much clearer picture of his everyday compositional activity than was previously possible, leading to rich new insights into the interaction between his life and music. This volume concentrates on Beethoven's artistic achievements both by examining the origins of his works and by expert commentary on some of their most striking and original features. It also reexamines virtually all the evidence--from fictitious anecdotes right down to the translations of individual German words--to avoid recycling old errors. And it offers numerous new details derived from sketch studies and a new edition of Beethoven's correspondence. Offering a wealth of fresh conclusions and intertwining life and work in illuminating ways, Beethoven will establish itself as the reference on one of the world's greatest composers.
Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera
Fred Plotkin - 1994
If you've decided that the time has finally come to learn about opera and discover for yourself what it is about opera that sends your normally reserved friends into states of ecstatic abandon, this is the book for you.Opera 101 is recognized as the standard text in English for anyone who wants to become an opera lover--a clear, friendly and truly complete handbook to learning how to listen to opera, whether on the radio, on recordings, or live at the opera house. Fred Plotkin, an internationally respected writer and teacher about opera who for many years was performance manager of the Metropolitan Opera, introduces the reader (whatever his or her level of musical knowledge) to all the elements that make up opera, including: -a brief, entertaining history of opera-an explanation of key operatic concepts, from vocal types to musical conventions;-hints on the best way to approach the first opera you attend and how to best understand what it happening both offstage and on;-lists of recommended books and recordings, and the most complete traveler's guide to opera houses around the world.The major part of the Opera 101 is devoted to an almost minute-by-minute analysis of eleven key operas, ranging from Verdi's thunderous masterpieces Rigoletto and Puccini's electrifying Tosca through works by Mozart, Donizetti, Rossini, Offenbach, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner, to the psychological complexities of Richard Strauss's Elektra. Once you have completed Opera 101, you will be prepared to see and hear any opera you encounter, thanks to this book's unprecedentedly detailed and enjoyable method of revealing the riches of opera.