Titel: Gioacchino Rossini, the Reluctant Hero
Verlag: Victor Gollancz, London
Einband: Hard Cover
Zustand: Very Good
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good
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29th February 1992 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Rossini, who is chiefly remembered for operas such as "The Barber of Seville" and "William Tell". But in the space of 20 years he wrote no fewer than 39 operas, some of which are rarely heard today, while others are being revived gradually - on CD, in opera houses throughout the world and through the annual festival at Rossini's birthplace, Pesaro. This biography looks at each of the operas, with particular attention to Rossini's treatment of the different kinds of opera current at the time, his development of their component parts, his many innovations and his brilliance as an orchestrator. The book also provides insights into the bizarre, intrigue-ridden opera industry in early 19th-century Italy. Interwoven with musical discussion is an account of Rossini's life and complex personality, his relations with contemporaries such as Verdi, Wagner and Liszt, and a study of the two contrasting women in his life - the flamboyant prima donna, Isabella Colbran, and his second wife, the reserved but dedicated Olympe Pelissier, who stage-managed his legendary Paris soirees. The narrative is accompanied by eye-witness accounts and extracts from Rossini's own correspondence, and complemented by illustrations of stage-sets, topographical and architectural engravings, musical autographs, letters and legal documents, portraits and sketches. The author has also written biographies of Britten, Vivaldi, Paganini, Gershwin and Tchaikovsky.From Booklist:
Rossini (1792-1868) is in all ways a curious case as a composer. As an adolescent prodigy, he composed one successful comic opera after another during the 1810s and became the rage of Europe with his classic Barber of Seville (1816). His subsequent turning to opera seria set the basic dramatic conventions and musical language for Italian opera for the rest of the nineteenth century. Yet by the age of 36, he had largely abandoned composition, and at the time of his death, his fame had fallen into an eclipse that lasted until quite recently. Current musical scholarship has restored Rossini's place in musical tradition and on the operatic stage. The revival of his serious dramatic works (the most famous is William Tell) in the 1980s was one of the most notable developments in recent operatic history. Kendall's life-and-works provides a useful--because accurate and well-written--overview of its subject that well portrays the world of Italian and French opera of the time. It is nicely illustrated, too, and concludes with a catalog of Rossini's works in all forms. John Shreffler
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