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Donizetti and His Operas : Cambridge Paperback Library - William Ashbrook

Donizetti and His Operas

Cambridge Paperback Library

Paperback Published: 28th November 1983
ISBN: 9780521276634
Number Of Pages: 756

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This new imprint is established to publish in paperback for an individual readership the Press's most outstanding original monographs. These are titles that would normally appear only in hardback editions for specialists, but whose quality and general academic importance justify their special promotion in this prestige imprint. The series will include both new and recent titles drawn from the whole range of the Press's very substantial publishing programs in the humanities and social sciences, and therefore represents some of the best current scholarship in the English language.

An "entirely reworked and updated version" of Ashbrook's 1965 Donizetti study, this massive volume remains the fundamental resource for serious students, if not for casual opera-fans. First comes a dry 200-page life history, "not intended to be a full-length" biography (Herbert Weinstock's 1963 bio is rather richer); Ashbrook debunks legends about Donizetti's political activism, stresses his problems with the censors, emphasizes the importance of the underrated early operas, finds the composer to be generally "admirable" and "intensely human" (he "shared nothing of Bellini's neurasthenic malice"), but doesn't downplay the syphilis which destroyed both Donizetti and (probably) his wife. Part II offers two brief essays - on Donizetti's "operatic world" (his influences, his more blatantly Rossini-an contemporaries, the contrast with Bellini); and on D.'s use of operatic conventions (overtures, preludes, introductory choruses, prima donna arias, duets, ensembles). Next: musico-dramatic commentary on all 60-some extant operas, ranging in length from a quarter-page to a dozen pages or more - with the longest treatments going not only to the famous operas but also to under-appreciated standouts (Marin Faliero, Maria de Rudenz, Maria Padilla); the critical analysis here, while never as full or eloquent as Julian Budden's on Verdi, is in the Budden mode, often crisp and shrewd - with notes on Donizetti's self-borrowings, his writing for specific singers, his increasing interest in revelation-of-character, his foreshadowings of Verdi, his libretto problems, his conscious departures from the Rossinian model. And a final section gives basic data and brief plot summaries for all the operas. With generous musical examples: the all-in-one Donizetti reference for anyone studying Italian opera from Rossini to Verdi - and passionate fans will find some of their favorite operas (Roberto Devereux especially) discussed in illuminating detail. (Kirkus Reviews)

1797-1821: The beginnings
1822-1830: Zoraida di Granata to Imelda de' Lambertazzi
1830-1835: Anna Bolena to Marin Faliero
1835-1838: Lucia di Lammermoor to Poliuto
1838-1843: Les martyrs to Dom SFbastien
1843-1848: The last years
Donizetti's operatic world
Donizetti's use of operatic conventions
The operas: 1816-1830
The operas: 1830-1835
The operas: 1835-1838
The operas: 1838-1841
The operas: 1842-1843
Appendices
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521276634
ISBN-10: 0521276632
Series: Cambridge Paperback Library
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 756
Published: 28th November 1983
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 3.84
Weight (kg): 1.04

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