This book brings together a variety of eighteenth century sources in an attempt to construct a portrait of one of the most interesting musicians of that century. Celebrated today for his historical significance, as the one composer who did most to effect the transition between baroque and classical opera, Gluck in his lifetime was both a controversial figure and a colourful one: the sources portray a man of enormous energy, relish for good food and good company, and
passion for his art. The basis of the book is the body of letters to and from Gluck. There has been only one previous attempt to collect and translate the material into
English, and apart from the fact that it was universally deemed inadequate at the time of publication (1962), it has been superceded by discoveries of new material, now incorporated in this study. Besides the letters, the book includes a wealth of factual documents and informal anecdotes, not easily accessible in the original German, French and Italian languages, almost none of which has ever been made available in English. The material has been arranged and translated with the aim of
providing readers with a lively, continuous narrative of Gluck's life, while at the same time indicating the major locations of the published and unpublished sources, in order that scholars can access the
material in its original languages.
`A masterly biographical assemblage using every available piece of contemporary information, well balanced and beautifully illustrated.'
BBC Music Magazine
`here is a welcome reminder for English-lamguage readers both of the sheer quantity of Gluck's stage works and of the man behind them.'
`...meticulously researched...erudite volume...'
Day by Day
`...scholarly but attractive book...The material, fuller and richer than anything previously available in English, is well translated and based on sound scholarship. Particularly admirable is the clear narrative in which Howard embeds the documentation. She insists that her portrait is 'not a biography', but it reads as well as one and is more reliably informative than most.'
`the book is finely presented, with a small group of illustrations, a list of principal documents cited and a bibliography as well as a necessary index.'
`Some of what Howard reproduces here is available in other modern publications, but almost none of it is in English, and no other book brings together such an exhaustive and diverse selection of materials. Scholars interested not just in Gluck but in the eighteenth century more generally will be enormoulsy indebted to Howard for her indefatigable spadework. One of the many virtues of Howard's book is its capacity to remind us of both the continuities and
the unbridgeable differences between modern operative life and that of Gluck's time.'
Mary Hunter, Opera Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 2, Winter '96/7
|List Of Plates||p. xv|
|A Bohemian Childhood (1714-1734)||p. 1|
|An Italian Apprenticeship (1734-1745)||p. 8|
|Gluck in London (1746)||p. 14|
|The Itinerant Musician (1746-1750)||p. 21|
|Marriage (1750)||p. 29|
|The Complete Metastasian (1751-1756)||p. 33|
|The Court Composer (1756-1762)||p. 43|
|Orfeo (1762)||p. 55|
|Between Orfeo and Alceste (1762-1766)||p. 66|
|Alceste (1767-1769)||p. 78|
|Transitional Years (1769-1773)||p. 87|
|Iphigénie En Aulide (1772-1774)||p. 102|
|Summer in Paris||p. 121|
|The Travelling Composer (1774-1775)||p. 128|
|Problems with Publishers (1775)||p. 136|
|From Cythère to Alceste (1775-1776)||p. 144|
|Nanette (1776)||p. 160|
|The Piccinni War: First Shots (1776-1777)||p. 164|
|Armide (1777-1778)||p. 175|
|Negotiations at a Distance||p. 185|
|The Last Year in Paris (1778-1779)||p. 197|
|Withdrawal to Vienna (1779-1780)||p. 207|
|A Testimonial Year (1781)||p. 220|
|Last Years (1782-1787)||p. 230|
|Death (1787)||p. 241|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 286
Published: 28th September 1995
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 17.15
Weight (kg): 0.61