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Gluck : An Eighteenth-Century Portrait in Letters and Documents - Patricia Howard


An Eighteenth-Century Portrait in Letters and Documents

Hardcover Published: 28th September 1995
ISBN: 9780198163855
Number Of Pages: 286

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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and apart from the fact that it was universally deemed inadequate at the time of publication (1962), it has been superceded by discoveries of new material, now incorporated in this study.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continuous narrative of Gluck's life, while at the same time indicating the major locations of the published and unpublished sources, in order that scholars can access the material in its original languages.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.' TLS `...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.' BBC Music `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.' Opera Now `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

Introductionp. vii
List Of Platesp. 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 Parisp. 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 Distancep. 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
Bibliographyp. 258
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198163855
ISBN-10: 0198163851
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 286
Published: 28th September 1995
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 17.15  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.61