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Mozart-Da Ponte Operas : The Cultural and Musical Background to Le Nozze Di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi Fan Tutte - Andrew Steptoe

Mozart-Da Ponte Operas

The Cultural and Musical Background to Le Nozze Di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi Fan Tutte

Paperback Published: 13th September 1990
ISBN: 9780198162216
Number Of Pages: 300

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Mozart's collaborations with the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte led to the composition of three of the greatest masterpieces in all opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte. The aim of this book is to guide the reader to deeper understanding and enjoyment of these enigmatic works, not so much through detailed musical analysis as through setting the scene for their composition. The author examines the cultural and social context in which they were written, the sort of audience who might have attended, and their tastes and expectations. He considers Mozart's own intentions and aspirations for these works, composed over a period of rapid intellectual and political change, during which his beliefs, ambitions, and position in society changed radically. At a musical level, Mozart's work underwent crucial stylistic developments that are manifest in these three operas. We are also given clues to da Ponte's view of opera and the type of entertainment he set out to create. Finally, the author looks at the practicalities of opera production in Mozart's time, all of which would have influenced the final creation of these works.

Industry Reviews


"The most illuminating exploration of the territory to appear in English since Edward Dent's historic study of 1913."--Observer


"Steptoe's clarification of the enigmatic interplay and the consequent cross-fertilization between composer and librettist is indeed a major advance in our knowledge and appreciation of Mozart's remarkable achievement."--Notes


"Steptoe has drawn a clear picture of Mozart's surroundings, both personal and musical, before and during the composition of his three most popular operas. He enlivens his discourse by drawing on contemporary accounts and on later studies. His knowledge of 18th-century Viennese opera allows him to make comparisons that clarify Mozart's contribution....Strongly recommended for both undergraduate and graduate students."--Choice


"Steptoe's clarification of the enigmatic interplay and the consequent cross-fertilization between composer and librettist is indeed a major advance in our knowledge and appreciation of Mozart's remarkable achievement."--Notes


"His discussion of Mozart and Enlightenment Vienna represents a particularly needed contribution to the field."--Opera Quarterly


The social context: Vienna and her ruler; Musicians, opera, and audience in Mozart's time; Mozart and Vienna; Mozart and his personal circle; Da Ponte and the Buffa plot; Cosi fan tutte and contemporary morality; Mozart and Opera Buffa; Drama and musical form in Le nozze di Figaro; Don Giovanni: musical form and dramatic cohesion; Cosi fan tutte; Epilogue; Appendix: casts of characters, plot synopses, and musical outlines for the three operas

ISBN: 9780198162216
ISBN-10: 0198162219
Series: Clarendon Paperbacks
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 300
Published: 13th September 1990
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.91 x 15.09  x 1.96
Weight (kg): 0.49