The Operas of Verdi: Volume 3: From Don Carlos to Falstaff

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Clarendon Press, Jul 9, 1992 - Music - 546 pages
Julian Budden's monumental three-volume survey of the operas of Verdi. Hailed on publication for its extraordinary comprehensibility, the set has become the classic reference work on its subject. For this new edition the author has made a host of corrections throughout, and updated the text in the light of recent scholarship. Volume I traces the organic growth and development of the composer's style from 1839 to 1851 - from the first opera, Oberto, to the seventeenth, Rigoletto. Budden examines each opera in detail with a full account of its dramatic and historical origins and a brief critical evaluation. More than 350 musical examples point to the significance of the early operas in Verdi's developing style. Volume 2 covers those works written during the decadence of the post-Rossini period. During this time, Verdi, having exhausted the vein of simple lyricism to be found in Il Trovatore and La Traviata, achieved self-renewal in direct confrontation with the masters of the Paris Opera with his Les VÍpres Siciliennes. A new scale and variety of musical thought can be sensed in the Italian operas that follow, culminating in La Forza del Destino. Volume 3 covers roughly a quarter of a century, a period which saw grand opera on the Parisian model established throughout Italy, the reform of the Conservatories, and the spread of cosmopolitan influences to an extent that convinced many that Italian music was losing its identity. Verdi produced his four last and greatest operas - Don Carlos, Aida, Otello, and Falstaff - in this period, which ended with the advent of 'verisimo', in which a new, recognizably Italian idiom was inaugurated. This volume also includes a new and substantial bibliography by Roger Parker.

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About the author (1992)

Julian Budden is at BBC.

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