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Thread: Operatic books

          
   
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  1. #46
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    OK, so I won't bother buying it.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  2. #47
    Schigolch
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    A nice view of Italian Opera during the second half of the 20th century.

  3. #48
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    New and potentially interesting book (I haven't read it):
    Peter Conrad's Verdi and/or Wagner: Two Men, Two Worlds, Two Centuries, Thames & Hudson, 384pp

    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  4. #49
    Schigolch
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    Only for lovers of Toscanini, or very interested in conducting:


  5. #50
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Finally getting around to reading this:



    Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher who has been the hot figure in critical theory for the past couple of decades. He's written about opera before, from a Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective, but this is his one book devoted wholly to the subject (co-authored with Mladen Dolar).

    I've only just started, but have already come across some provocative passages, like this:

    "From its very beginning, opera was dead, a stillborn child of musical art. One of the standard complaints about opera today is that it is obsolete, no longer really alive, and furthermore (another aspect of the same reproach) that it is no longer a fully autonomous art--it always has to rely in a parasitic way on other arts (on pure music, on theater). Instead of denying the charge, one should undermine it by radicalizing it: opera never was in accord with its time--from its very beginnings, it was perceived as something outdated, as a retroactive solution to a certain inherent crisis in music and as an impure art. To put it in Hegelese, opera is outdated in its very concept. How, then, can one not love it?"

  6. #51
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Slavoj Žižek = not my cup of tea.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  7. #52
    Schigolch
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  8. #53
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Slavoj Žižek = not my cup of tea.
    He's certainly not for everyone, but I've found his work quite stimulating (I also had the chance to hear him talk in person once). In fact, my dissertation on English Renaissance drama was written from a Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective, drawing extensively on Žižek. Seems like another lifetime now, though it really wasn't all that long ago. Sigh . . . where do the years go?

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    Only for lovers of Toscanini, or very interested in conducting:

    And why only? I'm neither - I respect Toscanini but find his recordings too old to listen and I don't study conducting (currently). Yet I enjoyed this book very much. A lot of anecdotes from musical world, Toscanini was interesting person. I particularly liked the story about eating the cat in act of venegance. Och, well, okay, it was disturbingly odd.

    I recently finished book about Verdi, by Henryk Swolkień. Fine, natural writing far from academic rigidity so often to be found in books about artists.

  10. #55
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    And why only? I'm neither - I respect Toscanini but find his recordings too old to listen and I don't study conducting (currently). Yet I enjoyed this book very much. A lot of anecdotes from musical world, Toscanini was interesting person. I particularly liked the story about eating the cat in act of venegance. Och, well, okay, it was disturbingly odd.

    I recently finished book about Verdi, by Henryk Swolkień. Fine, natural writing far from academic rigidity so often to be found in books about artists.
    Great, I think I'll order both books, then.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  11. #56
    Schigolch
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    Today it would be more to the point a book about "The Stage Director Myth", but...


  12. #57
    Member Member desiree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    New and potentially interesting book (I haven't read it):
    Peter Conrad's Verdi and/or Wagner: Two Men, Two Worlds, Two Centuries, Thames & Hudson, 384pp

    Interesting indeed!

    The last opera-related book I read was the biography of my favorite tenor (it was last year's Christmas gift from a colleague):




    I thought it was an honest, unvarnished account of an operatic superstar as told by his wife. His parents' early deaths (his mother from TB and his father from a ruptured appendix) were really sad as he and his brothers were basically left to their own devices when they were young. There were also some backstage anecdotes that made me laugh like the "Milanovisms" and the time when Jussi played Rodolfo and he carried his Mimi to bed, lost his balance, fell on top of Mimi on the bed and their combined weight caused the bed to crash onstage, among others. Of course, the alcohol problems and the children with other women stories were not spared and there is a chapter about Solti and the problems during the recording of Un Ballo.


    My most recent purchase is this (more Verdi books!):




    But I haven't read it in-depth. I just ran through the index and read the letters to, from, and about Teresa Stolz.

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  14. #58
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Currently reading this:



    An interesting philosophical take on the Ring. I came across it because I'm taking a continuing education course (on Friedrich Nietzsche) from one of the book's authors, Richard Schacht, professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois.

  15. #59
    Schigolch
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    A solid and well researched, but a little bit dreary, book.

  16. #60
    Schigolch
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    Interesting memoirs of composer John Adams:


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