Opera in History: From Monteverdi to Cage

Lindenberger, Herbert

Published by Stanford University Press
ISBN 10: 0804731055 / ISBN 13: 9780804731058
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Synopsis: Looking at operatic history from new and unexpected angles, this book examines the ways the operatic canon has been reshaped at key moments in the history of the form. Written with clarity and wit, it provides a richly rewarding experience for operagoers and scholars alike. Opera in History examines the achievements of composers such as Monteverdi, Handel, and Rossini, whose operas were long neglected because of changes in performance practices, audience tastes, and musical aesthetics. It also looks at such well-established works as Wagner s Ring and Verdi s Aida in unconventional ways. Thus, the Ring emerges as a product of nineteenth-century philology, Aida, as an embodiment of the new science of archaeology.

From Kirkus Reviews: paper 0-8047-3105-5 There is no doubt that Lindenberger (Opera: The Extravagant Art, not reviewed) knows and loves opera. Stanford professor of Comparative Literature and English (and president of the Modern Language Association in 1997), Lindenberger also clearly knows literature, literary criticism, and social history. What he does not know, apparently, is how to write without academic jargon and stilted prose. Hence we get references to ``originary moments'' and ``historicity,'' and meandering sentences that could use some direction. Still, there are some intriguing premises among the verbiage, such as Lindenberger's basic supposition that history is both represented in works of art and influences the creation of that art. Opera, with its unique melding of music, literature, and drama, is the perfect test case for the theory. Lindenberger's method of setting opera composers within the context of their times and illustrating their contacts with artists working in other genres, such as literature and painting, is stimulating, as is his discussion of changing interpretations of a given composers impact on a society. With chapters analyzing everything from the works of the contemporary composer Monteverdi to the paintings of Caravaggio and the poetry of John Donne, the book certainly cant be faulted for its breadth. The final chapter, in which Lindenberger describes the five types of opera-goersthe Avid, the Passive, the Conscientious, the Faultfinding (all music critics, it seems), and the Uncompromisedis mildly amusing, although at times stereotypically unsettling, as in Lindenberger's comments about ``gay Avids'' and divas. There are some interesting insights here, for those willing and able to slog through the chaff. Not many other than scholars and the most serious opera enthusiasts, however, will likely be willing to do so. -- Copyright 1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Title: Opera in History: From Monteverdi to Cage
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Binding: PAPERBACK
Book Condition: Fine

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Book Description Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: Near Fine. No Jacket. First Edition. Lindenberger examines the ways the operatic canon has been reshaped at key moments in the history of the form. Very gently handled. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # C150282

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Book Description Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: Near Fine. Signed author inscription on halftitle page. Paperback, 8vo, 364pp with index. B/w illustrations and photographs throughout. Light foxing to top page edges, a couple creases in lower corner of rear free endpaper. Near Fine. All domestic orders $100 and over will be upgraded to USPS Priority shipping at no additional cost. Size: 8vo. Signed & Inscribed By Author. Bookseller Inventory # 102123

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