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The Verdi-Boito Correspondence cover
  • ISBN: 9780226853048
  • ISBN10: 0226853047

The Verdi-Boito Correspondence

by Marcello Conati

  • List Price: $29.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 05/01/1994
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Description
These 301 letters between Giuseppe Verdi and his last, most gifted librettist, Arrigo Boito, document an extraordinary chapter in musical history. Now available in a new English edition prepared by William Weaver, this correspondence records a unique friendship and its creative legacy with an arresting immediacy. This new edition of the landmark Carteggio Verdi-Boito is at once an essential source of information for all students, teachers, and scholars and a fascinating picture of the daily life of European art and artists during the crucial, fertile last decades of the 19th century. It is all set against the personal story of two very private figures - the aging maestro and the younger poet who became his close collaborator and trusted friend. Brought together after much maneuvering by the publisher Giulio Ricordi (brilliantly chronicled in Marcello Conati's new introduction to this volume), Verdi and Boito began working together in 1880 when the composer was 67 and, having given the world Aida and the Requiem believed his public career as a composer was over. Poet, critic, and librettist, Boito, then in his late 30s, was also a composer: his opera Mefistofele, initially a failure, had just been reworked and triumphantly revived. Embarking on a 20-year collaboration, the two produced a successful revision of Simon Boccanegra and what many consider to be Verdi's greatest operas, Otello and Falstaff, thanks both to Boito's poetry and to his tactful handling of the composer. Here are the day-to-day tasks of creation: poet and composer debating problems of dramatic structure, words, phrases, and meters; altering dialogue as, at the same time, they converse about the wider worlds of art andmusic. The give and take of artistic creation is rendered in brilliant and intimate detail. This edition features a new introduction by Marcello Conati, additions and updates to the original edition, and an appendix of key libretto passages in the original language. William Weaver's translation is characteristically pitch-perfect; he also provides a brief closing sketch of Boito's life after the death of his beloved maestro, and additional material for the English reader. Concise, explanatory linking texts between the letters create a dramatic, flowing narrative.
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