Giuseppe Verdis career forms one of the loveliest arcs in musical history. The passion of his works resonates universally, while the sophistication of his middle and late operas satisfies demanding ears and tastes. In Verdi: The Operas and Choral Works, Victor Lederer surveys every one of the masters 28 operas and his greatest choral pieces, showing Verdis growth as a musical dramatisthe would revolutionize the hidebound conventions of 19th-century Italian operaand his single-minded pursuit of dramatic truth. After describing the chaotic milieu in which Verdi learned his craft, the book provides act-by-act analyses of the early masterpieces Nabucco, Ernani, and Macbeth. The neglected operas from the composers self-described years in the galleys are covered together. Lederer then takes readers through the magnificent sequence of Verdi operas from Luisa Miller onward, including the fine but underrated Stiffelio. Each of the late operasDon Carlo, Aida, and Otello and Falstaff, the twin Shakespearean masterworks that crown Verdis oeuvreis discussed at length in its own chapter. Lederer also examines Verdis monumental Requiem along with the choral Quattro pezzi sacri, Verdis sublime final achievement. The book comes with a Naxos CD of musical selections representing highlights from throughout Verdis long, remarkable career.
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