Puccini: His Life and Works

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 527 pages
0 Reviews
Julian Budden, one of the world's foremost scholars of Italian opera and author of a monumental three-volume study of Verdi's works, now offers music lovers a major new biography of one of the giants of Italian opera, Giacomo Puccini.
Blending astute musical analysis with a colorful account of Puccini's life, here is an illuminating look at some of the most popular operas in the repertoire, including Manon Lescaut, La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot. Budden provides an illuminating look at the process of putting an opera together, the cut-and-slash of nineteenth-century Italian opera--the struggle to find the right performers for the debut of La Boheme, Puccini's anxiety about completing Turandot (he in fact died of cancer before he did so), his animosity toward his rival Leoncavallo (whom he called Leonasino or "lion-ass"). Budden provides an informative analysis of the operas themselves, examining the music act by act. He highlights, among other things, the influence of Wagner on Puccini--alone among his Italian contemporaries, Puccini followed Wagner's example in bringing the motif into the forefront of his narrative, sometimes voicing the singer's unexpressed thoughts, sometimes sending out a signal to the audience of which the character is unaware. And Budden also paints an intriguing portrait of Puccini the man--talented but modest, a man who had friends from every walk of life: shopkeepers, priests, wealthy landowners, fellow artists. Affable, well mannered, gifted with a broad sense of fun, he rarely failed to charm all who met him.
A new volume in the esteemed Master Musicians series, Puccini offers a masterful portrait of this beloved Italian composer.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

1 Early Life at Lucca
1
2 The Student at Milan
17
3 Le Villi
37
4 Edgar
58
5 Manon Lescaut
87
6 La bohme
131
7 Tosca
181
8 Madama Butterfly
223
9 La fanciulla del West
274
10 La rondine
332
11 Il trittico
370
12 Turandot
417
13 Puccini as Man and Artist
474
Appendices
480
Index
519
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2005)


Julian Budden, formerly the Chief Producer for Opera at BBC Radio, currently serves as the President of the Centro Studi Giacomo Puccini, Lucca, Italy. He is the author of the Master Musicians biography of Verdi as well as the three-volume The Operas of Verdi.

Bibliographic information