Leoncavallo: Life and Works
Leoncavallo: Life and Works is the first fully documented biography of the beloved and popular composer Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1857-1919), whose credits include Pagliacci and the operatic works Chatterton, Der Roland von Berlin, Zaza, Maia, Zingari, La boheme, and the incomplete trilogy Crepusculum. Author Konrad Dryden has amassed material from hundreds of unpublished letters and photographs, creating the most complete portrait of the composer to date. This book examines various facets of Leoncavallo's history: from his youth as the son of the Naples' judge who presided over the murder trial on which Pagliacci was based to his studies with the poet Giosue Carducci, and from his sojourn in France as a cafe-chantant pianist to his appointment in Egypt as music instructor to the Khedive. Careful documentation and plot synopses of Leoncavallo's numerous works are provided and his two U.S. tours are discussed. The biography also sheds new light on Leoncavallo's colleagues and contemporaries, including composers Mahler, Massenet, Puccini, Verdi, and Mascagni; singers Caruso, Ruffo, Tetrazzini, and Sanderson; and historical personalities like Toscanini, Hugo, Carducci, Wilhelm II, and Queen Victoria. A foreword by Placido Domingo, a photo spread featuring more than 25 photos, and an appendix offering the complete list of the composer's opus add to the bibliography and index, making this the ultimate reference on this important figure in music and opera history.
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