Mozart and His Operas

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University of California Press, 2006 - Music - 290 pages
Acclaim for Berlioz: The Making of an Artist

"Berlioz stands as one of the great biographies of our day, and also one o f the great feats of literary sympathy with an artistic genius, filled with a love, knowledge and understanding of is subject that flame up on every page."--Max Loppert, Financial Times

"In David Cairns, Berlioz has found a biographer who shares his sense of scale. There is not a dull or redundant page in the whole book.'"--Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph

"David Cairns has a wonderful story to tell and he tells it superbly well . . . rich in detail and imbued with imaginative insights that stem from love. It is also written with an enviable blend of grace and energy.'"--Peter Heyworth, Observer

Berlioz: Servitude and Greatness

"Epic . . . will stand as a major monument of the history of classical music and will surely, on its subject, never be surpassed."--Alexander Waugh, Literary Review

"One of the masterpieces of modern biography . . . a magnificent piece of synthesizing scholarship, fluently readable yet maturely balanced."--Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph

"How fortunate Berlioz has been in his latest, perhaps definitive biographer"--George Steiner, Observer

"A life brilliantly described as an extended adolescence of unceasing emotional turbulence and creative struggle . . . a generous view of a man who was always exceptionally generous to others."--Robin Blake, The Independent on Sunday

"It is always a pleasure to read a book by David Cairns--praise has always been lavished on his scholarship, style and breadth of reading--but what catches us in the end in this wonderful new book is his love for his chosen hero and his music. We finish the book realising that Mozart touches upon all that makes us civilised and that he reminds us of both what we are and what we might be."--Colin Davis

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Mozart and his operas

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This welcome entry in the crowded field of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart studies was published in honor of the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. With Daniel Heartz's excellent Mozart's Operas now ... Read full review


Imitation assimilation
Such great things in so small a head
Vienna and a new life
Lorenzo Da Ponte and the perfect marriage
Prague and the opera of all operas
Catechisms of love
Mozart the visionary
Propaganda and parable

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About the author (2006)

David Cairns has been chief music critic of the Sunday Times and music critic and arts editor of the Spectator. He has been Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California, Davis, and a visiting scholar at the Getty Center in Santa Monica. His two-volume biography of Berlioz, published by UC Press, is the definitive work on the subject.

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