Hailed as "very interesting and very stimulating" by The New York Times, this critical biography explores the life and music ofa supreme master of German song. Austrian composer Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) wrote hundreds of lieder despite the often-overwhelming effects of depression. This two-part volume contains both a biographical narrative and a sensitive survey of the composer's unique contributions to songwriting.Beginning with Wolf's early struggles with academic failures and poverty, the book traces his brief and controversial career as a Viennese music critic, outlining the alternate periods of productivity and paralysis that led to his final mental collapse and untimely death. Author Ernest Newman writes with exuberance and keen perception of Wolf's flowering as a composer and the birth of his song cycles -- the Keller songs, the Spanish, Mörike, Goethe, and Eichendorff volumes -- in addition to critiquing a variety of other choral and instrumental works. Music lovers of all ages will appreciate this guide to an extraordinary composer's life and works.
In the vast literature on Richard Wagner, Ernest Newman's classic four-volume Life remains unsurpassed.Volume II carries the story from 1848 to 1860. It describes the important, formative years in Wagner's life and reconstructs his role in the Dresden rising of 1849. Newman also discusses the changes that the Ring poem underwent during this period and illuminates Wagner's relations with his wife Minna, his mentor Liszt, and his circle in Zürich.
In the vast literature on Richard Wagner, Ernest Newman's classic four-volume Life remains unsurpassed.Volume III covers the years 1859-66 including the Tannhäuser debacle in Paris, the crisis with Minna, the first production of Tristan und Isolde and the flight from Munich.
Ernest Newman's four-volume Life of Wagner, originally published between 1933 and 1947, remains a classic work of biography. The culmination of forty years' research on the composer and his works (Newman's first Study of Wagner was first published in 1899), these books present a detailed portrait of perhaps the most influential, the most controversial and the most frequently reviled composer in the whole history of western music. Newman was aware that no biography can ever claim to be complete or completely accurate: 'The biographer can at no stage hope to have reached the final truth. All he can do is to make sure that whatever statement he may make, whatever conclusion he may come to, shall be based on the whole of the evidence available at the time of writing.' In this aim he triumphantly succeeds.Volume IV completes the story from 1866 to Wagner's death in 1883. It covers the composition of Die Meistersinger and Parsifal, the completion of the Ring, Wagner's marriage to Cosima Liszt von Bülow, and the building of Bayreuth.
From renowned music critic and musicologist Ernest Newman comes the first of four volumes chronicling the life of legendary German composer Richard Wagner. This first volume takes us through the early years of Richard's life: his birth in Leipzig; his childhood in Dresden and the sparks of his interest in music, opera, and theater; his musical education, including his studies at University of Leipzig; his early career, accompanied by his first compositions and first money troubles; and his six years spent in Dresden, including his involvement in left-wing politics. Originally published between 1933 and 1947, Newman's The Life of Richard Wagner, Volumes I-IV remains a classic work of biography. The culmination of forty years' research on the composer and his works, these books present a detailed portrait of perhaps the most influential, the most controversial and the most frequently reviled composer in the whole history of western music. Newman was aware that no biography can ever claim to be complete or completely accurate: "The biographer can at no stage hope to have reached the final truth. All he can do is to make sure that whatever statement he may make, whatever conclusion he may come to, shall be based on the whole of the evidence available at the time of writing." In this aim he triumphantly succeeds.
This book brings a very high-classed and intelligent art form to a new level of acceptance and understanding. Mr. Neumann brings it home, as it were -- operas such as Turandot, Gianni Schicchi (Puccini), Falstaff (Verdi), Cosi fan tutte and Seraglio (Mozart) and many lesser known operas such as those of Cornelius, Halevy, Meyerbeer and Borodin... covering 29 operas in total. Detailed and highly informative.
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"The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working." -Ernest Newman In Seventeen Famous Operas, renowned musicologist and music critic Ernest Newman goes beyond simply retelling the plots of the operas he has chosen to feature in this volume. Because for Newman, opera was theater--and he demonstrates that with his in-depth studies of the seventeen featured operas. Newman uses biographical, literary, and historical background to expose the reader to how each featured work came to be. These featured works include La Boheme, Madame Butterfly, Carmen, La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, The Barber of Seville, The Magic Flute and ten other famous works. Seventeen Famous Operas is a must-read for music librarians, opera lovers, and propagandists of music everywhere.
In this classic guide, the foremost Wagner expert of our century discusses ten of Wagner's most beloved operas, illuminates their key themes and the myths and literary sources behind the librettos, and demonstrates how the composer's style changed from work to work. Acclaimed as the most complete and intellectually satisfying analysis of the Wagner operas, the book has met with unreserved enthusiasm from specialist and casual music lover alike. Here, available for the first time in a single paperback volume, is the perfect companion for listening to, or attending, The Flying Dutchman, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Tristan and Isolde, Die Meistersinger, the four operas of the Ring Cycle, and Parsifal. Newman enriches his treatment of the stories, texts, and music of the operas with biographical and historical materials from the store of knowledge that he acquired while completing his numerous books on Wagner, including the magisterial Life of Richard Wagner. The text of The Wagner Operas is filled with hundreds of musical examples from the scores, and all the important leitmotifs and their interrelationships are made clear in Newman's lucid prose. "This is as fine an introduction as any ever written about a major composer's masterpieces. Newman outlines with unfailing clarity and astuteness each opera's dramatic sources, and he takes the student through the completed opera, step by step, with all manner of incidental insight along the way. "--Robert Bailey, New York University
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