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Mozart and His Operas [Format Kindle]

David Cairns

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

David Cairns weaves a brilliantly engaging narrative which puts Mozart's operas in the context of his life, showing how they illuminate his creativity as a whole. Mozart's unusual childhood as a musical prodigy touring Europe as a performer from an early age is well known. But even more remarkable is that the genius grew up, surviving his unnatural early years and producing works of increasing maturity and originality. Using the operas as his guide, Cairns traces the steady deepening of Mozart's musical style from his beginnings as a child prodigy, through his coming of age with what Cairns sees as the most Romantic and forward-looking of all Mozart's operas, Idomeneo, the later genius displayed in the three comic operas, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cos fan tutte, and in The Magic Flute, the final and greatest triumph of his career.

Biographie de l'auteur

David Cairns has been chief music critic of the Sunday Times and music critic and arts editor of the Spectator. He has also written for the Evening Standard, the Financial Times and the New Statesman. He has been Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California, a visiting scholar at the Getty Center in Santa Monica, and a visiting fellow of Merton College, Oxford. His two-volume biography of Berlioz won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year and the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1971 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 304 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin (25 janvier 2007)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B002RI93XI
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 5.0 étoiles sur 5  6 commentaires
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fun and informative 26 août 2006
Par dougiefresh2006 - Publié sur
Cairns does a great job revealing all sorts of detail about each opera while developing some very compelling themes across operas. He is a very accessible and interesting writer, who combines research, the music, and the biographical tidbits all very well. I really recommend this book.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Superlative, Authoritative and a Great Read 16 mars 2013
Par Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Publié sur
The spirit of Juvenal is not dead. Just read any of David Cairns' reviews from yesteryear, particularly on those occasions when Karajan & the Berlin Panzers rumbled into London to the acclaim of all and sundry. If you're going to disembowel someone with a pen, that's how to do it. Herbie should have met Cairns in person to thank him for the privilege. Oh, to be the target of such ire. It is the inky equivalent, ever-hot, of Greek Fire.

Here, David Cairns turns his formidable intellect to the Seven: Idomeneo, the Abduction from the Seraglio, Figaro, the Opera of all Operas, Cosi, the Magic Flute and La Clemenza di Tito. It's less a canon and more like a Magic Circle, mysteriously interlinked with one another, evergreen, barely anchored to the here and now, and with more circuitry to their name than any timepiece.

Anyone can write a `how and when' account of Mozart's compositional activities opera-wise with a timeline thrown in for good measure. Whatever: it's the Wikipedia Hour. As both Alfred Einstein and Walter James Turner demonstrated long ago, longevity comes to a commentator when they elucidate significance. Such is the case here. It's a tour de force. I was mesmerised by the book, reading it from beginning to end in one sweep. While Cairns covers off the biographical elements of each opera, he magisterially answers his own question throughout: why do these miraculous works continue to resonate as they do? Why are they so successful as stagecraft? How many streams are confluent in each work? For instance, Cairns forensically examines Mozart's own relationship with his stupendous creation, Don Giovanni himself. He rightly asks: was the composer spell-bound by the charisma of this demiurge? K 621 is accorded its rightful place at the table. What can one say of the compression that is evident in La Clemenza di Tito? Does it detract from the work or does it foreshadow a new direction which was aborted by Mozart's demise? Read it and find out!

Be he academic or homespun, Cairns is clearly a musicologist but not once does he hide behind staves and crochets. This tome is fully understandable to the laity, even to a slob in a beanbag here in Australia. His genealogy is also evident: Einstein and Dent; not bad at all.

If you are wanting both to understand the Seven better as theatrical creations and deepen your love therein, this book is for you - and how! While I have The Operas of Mozart and The Complete Operas Of Mozart (Da Capo Paperback) in my library, I predict this opus is more likely to be thumbed in a century's time when we're all dust and gone.

Mister Cairns: thy eternal summer shall not fade.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The ideal handbook to the Seven 25 juin 2014
Par Ralph Moore - Publié sur
Like all successful musical guides, David Cairns' magisterial survey of Mozart's operas weaves in just enough biographical and contextual circumstance to balance the musicological elements. His tone is light, lucid and engaging throughout; he includes enough analysis to engage the reader with some academic appreciation of musical technicalities but not so much as to alienate the musical illiterate who simply loves the operas. My only regretful observation is that his explication of the musical dynamic of key scenes requires the reader to stop and re-listen so frequently in order to appreciate the point being made.

Cairns' love and reverence for the music are what emerge above all other considerations; this is no dry narrative. Another attribute of any good biography is the examination and ultimate disposal of the numerous myths and canards that are the inevitable accretions around the life of any great man; Cairns dispels the folk-tales about the pauper's grave, the forebodings of death, the inhumanly miraculous speed of composition of some works, Mozart's supposed potty-mouthed infantilism, and other such populist generalisations. Instead, he proves a wise guide through Mozart's creative development, re-evaluating and re-assessing the importance of works such as "La clemenza di Tito" which have only recently and grudgingly been accorded their place in the Pantheon. He presents a careful and psychologically credible study of the dynamic of the constantly evolving relationship between Papa Leopold and son Wolfgang and reinstates the composer as a widely and deeply read man of the Enlightenment, not some kind of Idiot Savant.

Published as recently as 2006, this book will not in any case date; it is surely destined to remain the recommended handbook for anyone needing to deepen his response to these pinnacles of Western Classical music.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Mozart Operas 14 octobre 2009
Par ALFRED H. Harris - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Excellent book up to Cairns usual high standards. Not just a dry doctoral thesis. Very useful in preparing a Mozart program.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 5 janvier 2015
Par Carrol F. Coates - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Excellent background on Mozart's operas. It will serve as a future reference for me.
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