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The Cambridge Companion to Verdi



This Companion provides an accessible introduction to Verdi’s life and music.

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£ 19.99

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Edited by Scott L. Balthazar

This Companion provides a biographical, theatrical, and social-cultural background for Verdi’s music, examines in detail important general aspects of its style and method of composing, and synthesizes stylistic themes in discussions of representative works. Aspects of Verdi’s milieu, style, creative process, and critical reception are explored in essays by highly reputed specialists. Individual chapters address themes in Verdi’s life, his role in transforming the theater business, and his relationship to Italian Romanticism and the Risorgimento. Chapters on four operas representative of the different stages of Verdi’s career, Ernani, Rigoletto, Don Carlos, and Otello synthesize analytical themes introduced in the more general chapters and illustrate the richness of Verdi’s creativity. The Companion also includes chapters on Verdi’s non-operatic songs and other music, his creative process, and scholarly writing about Verdi from the nineteenth-century to the present day.

Bibliographic Details

12 tables 49 music examples


  • List of music examples
  • List of tables
  • Notes on contributors
  • Preface
  • Chronology
  • Part I. Personal, Cultural, and Political Context: 1. Verdis life: a thematic biography Mary Jane Phillips-Matz
  • 2. The Italian theater of Verdis day Alessandro Roccatagliati
  • 3. Verdi, Italian Romanticism and the Risorgimento Mary Ann Smart
  • Part II. The Style of Verdis Operas and Non-Operatic Works: 4. The forms of set pieces Scott L. Balthazar
  • 5. New currents in the libretto Fabrizio della Seta
  • 6. Words and music Emanuele Senici
  • 7. French influences Andreas Giger
  • 8. Structural coherence Steven Huebner
  • 9. Instrumental music in Verdis operas David Kimbell
  • 10. Verdis non-operatic works Roberta Montemorra Marvin
  • Part III. Essays on Representative Operas: 11. Ernani: the tenor in transformation Rosa Solinas
  • 12. Chhai di nuovo, buffon? or whats new with Rigoletto Cormac Newark
  • 13. Verdis Don Carlos: an overview of the opera Harold Powers
  • 14. Desdemonas alienation and Otellos fall Scott L. Balthazar
  • Part IV. Creation and Critical Reception: 15. An introduction to Verdis working methods Luke Jensen
  • 16. Verdi criticism Gregory Harwood
  • List of Verdis operas
  • Notes
  • Verdis Works
  • Bibliography
  • Index.

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