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The Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart's Vienna
Author: Mary Hunter
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400822750
Pages: 312
Year: 1999-04-12
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Mozart's comic operas are among the masterworks of Western civilization, and yet the musical environment in which Mozart and his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte wrote these now-popular operas has received little critical attention. In this richly detailed book, Mary Hunter offers a sweeping, synthetic view of opera buffa in the lively theatrical world of late-eighteenth-century Vienna. Opera buffa (Italian-language comic opera) persistently entertained audiences at a time when Joseph was striving for a German national theater. Hunter attributes opera buffa's success to its ability to provide "sheer" pleasure and hence explores how the genre functioned as entertainment. She argues that opera buffa, like mainstream film today, projects a social world both recognizable and distinct from reality. It raises important issues while containing them in the "merely entertaining" frame of the occasion, as well as presenting them as a series of easily identifiable dramatic and musical conventions. Exploring nearly eighty comic operas, Hunter shows how the arias and ensembles convey a multifaceted picture of the repertory's social values and habits. In a concluding chapter, she discusses Cos" fan tutte as a work profoundly concerned with the conventions of its repertory and with the larger idea of convention itself and reveals the ways Mozart and da Ponte pointedly converse with their immediate contemporaries.
Opera Buffa in Mozart's Vienna
Author: James Webster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521572398
Pages: 459
Year: 1997-11-27
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An examination of the world of Vienna and the opera buffa in the eighteenth-century.
Mozart's Operas
Author: Mary Kathleen Hunter
Pages: 268
Year: 2008
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This wise and friendly guide to Mozart’s operas encompasses the full range of his most popular works—Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così, Magic Flute, Seraglio, Clemenza di Tito—as well as lesser known works like Mitridate and Il re Pastore. Music historian Mary Hunter provides a lively introduction to each opera for any listener who has enjoyed a performance, either on the stage or in a video recording, and who wishes to understand the opera more fully. The Companion includes a synopsis and commentary on each work, as well as background information on the three main genres in which Mozart wrote: opera seria, opera buffa, and Singspiel. An essay on the “anatomy” of a Mozart opera points out the musical conventions with which the composer worked and suggests nontechnical ways to think about his musical choices. The book also places modern productions of the operas in historical context and explores how modern directors, producers, and conductors present Mozart’s works today. Filled with factual information and interesting issues to ponder while watching a performance, this guide will appeal to newcomers and seasoned opera aficionados alike.
Morality and Viennese Opera in the Age of Mozart and Beethoven
Author: Martin Nedbal
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317094093
Pages: 244
Year: 2016-09-13
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This book explores how the Enlightenment aesthetics of theater as a moral institution influenced cultural politics and operatic developments in Vienna between the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Moralistic viewpoints were particularly important in eighteenth-century debates about German national theater. In Vienna, the idea that vernacular theater should cultivate the moral sensibilities of its German-speaking audiences became prominent during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa, when advocates of German plays and operas attempted to deflect the imperial government from supporting exclusively French and Italian theatrical performances. Morality continued to be a dominant aspect of Viennese operatic culture in the following decades, as critics, state officials, librettists, and composers (including Gluck, Mozart, and Beethoven) attempted to establish and define German national opera. Viennese concepts of operatic didacticism and national identity in theater further transformed in response to the crisis of Emperor Joseph II’s reform movement, the revolutionary ideas spreading from France, and the war efforts in facing Napoleonic aggression. The imperial government promoted good morals in theatrical performances through the institution of theater censorship, and German-opera authors cultivated intensely didactic works (such as Die Zauberflöte and Fidelio) that eventually became the cornerstones for later developments of German culture.
Lorenzo da Ponte
Author: Rodney Bolt
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408820749
Pages: 448
Year: 2010-12-15
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By the time he was forty, Lorenzo Da Ponte had been a poet, priest, lover and libertine, a friend of Casanova, collaborator then enemy of Salieri, and ultimately the librettist for three of Mozart's most sublime operas - The Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni. After losing all his money and the woman he loved he started afresh in New York, and by the end of his life he had founded its first opera house and become a university professor. Lorenzo Da Ponte is a fascinating and entertaining biography of a larger-than-life character, and a vibrant portrait of four cities and four changing eras of history.
The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory
Author: Danuta Mirka
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199841586
Pages: 712
Year: 2014-10-16
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Topics are musical signs that rely on associations with different genres, styles, and types of music making. The concept of topics was introduced by Leonard Ratner in the 1980s to account for cross-references between eighteenth-century styles and genres. While music theorists and critics were busy classifying styles and genres, defining their affects and proper contexts for their usage, composers started crossing the boundaries between them and using stylistic conventions as means of communication with the audience. Such topical mixtures received negative evaluations from North-German critics but became the hallmark of South-German music, which engulfed the Viennese classicism. Topic theory allows music scholars to gain access to meaning and expression of this music. The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory consolidates this field of research by clarifying its basic concepts and exploring its historical foundations. The volume grounds the concept of topics in eighteenth-century music theory, aesthetics, and criticism. Documenting historical reality of individual topics on the basis of eighteenth-century sources, it relates topical analysis to other methods of music analysis conducted from the perspectives of composers, performers, and listeners. With a focus on eighteenth-century musical repertoire, The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory lays the foundation under further investigation of topics in music of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.
Author: Julian Rushton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195182642
Pages: 306
Year: 2006-02-01
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A concise biography of a musical genius combines a well-researched life of Mozard the composer with an introduction to his many works, in a study of one of the few musicians in history to have written undisputed masterpieces in every genre of his time.
Richard Strauss
Author: Michael Kennedy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521027748
Pages: 468
Year: 2006-11-02
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This book re-evaluates a figure whom the author considers to be the greatest composer of the twentieth century. Kennedy deals fully with Strauss's life as leading composer and national figure in the Third Reich, during which he was both fêted and cold-shouldered by the authorities. In putting this period into perspective he draws heavily on hitherto ignored material, including Strauss's own letters and diaries. In addition he reveals much about Strauss's long, happy but tempestuous marriage to the soprano Pauline de Ahna as well as tracing the important relationships to his librettists Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Stefan Zweig, Joseph Gregor and Clemens Krauss. Kennedy reassesses the man and the music, revealing a picture of a level-headed, practical and extremely versatile musician - a great conductor as well as a great composer.
Mozart's Viennese Instrumental Music
Author: Simon P. Keefe
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
ISBN: 1843833190
Pages: 217
Year: 2007
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The music Mozart composed in Vienna closely examined, bringing out the processes of re-invention and re-formulation it displays.
The Mozart-Da Ponte Operas
Author: Andrew Steptoe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198162219
Pages: 273
Year: 1988
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Mozart's collaborations with the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte led to the composition of three of the greatest masterpieces in all opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte. The aim of this book is to guide the reader to deeper understanding and enjoyment of these enigmatic works, not so much through detailed musical analysis as through setting the scene for their composition. The author examines the cultural and social context in which they were written, the sort of audience who might have attended, and their tastes and expectations. He considers Mozart's own intentions and aspirations for these works, composed over a period of rapid intellectual and political change, during which his beliefs, ambitions, and position in society changed radically. At a musical level, Mozart's work underwent crucial stylistic developments that are manifest in these three operas. We are also given clues to da Ponte's view of opera and the type of entertainment he set out to create. Finally, the author looks at the practicalities of opera production in Mozart's time, all of which would have influenced the final creation of these works.
Haydn, Mozart, and the Viennese School, 1740-1780
Author: Daniel Heartz
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393037126
Pages: 780
Year: 1995
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For years, historians have described the music of the so-called "Viennese School" as directly descending from German Lutherism up to Bach's death in 1750. In this fascinating book, Daniel Heartz shows how it actually grew out of Italian Catholicism, combined with current French fashions and local traditions. Haydn and Mozart, who stand at the very center of this study, were viewed as the highest peaks on the musical horizon by their contemporaries. It is that world of perception that Professor Heartz recreates, calling upon the visual arts and the architecture of the period to support his thesis. His focus is on music as a part of cultural history in a particular time and place. Stylistic terms and a priori periods mean less to him than the common denominators of geography, the arts, and political history. The treasure trove of hitherto unseen documents that Professor Heartz uncovered while working in the Viennese archives bears witness to the enormously rich musical life of Vienna during the four decades' reign of the Empress Maria Theresa. This enlightened monarch helped make her capital the musical center of the Western world.
Mozart's Operas
Author: Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
ISBN: 1603760741
Pages: 144
Year: 2008-11-01
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Boccherini’s Body
Author: Elisabeth Le Guin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520240170
Pages: 350
Year: 2006
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Annotation A study of how the physical processes of learning to play a piece of music can enrich and inform the mental process of studying and analyzing the music, using the cello music of Luigi Boccherini as a case study.
W. A. Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro
Author: Tim Carter
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521316065
Pages: 180
Year: 1987
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This analysis of the opera, as well as its social, cultural and musical context, progresses to an exploration of the comic possibilities of the classical style and opera buffa in the 1770s and 1780s.
Antonio Salieri and Viennese Opera
Author: John A. Rice
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226711250
Pages: 648
Year: 1998-01
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Bringing Salieri, his operas, and eighteenth-century Viennese theater vividly to life, Rice places Salieri where he belongs: no longer lurking in Mozart's shadow, but standing proudly among the leading opera composers of his age. Rice's research in the archives of Vienna and Budapest and close study of the scores reveal Salieri to have been a prolific, versatile, and adventurous composer for the stage. Countering the old view of Salieri as Mozart's mortal enemy with musical evidence suggesting that Mozart and Salieri learned from and respected one another, Rice argues that Salieri's operatic innovations paved the way for some of Mozart's most remarkable achievements. A generous selection of excerpts from Salieri's works, most previously unpublished, will give readers a fuller appreciation for his musical style than was previously possible.

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