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The Verdi-Boito correspondence /
edited by Marcello Conati & Mario Medici ; with a new introduction by Marcello Conati ; English-language edition prepared by William Weaver.
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1994.
description
lxiv, 321 p., 14 p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0226853047 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1994.
isbn
0226853047 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
639915
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
William Weaver is the award-winning translator of Luigi Pirandello, Italo Calvino, and Umberto Eco. In addition to translations of Verdi librettos, he has published Verdi, a documentary study and, with Martin Chusid, edited The Verdi Companion Marcello Conati, Director of the Centre international de recherche sur la Presse musicale is one of the world's leading Verdi scholars. Mario Medici was founder and first director of the Istituto di Studi Verdiani in Parma
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1994-04-15:
Gifted Italian poet/composer Boito was the librettist for Verdi's last and perhaps greatest operas, Otello and Falstaff. He shared a deep artistic sympathy with Verdi in their finely matched duet, and his delicate tuning adjustments to Verdi's work are evident throughout this vivid translation of their 20-year correspondence. Weaver deftly condenses notes from the original edition (published in Italy as Carteggio Verdi/Boito in 1978) and creates helpful explanations connecting the letters. Even if many other books document Verdi's operas, few of his letters are available in English. This collection is important for its size (301 letters) and themes, not the least of which is the greatness possible (in art and friendship) when two talented men collaborate with mutual loving respect. For most serious music collections.-Bonnie Jo Dopp, formerly with Dist. of Columbia P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1994-04-04:
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) had reason to dislike librettist-composer Arrigo Boito (1842-1918), who had scoffed at him in print. But when Verdi's librettist Francesco Maria Piave died in 1876 and a replacement was needed, Verdi's publisher lobbied hard to bring about a rapprochement between them. And as their correspondence shows, working together on Verdi's last two operas, Otello and Falstaff , as well as revising Simon Boccanegra , forged a bond between them that ended only with Verdi's death. Verdi, who virtually wrote his own librettos, allowed his librettists to function basically as versifiers, yet on reading Boito's final third of Otello , he pronounced it ``divinely good.'' When Boito's own opera Mefistofele was revived successfully, Verdi was delighted; responding to Boito's enthusiasm for the Falstaff project, Verdi sensitively urged him to complete his opera Nerone first (Boito never did). Opera lovers will be pleased that their correspondence, edited by Verdi scholars Conti and Medici and published in Italy in 1978, is now available in Weaver's ( Verdi, A Documentary Study ) smooth translation and with his commentary. This collection of 301 letters is an important supplement to Mary Jane Phillips-Matz's biography Verdi . (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 1995-01:
Guiseppe Verdi and Arrigio Boito seem an improbable match. Throughout his long career, Verdi rarely shied from telling his librettists exactly what he expected of them, often spelling out in great detail the character, vocabulary, and even the scansion of the texts on which he was at work. Boito, too, was a man of strong artistic convictions, ideas forcefully expressed in his criticism, poetry, and musical works. Yet the pair found common ground: first brought together by publisher Guilio Ricordi in 1880, Boito and Verdi revised F.M. Piave's libretto for Simone Boccanegra and then went on to craft Otello and Falstaff. This new book thus offers much to readers interested in the genesis of some of Verdi's (and Boito's) most moving works, assembling the texts of the more than 300 letters exchanged by the two men during their two-decade-long artistic collaboration (1880-1900). Conati, who helped prepare the original Italian edition of the correspondence, has provided an eloquent narrative detailing the circumstances that surrounded the Verdi-Boito collaboration. The translator, William Weaver, offers a preface that will help readers unfamiliar with the conventions of Italian prosody. An exhaustive index encourages the exploration of Verdi's and Boito's thoughts on everything from Shakespeare to Wagner. Large public libraries and academic collections, upper-division undergraduate and above. R. Freedman; Haverford College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, April 1994
Library Journal, April 1994
Publishers Weekly, April 1994
Choice, January 1995
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
These 301 letters between Giuseppe Verdi and his last, most gifted librettist, Arrigo Boito, document an extraordinary chapter in musical history. Now available for the first time in English, this correspondence records both a unique friendship and its creative legacy. This new edition of the landmark Carteggio Verdi/Boito is at once a valuable resource for all students, teachers, and scholars of opera and a fascinating glimpse of the daily life of European art and artists during the fertile last decades of the 19th century. Embarking on a 20-year collaboration, Verdi and Boito produced a successful revision of Simon Boccanegra, and two new operas, Otello and Falstaff. They created what many consider to be Verdi's greatest operas, thanks both to Boito's poetry and to his handling of the composer. Here are the day-to-day tasks of creation: poet and composer debating problems of dramatic structure, words, phrases, and meters; altering dialogue as, at the same time, they converse about the wider worlds of art and music. The give and take of artistic creation is rendered fascinatingly. This edition features a new introduction by Marcello Conati, improvements and updatings to the original edition, and an appendix of undated correspondence. William Weaver's translation is characteristically pitch-perfect; he also provides a short closing sketch of Boito's life after the death of his beloved maestro. Explanatory "linking texts" between the letters create a narrative.
Main Description
These 301 letters between Giuseppe Verdi and his last, most gifted librettist, Arrigo Boito, document an extraordinary chapter in musical history. Now available for the first time in English, this correspondence records both a unique friendship and its creative legacy. This new edition of the landmark Carteggio Verdi/Boito is at once a valuable resource for all students, teachers, and scholars of opera and a fascinating glimpse of the daily life of European art and artists during the fertile last decades of the 19th century. Embarking on a 20-year collaboration, Verdi and Boito produced a successful revision of Simon Boccanegra , and two new operas, Otello and Falstaff . They created what many consider to be Verdi's greatest operas, thanks both to Boito's poetry and to his handling of the composer. Here are the day-to-day tasks of creation: poet and composer debating problems of dramatic structure, words, phrases, and meters; altering dialogue as, at the same time, they converse about the wider worlds of art and music. The give and take of artistic creation is rendered fascinatingly. This edition features a new introduction by Marcello Conati, improvements and updatings to the original edition, and an appendix of undated correspondence. William Weaver's translation is characteristically pitch-perfect; he also provides a short closing sketch of Boito's life after the death of his beloved maestro. Explanatory "linking texts" between the letters create a narrative.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. xiii
Lettersp. 1
Appendixp. 281
Indexp. 307
Plates followp. 96
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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