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Puccini Books

Puccini Without ExcusesPuccini Without Excuses: A Refreshing Reassessment of the World's Most Popular Composer William Berger has written a book for operatic neophytes who want to learn more about opera in general and about Puccini in particular, and yet who have little background with which to understand a full-length book about the life and works of a single composer. Puccini Books.

An Introduction to Puccini: "Turandot" (Opera Explained S.) Puccini's swansong has a claim to being the last great popular opera. Its melodic wealth has enchanted audiences since its posthumous premiere in 1926, two years after Puccini's death. It truly is an opera that has everything: a chilling story of love and cruelty, a fascinating cast of characters, the exotic backdrop of Imperial China, majestic ensembles, magnificent choruses, and dazzling orchestration in an exotic score that comprises a string of the most splendid arias - among which the great tenor aria 'Nessun dorma' is the jewel. It is more than Puccini's last opera; it is the last word, in every sense, on Italian opera.

Puccini BiographyPuccini: A Biography Descended from four generations of distinguished composers and organists, Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) was driven by family tradition and an ambitious mother to pursue a career that brought him worldwide recognition as the greatest composer of Italian opera after Giuseppe Verdi. But behind the brilliant creator of such lastings works as "La Boheme", "Tosca", "Madama Butterfly", "La Fanciulla del West", "La Rondine" and "Turandot", there was a person racked with indecision, self-doubt, bouts of depression, and private misfortunes. Mary Jane Phillips-Matz brings to life both the man and his circle. Setting Puccini's intriguing story within the worlds of his beloved Tuscany and the cut-throat opera business, she follows the composer from boyhood in his ancestral Lucca, to his struggling student years at the Milan Conservatory, to his early successes and failures, to the artistic triumphs that earned him international celebrity and considerable wealth. With colourful details and anecdotes drawn from extensive primary sources, as well as interviews with descendents, family friends and colleagues, the book chronicles Puccini's personal sorrows and scandals and recounts his stormy professional rivalries and associations in England, Europe and the United States. Phillips-Matz also untangles the threads of Puccini's complex and contradictory character. She reveals a sophisticated composer who often drew upon the exotic thematic material and an elegant cosmopolite who loved his several villas, expensive cars, boats and fine clothes. Yet Puccini remained passionately wedded to the simple life of the Tuscan countryside of his youth.

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