Life of Rossini Stendhal



Rossini’s popularity in Italy in the early 1820s was certainly not echoed in France where he was regarded as ‘an ill-bred parvenu, whose cheap popularity was an insult to a great musical tradition’ and thus Stendhal, always an obstinate individualist, was the first of his contemporaries to recognise the genius of this important Italian composer. Stendhal’s introduction to this book sets the musical climate in perspective with a history of the interregnum between the death of Cimarosa and the coming of Rossini.Details of Rossini’s early life are followed by penetrating discussions in the operas, libretti, personalities of the period, and on Rossini’s own character – indeed a whole chapter is devoted to his wild sense of humour. No book of its period better captures the atmosphere of opera-going during the birth-period of Romantic music. Besides being a fascinating and penetrating account of this popular Italian composer’s most creative years and of contemporary musical events and opinions, this work is one of the finest items in the Stendhalian literary canon. Richard Coe’s eloquent translation (revised for the second edition) and careful annotations do full justice to the incandescent strength of this great French writer’s prose style.

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ISBN: 9781847490568 Category: Tags: ,


Oneworld Classics Lt