The Rough Guide to Opera 100 Essential CDs (Rough Guide 100 Esntl CD Guide)

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9781858284514: The Rough Guide to Opera 100 Essential CDs (Rough Guide 100 Esntl CD Guide)

"The Rough Guide to Opera" is the definitive handbook on the subject, spanning nearly four centuries from Monteverdi to the avante-garde. Features include:

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Introduction

There has never been a better time to explore opera, now that almost every significant example of the genre can be heard on CD. The choice can be daunting, however. Giuseppe Verdi, for example, completed more than thirty operas, of which there are more than two hundred studio recordings in the catalogue. Add to this tally the plethora of live recordings that are stocked by specialist shops, and you begin to see how unguided exploration can easily lead to expensive disappointment. The Rough Guide to 100 Essential Opera CDs gives you a map through this maze of material.

This book does not purport to be a selection of the "best" 100 operas - any such list would be too subjective to be useful. Instead, it discusses 100 key works by the seminal figures (arranged as an A to Z by composer, with works arranged chronologically within each composer entry), ranging from Claudio Monteverdi's Orfeo, the earliest opera to have survived in the mainstream repertoire, to Harrison Birtwistle's Gawain, one of the major creations of the 1990s. When recommending our first-choice CDs we've generally given preference to recent recordings, but in several instances there are mono or early stereo sets that are so superior as performances that they demand inclusion. Don't assume, though, that the sound quality on any of these older sets is going to impair your enjoyment of the music - modern remastering techniques can make so-called "historic" recordings sound remarkably fresh. If you want to explore the ever-expanding roster of archival recordings, or get a more comprehensive overview of the repertoire, then you should move on to The Rough Guide to Opera, the definitive one-volume book on the subject.

All our recommended recordings are available in both Europe and North America, although some may require a special order - no store will have all these discs in stock at any one time. Every review is illustrated with the cover of the current edition, but bear in mind that classical music is re-packaged and re-released so frequently that some of our recommendations will certainly re-emerge in different form before too long. So if the catalogue shows that the recording you want is no longer around, get your stockist to check if the same performance has re-emerged with a new catalogue number - it's extremely unlikely that any of the CDs in this book will ever become extinct. Reissues are quite often sold at a lower price than the original release, but sometimes they come with a booklet synopsis rather than a full libretto. The great majority of the sets we've chosen do have a libretto included; the few exceptions are clearly identified.

Opera is a subject as rich as the novel, encompassing an extraordinary variety of work: the courtly extravaganzas of Lully; the acerbic satires of Kurt Weill; Richard Wagner's garguantuan philosophical mythologies; the witty frivolities of Offenbach; the thrilling vocal pyrotechnics of Donizetti. Here you'll find the whole world of opera condensed into just 200 pages. Whatever your tastes, there are recordings in this book that you'll want to listen to over and over again.

Matthew Boyden

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Boyden, Matthew
Editorial: Rough Guides (1999)
ISBN 10: 1858284511 ISBN 13: 9781858284514
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Matthew Boyden
Editorial: Rough Guides (1999)
ISBN 10: 1858284511 ISBN 13: 9781858284514
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
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