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Grand Opera: Mirror of the Western Mind Eric A. Plaut

Grand Opera: Mirror of the Western Mind

Eric A. Plaut

Published
ISBN : 9781566630344
Hardcover
333 pages
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 About the Book 

No medium can compare with opera in its expression of human willfulness nor in the intense passions of its characters. The great composers of opera were also governed by their feelings and heavily influenced by the life of their time. In thisMoreNo medium can compare with opera in its expression of human willfulness nor in the intense passions of its characters. The great composers of opera were also governed by their feelings and heavily influenced by the life of their time. In this fascinating book, Eric Plaut employs a remarkable combination of expertise in music, opera, and psychology to explore the great operas and their composers from the time of the French Revolution to the onset of the First World War. Weaving together social, psychological, and historical strains, Plaut investigates the meaning behind eighteen of the greatest operas and their composers. They include Mozarts Don Giovanni, Beethovens Fidelio, Rossinis The Barber of Seville, Donizettis Lucia di Lammermoor, Gounods Faust, Wagners Tristan and Isolde and The Ring, Verdis Aida and Otello, Moussorgskys Boris Godounov, Johann Strausss Die Fledermaus. Bizets Carmen, Saint-Saenss Samson and Delilah, Offenbachs The Tales of Hoffmann, Puccinis Tosca and Madame Butterfly, and Richard Strausss Salome and Der Rosenkavalier. Looking into the lives of the composers, Plaut shows how their personalities and life experiences help to explain the particular opera as well as the composers larger body of works. The result is an unusually satisfying and perceptive view of grand opera, a book that offers new perspectives on some great operas while providing intriguing glimpses into the psychological motivations of the great composers.