Gluck and the Opera

Gluck and the Opera : A Study in Musical History

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Early in his long career, the self-taught English music critic Ernest Newman (1868-1959) wrote this influential account of Gluck's life and musical achievements in relation to the intellectual life of the eighteenth century. First published in 1895, Gluck and the Opera traces the composer's ideas and his efforts to move opera forward after a period of stagnation. Musicians, thinkers and satirists had been writing for generations about the need to reform the opera, but it was Gluck who brought about far-reaching changes that paved the way for Mozart, Weber and Wagner. His most notable innovation was the fusing of the Italian and French operatic traditions. The first part of the book is a chronological account of Gluck's eventful career, which took him all over Europe but was centred on Paris and Vienna. The second part deals with Gluck in his broader cultural and intellectual context, and lists his works.
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Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; Part I. Life: 1. 1714-46; 2. 1746-62; 3. 1762-9; 4. 1769-87; Part II. Gluck's Relations to the Intellectual Life of his Epoch: 5. Opera in Italy, Germany and France; 6. Gluck's ideas not of sudden origin; 7. The preface to Alceste; 8. The practical working of Gluck's theory.
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