Opera and Ideas : From Mozart to Strauss
Opera and Ideas is a study of the connections between music and intellectual history. Through lucid analysis of six operas and two song cycles, Paul Robinson shows how operas give musical and dramatic expression to ideas about the self, society, and history.
- Paperback | 288 pages
- 152 x 229 x 15mm | 28g
- 15 Oct 1986
- Cornell University Press
- Ithaca, United States
Back cover copy
Opera And Ideas is a study of the connections between music and intellectual history. Through lucid analysis of six operas and two song cycles, Paul Robinson shows how operas give musical and dramatic expression to ideas about the self, society, and history.
"Opera and Ideas... places opera firmly in intellectual history and shows in a more than cursory fashion how attitudes toward society, culture and politics shape great operatic works.... But the music, far from falling victim to categories imported from the history classrooom, is illuminated in remarkably sophisticated ways.... Mr. Robinson leaves his essays to speak for themselves, offering no grand interpretation. But the book works nevertheless as a sort of narrative, proceeding from the Enlightenment critique in 'Figaro,' through 19th-century explorations of the place of the individual in nature and history, to the troubled psyche of Strauss. It is a narrative that... presents a tale of the rise and fall of history itself on the operatic stage, reaching its climax in Berlioz, Wagner and Verdi." -- Eward Rothstein, New York Times Book Review "Robinson... achieves the true purpose of criticism: to impel his reader to return to the music itself, and to hear it anew." -- Otto Friedrich, Time Magazine
About Paul A. Robinson
Paul Robinson is Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He is author and editor of numerous works on Russian and Soviet history, including Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich, Supreme Commander of the Russian Army, which won the Society for Military History's distinguished book award for biography.