Now available in new paperback editions, the three volumes of The Operas of Verdi cover every aspect of the composer's rich and varied operatic achievement. Marked by extraordinary research and enhanced by hundreds of musical illustrations, this monumental study follows the developent of Verdi's oeuvre from his earliest opera Oberto to his final work, Falstaff. Julian Budden has mined the vast resources of European archives to provide a groundbreaking interpretation of Verdi's work and has discovered much new material, including an unpublished additional aria for I Due Foscari. In addition, The Operas of Verdi has now been brought up to date in light of the most recent scholarship, making it a substantially new edition of a classic work.
Volume 1 traces the the organic growth and development of the composer's style from 1839 to 1851--from Oberto to Rigoletto--and examines each opera in detail, offering a full account of its dramatic and historical origins as well as a brief critical evaluation. More than 350 musical examples make the significance of these early operas to Verdi's developing style especially clear.
In the second volume, Budden covers those operas written during the decadence of the post-Rossini period. During this time Verdi, having exhausted the simple lyricism found in such works as Il Trovatore and La Traviata, found new life as he directly confronted the masters of the Paris opera with his Les Vepres Siciliennes. The new scale and variety of musical thought that can be sensed in the Italian operas which followed is shown here to culminate in La Forza del Destino.
The third and final volume of the study covers the quarter century which saw grand opera on the Parisian model established throughout Italy, and the spread of cosmopolitan influences that convinced many that Italian music was losing its identity. Verdi produced his four last and greatest operas during this time--Don Carlos, Aida, Otello, and Falstaff--operas which helped inaugurate "versimo," in which a new, recognizably Italian idiom was realized. The third volume also includes a new, comprehensive bibliography compiled by Roger Parker.show more