Franco Alfano, Transcending Turandot
Publisher: Scarecrow Press, Inc. (September 2009)
ISBN-10: 0-8108-6970-5 ISBN-13: 978-0-8108-6970-7
ISBN-10: 0-8108-6977-2 ISBN-13: 978-0-8108-6977-6
Franco Alfano: Transcending Turandot is the first fully documented biography in any language of Italy's last verismo composer, Franco Alfano (1875-1954), the composer chosen to complete Giacomo Puccini's swansong, Turandot, in 1924. Alfano remains one of the most undervalued composers, despite arguably representing the best of Puccini's contemporaries. His ability and prowess and his intimate friendship with Puccini, led to his selection for Turandot's completion: a daunting, enervating, and ultimately thankless task, which nearly robbed him of sight.
This biography finally sheds light on Alfano's view of the events, as opposed to the all-too customary Toscanini/Puccini perspective, thereby revealing a largely unknown facet of one of the most important operatic works of the 20th-century. Konrad Dryden, a friend of the composer's late daughter, Nina Alfano, sets out to unravel and organize the facts of Alfano's life, offering a chronological presentation of the composer's vita as well as an examination of his major operas and their literary origins, providing the most complete portrait of the composer to date. Based on unpublished correspondence from international archives freshly translated by Dryden, the book also sheds light on such colleagues and contemporaries as Puccini, Toscanini, Mary Garden, Edward Johnson, Giordano, Rostand, Mascagni, and Mussolini. A selection of previously unpublished photographs is included, as well as plot synopses of Alfano's operatic works. A foreword by the legendary soprano Magda Olivero-his preferred interpreter and Liù in the world premiere recording of Turandot-and an appendix listing the composer's opus round out this important reference.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Konrad Dryden is professor of music and German at the University of Maryland University College-Europe and the author of Leoncavallo: Life and Works (Scarecrow Press, 2007).
Leoncavallo, Life and Works
Foreword by Plácido Domingo
Publisher: Scarecrow Press, Inc. (March 2007)
ISBN-10: 0810858800 ISBN-13:
This is the first fully documented biography of the beloved and popular composer Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1857-1919), whose credits include Pagliacci and the operatic works Chatterton, Der Roland von Berlin, Zazà, Maïa, Zingari, La bohème, and the incomplete trilogy Crepusculum. Author Konrad Dryden has amassed material from hundreds of unpublished letters and photographs, creating the most complete portrait of the composer to date.
"This book examines various facets of Leoncavallo's history: from his youth as the son of the Naples' judge who presided over the murder trial on which Pagliacci was based to his studies with the poet Giosuè Carducci, and from his sojourn in France as a café-chantant pianist to his appointment in Egypt as music instructor to the Khedive. Careful documentation and plot synopses of Leoncavallo's numerous works are provided and his two U.S. tours are discussed. The biography also sheds new light on Leoncavallo's colleagues and contemporaries, including composers Mahler, Massenet, Puccini, Verdi, and Mascagni; singers Caruso, Ruffo, Tetrazzini, and Sanderson; and historical personalities like Toscanini, Hugo, Carducci, Wilhelm II, and Queen Victoria. A foreword by Plácido Domingo, a photo spread featuring more than 25 photos, and an appendix offering the complete list of the composer's opus add to the bibliography and index, making this the ultimate reference on this important figure in music and opera history."
©The Scarecrow Press 2007
WITH THE MOTLEY
Riccardo Zandonai, A Biography
Foreword by Renata Scotto
With tributes by Magda Olivero and Tarquinia-Jolanda Zandonai
Frankfurt/Main, Berlin, Bern, New York, Paris, Wien, 1999.
530 pp., 23. fig
This is the first fully-documented biography of the Italian composer Riccardo Zandonai (1883-1944). A pupil of Mascagni, Zandonai composed ten operas for Casa Ricordi, who considered him Puccini's heir. He achieved international recognition in 1914 with his operatic adaptation of D'Annunzio's play Francesca da Rimini. His opera I cavalieri di Ekebù after Lagerlöf's novel Gösta Berling was heralded as the national Swedish opera during the 1920's. The biography presents a monthly chronicle of the composer's life taken from his unpublished correspondence as well as his working and private relationships with D'Annunzio, Lagerlöf, Mascagni, Tito Ricordi, Puccini, Respighi, Pascoli, and his wife the soprano Tarquinia Tarquini. Working with original sources from international archives including Milan's Casa Ricordi, the author herewith presents the most comprehensive portrait of Zandonai to appear in any language.
The first fully-documented English biography of the composer Riccardo Zandonai (1883-1944) - A monthly chronicle of the composer's life - Discussions of his working relationships with D'Annunzio, Lagerlöf, Pascoli etc. - Foreword by Renata Scotto with tributes from Tarquinia-Jolanda Zandonai and Magda Olivero.