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Opera and Ideas: From Mozart to Strauss (1985)

by Paul A. Robinson

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341556,431 (4.5)1
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.

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This book is unique in my experience in its' approach to the history of ideas in opera. The author contrasts different approaches by composers based on their contrasting philosophic and cultural understanding of the underlying material. For example, he compares Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" with Rossini's "Barber of Seville" analyzing the contrasting approach to the ideas rising out of the same basic dramatic material in the original play(s) by Beaumarchais. The result is an informative and distinctive discussion of the operatic art. The analysis also includes an interesting discussion of two Schubert song cycles. ( )
  jwhenderson | Sep 30, 2007 |
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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.

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