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Book Cover
Author Steptoe, Andrew.

Title The Mozart-Da Ponte operas : the cultural and musical background to Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte / Andrew Steptoe.

Published Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1988.


Location Call No. Status
Physical description 273 pages 15 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, music ; 24 cm
Notes Includes index.
Bibliography Bibliography: pages [263]-268.
Contents 1 Social Context: Vienna and her Ruler 13 -- 2 Musicians, Opera, and Audience in Mozart's Time 33 -- 3 Mozart and Vienna 53 -- 4 Mozart and his Personal Circle 77 -- 5 Da Ponte and the Buffa Plot 98 -- 6 Cosi fan tutte and Contemporary Morality 121 -- 7 Mozart and Opera Buffa 140 -- 8 Drama and Musical Form in Le nozze di Figaro 160 -- 9 Don Giovanni: Musical Form and Dramatic Cohesion 185 -- 10 Cosi fan tutte 208.
Summary Mozart's collaborations with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte led to the composition of three of the greatest masterpieces in all opera, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte. The aim of this book is to guide the reader to a deeper understanding and enjoyment of these enigmatic works, not so much through detailed musical analysis as through setting the scene for their composition. The author examines the cultural and social context in which they were written, the sort of audience who might have attended, their tastes and expectations. He considers Mozart's own intentions and aspirations for these works, composed over a period of rapid intellectual and political change, during which his beliefs, ambitions, and position in society shifted radically. At a musical level, Mozart's work underwent crucial stylistic developments that are manifest in these three operas. We are also given clues to Da Ponte's views of opera and the type of entertainment he set out to create by an examination of the form in which he presented the three stories, none of which was based on an original plot. Finally, the author looks at the practicalities of opera production in Mozart's time--the musical resources, the availability of singers, and the staging facilities--all of which would have influenced the final creation. Bringing these strands together for the first time, Andrew Steptoe's book provides an illuminating insight into Mozart's creative technique and into the functions of opera in his time.
Subject Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. Operas.
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. Nozze di Figaro.
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. Don Giovanni.
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. Così fan tutte.
Da Ponte, Lorenzo, 1749-1838.
Opera -- 18th century.
ISBN 019313215X $37.50
0198162219 (paperback)