ONIZETTI by Herbert Weinstock


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Weinstock's interest in Donizetti was awakened at a performance of Anna Solena in 1958. He found that no full-scale book was available in English, and set about to prepare one. He himself has pieced out most of the translations of Donizetti's letters, and explains that a difficult handwriting has contributed to historical uncertainly regarding some of the facts, which he tries to set straight. He concentrates on biographical material, largely leaving an analysis of scores to another book now being written by another author. The sheer quantity of composition no less than the intricacies of his career and personal history make Gaetano Donizetti a challenge for any biographer. Weinstook has done a rousing job, complete to genealogical tables and family records, professional letters and documents, health certificates, a chronological table of asserted data covering all his many operas, a list of his non-operatic compositions, and what may well be an exhaustive bibliography. Even the sequence of the composer's final illness and deterioration, death, exhumation, autopsy, and re-exhumation is pursued with a vigorous determination to uncover as much of the story as possible. Weinstock has published, among others, books on Chopin, Handel and Tchaikovsky, and two encyclopedic volumes with Wallace Brockway.

Publisher: Pantheon