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About this product
- DescriptionAging and creativity can seem a particularly fraught relationship for artists, who often face age-related difficulties as their audience's expectations are at a peak. In Four Last Songs, Linda and Michael Hutcheon explore this issue via the late works of some of the world's greatest composers. Giuseppe Verdi (1813 1901), Richard Strauss (1864 1949), Olivier Messiaen (1908 92), and Benjamin Britten (1913 76) all wrote operas late in life, pieces that reveal unique responses to the challenges of growing older. Verdi's Falstaff, his only comedic success, combated Richard Wagner's influence by introducing young Italian composers to a new model of national music. Strauss, on the other hand, struggling with personal and political problems in Nazi Germany, composed the self-reflexive Capriccio, a life review of opera and his own legacy. Though it exhausted him physically and emotionally, Messiaen at the age of seventy-five finished his only opera, Saint Fran ois d'Assise, which marked the pinnacle of his career. Britten, meanwhile, suffering from heart problems, refused surgery until he had completed his masterpiece, Death in Venice. For all four composers, age, far from sapping their creative power, provided impetus for some of their best accomplishments. With its deft treatment of these composers' final years and works, Four Last Songs provides a valuable look at the challenges and opportunities that present themselves as artists grow older.
- Author BiographyLinda Hutcheon is university professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at the University of Toronto and the author of many books on contemporary culture and theory. Michael Hutcheon is a pulmonologist and professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Together they have written several books on opera and medical culture, most recently Opera: The Art of Dying.
- Author(s)Linda Hutcheon,Michael Hutcheon
- PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
- Date of Publication22/11/2016
- SubjectMusic & Dance
- Place of PublicationChicago, IL
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Chicago Press
- Content Note, black & white illustrations
- Weight245 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine9 mm
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