Saturday, September 15, 2007

Big Red Books

Here's an article about musicologist Helen Greenwald finishing up work on the critical edition of Rossini's Zelmira and embarking on Verdi's Attila.

I got a pleasant surprise checking the University of Chicago Press's site - the next opera in the Verdi series has been announced: Giovanna d'Arco. The publication date is listed as Spring 2008, but if past volumes are any indication, the date's gonna slide a bit. The latest release in the series is Roberta Marvin's edition of Inno popolare and Inno delle nazioni.

They're really filling in the lesser-known works of Verdi. Giovanna d'Arco will be joining previously issued editions of works like Alzira, Il corsaro and I masnadieri. I'm thinking that overall they must have fewer textual issues than a lot of the later operas and are thus "easier" to produce. That's not to say that some tricky cases haven't been tackled yet -- David Lawton's edition of both the 1847 and 1865 versions of Macbeth came out in 2006. I can't wait to see the edition(s) of Don Carlos -- it'll probably be four of those big red books and weigh 50 pounds.

The Verdi scores are great, but the long introductions make the most wildly impractical bedtime reading. It's like trying to read a book of carpet samples.

1 comment:

Straussmonster said...

I'm thinking that overall they must have fewer textual issues than a lot of the later operas and are thus "easier" to produce.

In short: yes. :)

In longer: they exist primarily in manuscript form and aren't complicated by the issues of mss. versus printed edition (for things like Falstaff) or edition/revision nightmares (Don Carlo(s)).