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A History of Bel Canto
A History of Bel Canto.

A History of Bel Canto

  • ISBN: 978-0-19-816641-2
  • Editorial: Clarendon Press
  • Traductor: Frederick Fuller
  • Encuadernación: Rústica
  • Formato: 14x21,5
  • Páginas: 224
  • Idiomas: Inglés
  • Tipo: LIBRO


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Bel canto singing was a historical phenomenon which embraced Italian opera of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries. It required infinite variety of sound, in particular a lyrical ecstacy, a faultless technique to dispatch the vocal pyrotechnics demanded of it, and earned itself eloquent praise as "the singing which is heard within the soul".

Rodolfo Celletti, who has devoted his whole career to studying the voice from every historical, technical, and musical aspect, offers here a fascinating history of bel canto singing and the voice in operatic literature. He begins by discussing the links of bel canto with the operatic ideals of the baroque, and points out that the style was created as much by operatic composers and their librettists as by their executants, the singers. To this end he undertakes a review of Italian opera of the period, andtraces the development of the style in different composers and their works. There is a chapter on Castrati - the voice par excellence of bel canto - and the art of singing in their day. The final chapter looks at the history of bel canto since Rossini, charting its death and resurrection.


I. The cult of bel canto, virtuosity, and hedonism

II. The vocal art in Baroque opera
-From reciting in song to Roman opera
-Cavalli and Cesti
-Legrenzi, Sartorio, P. A. Ziani, and Pollarolo
-Carlo Pallavicino and Steffani
-The Golden Age: from Liotti to Handel

III. Particular aspects of Baroque opera
-The castrato and the art of singing in his day
-"Tempest" arias
-Buffo roles

IV. Rossini
-Rossini's views on melody and on singing
-Characteristics of Rossini's writing for the voice
-Types of voice in Rossini's operas
-Vocalism in the Rossini period; performance practices; Stendhal's views on singing

V. Death and resurrection of bel canto

Index of names and titles of operas