Puccini is one of the most beloved of all opera composers – La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Turandot play to packed opera houses the world over. In his lifetime he achieved an international celebrity accorded to only a few, yet the critics were rarely impressed. He was nevertheless a creative artist of profound sensitivity and dramatic flair who developed a unique form of free-flowing opera while penning some of the greatest melodies of all time. His oeuvre constitutes the final flowering of the centuries-old tradition of Italian opera while also being an influence on cinematic genres then in their infancy.
This music companion provides a compelling overview of the constant tension created between Puccini’s indulgent, sometimes traumatic personal life and his need to achieve exceptionally high standards in his work.
About the Author
Julian Haylock is a former Editor of CD Review and International Piano magazines, Reviews Editor of CD Classics, the author of biographies on Mahler and Rachmaninov, and co-author of the Haylock and Waugh pocket guides to Classical Music on CD and Opera Music on CD. He writes extensively for a wide variety of publications including Classic FM Magazine (for which he contributes his regular Composer of the Month feature), BBC Music Magazine, The Strad and International Record Review. He has produced a number of recordings, including the complete piano concertos of Alexander Tcherepnin for Olympia, and in a previous life was much in demand as a violinist-violist, accompanist, and conductor.