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Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex (Cambridge Music Handbooks) [Hardcover]

Stephen Walsh
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Price: $90.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

July 30, 1993 0521404312 978-0521404310
Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex is widely acknowledged as one of the most original musical theater works of the twentieth century. This clear and concise guide, the first ever written on the work, describes the plot, the music and the staging in close detail and provides a fully documented discussion of the origins of Oedipus Rex in Stravinsky's own work and thinking. By placing the work in its social context, the author paints a vivid picture of Parisian artistic politics in the twenties, from which emerged one of the richest and most suggestive works of modern times. The full libretto is provided, with a parallel translation.

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Editorial Reviews


"There is much in this book that is considerable, and the author opens up areas that almost demand further research. In preparing Oedipus Rex for performance, one should use this book, with score in hand, as a starting point or reference source. The extensive notes and bibliography make the handbook a valuable tool." Choral Journal

Book Description

Widely acknowledged as one of the most original music theater works of the twentieth century, this guide describes the opera's plot, music and staging and provides a fully documented discussion of its origins in Stravinsky's work and thought.

Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Music Handbooks
  • Hardcover: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 30, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521404312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521404310
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,483,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book--with a few problems October 9, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is indispensable for anyone interested in the history Stravinsky's greatest neoclassical creation. It includes its genesis , the confrontation and struggle between opera and oratorio, the collaboration with Jean Cocteau--which was also a struggle at times,--an exhaustive exegesis of the musical construction, a complete English translation of the French and Latin text, and the history of the productions of Oedipus from its premier in 1927 to 1993 when this book was published.

But there are some curious inconsistencies. In a section called "Cocteau's Cocktail" Walsh writes, "so the accusation against Teresias had to go, and the order of events be changed to keep `le roi est un roi' (`the king is a king') as the overlapping cue for the chorus entry. Yet after all this, Cocteau actually leaves out the `dispute of the princes', which the Speaker gives as the reason for Jocasta's intervention.'" None of that is true. (And it's "L'assassin du roi est un roi", "The murderer of a king is a king," not the nonsensical "the king is a king" as Walsh writes it.)

At the beginning of this scene, as given in this very same book, the Speaker begins with Oedipus' questioning of the seer Tiresias, who avoids answering: "This silence angers Oedipus. He accuses Creon of coveting the throne and Tiresias of being his accomplice." In the Latin libretto Oedipus sings:

Envy hates the fortunate.
You made me king....
Now there is one who wants my place.
Creon wants the king's place.
You have been bribed, Tiresias!
I shall lay bare this plot!
Creon would be king...
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