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The History of Opera Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

From AudioFile

Despite being the most preposterous of art forms, opera has somehow survived the centuries. For most, though, it's an acquired taste, and this excellent history does a good deal to explain its origins and evolution to the opera buff. Fawkes's text is learned and insightful, but it's completely free of stuffiness and isn't likely to intimidate any listener with an intermediate knowledge of classical music. Robert Powell's reading is as confident and gentle as a guide's should be, with good command of all the German, Italian and Russian words. Finally, the 100 musical selections-not just from the Naxos catalogue, but also including early historical recordings-are well chosen, and just the right length to illustrate the concepts. D.B. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9626341769
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626341766
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,087,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
For those of you who take long car rides, I recommend the tape version of this book; for educators the CD format is best for instant access to any composer. As for the material itself, it is a superb "beginner's guide" to the history of opera. Running just short of 320 minutes (each CD is packed up to nearly the 80 minute limit), the not too cultivated British voice of the narrator takes us through the stages of the development of opera with copious illustrations drawn from the mammoth Naxos catalogue. The information is beautifully organized and very very clearly expressed. I transferred my CD copy to tape so I could hear it several times while on the road and let the information sink in. There is a Naxos set along the same lines that traces the history of all Western music; but there I felt that 4 CDs were not enough. Here I congratulate whoever did the abrigement for a fine job.
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Wonderful, entertaining, insightful and full of information, this CD has intellegent text and beautiful examples. Anyone who loves opera should own this CD.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought three: one for me and two for gifts. We all think this is an awesome recording. I never knew about the obscure operas which left us with so many one aria treasures. I highly recommend this for a long drive to keep you enthralled. Well researched and the recordings are great.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This a concise History of Opera. For the novice, like me I enjoyed familiarizing myself listening to the history and samples it gives. I believe anyone who enjoys Opera would enjoy this.
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Wonderful listen!
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