The Life of Bellini
Vincenzo Bellini's physical beauty, boundless success, and untimely death at the age of thirty-three combined to give him instant mythical status. In John Rosselli's new account, the first in English in twenty-five years, of his life and music, a more accurate view of Bellini emerges. Carefully sorting through fact, legend and even spurious documentation, Rosselli reassesses Bellini's personality, his relationships, and his short but dazzling career in Naples, Milan and Paris. He introduces the operatic world of the early nineteenth century, the singers of Bellini's roles, and, above all he explains the writing and performance of the operas themselves. What emerges from this level-headed biography is a portrait of an otherwise normal young man with uncommon musical gifts.
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Page 13 - Italian - at that time a literary and official language, and a lingua franca for the educated - was uncertain; like many people whose grasp of language is weak, he readily picked up foreign turns of phrase - Gallicisms - while failing to master the language they came from. All this calls for empathy and imagination as well as critical scrutiny. Many artists' work seems to move on a plane other than that of their daily life.