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Songs of Mortals, Dialogues of the Gods: Music and Theatre in Seventeenth-Century Spain - Oxford Monographs on Music (Hardback)
  • Songs of Mortals, Dialogues of the Gods: Music and Theatre in Seventeenth-Century Spain - Oxford Monographs on Music (Hardback)
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Songs of Mortals, Dialogues of the Gods: Music and Theatre in Seventeenth-Century Spain - Oxford Monographs on Music (Hardback)

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£170.00
Hardback 586 Pages / Published: 02/09/1993
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This is the first comprehensive survey of seventeenth-century Spanish theatrical music to be written in any language. While particular aspects of the field have been explored before, no previous single study has succeeded in defining the place and function of music in the Spanish theatre, and the nature of the extant repertory. This book explains the development of the various musical-theatrical genres of the period (such as the semi-opera, opera, court plays), details the origins of the zarzuela, and looks at the anomalous production of three operas during the seventeenth century. It is based on a thorough study of the primary sources (musical sources, text of plays, archival documents), and the author combines history of music, history of theatre, politics and literary and musical anlysis to build a complete picture. In addition the book answers questions concerning the nature of the Spanish musical baroque and its relationship to European musical and theatrical developments. As such, it will be welcomed by musicologists, hispanists, students of Spanish culture, and historians of the arts and ideas.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198162735
Number of pages: 586
Weight: 1123 g
Dimensions: 241 x 166 x 39 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
an appendix of 65 musical examples, which, at some 120 pages, makes this one of the most lavishly illustrated music books I have seen ... the prose is not dauntingly technical, and few in the musicological community will be slowed down by it ... Louise Stein has done what few of us have been privileged to do: she has taken an entire musical century, in an important musical country, and rewritten its history from top to bottom. * Kenneth Kreitner, Early Music *
`good value these days for 566 pages including 120 pages of music ... Most of the music survives in mixed anthologies, so the catalogue of theatrical songs will be useful ... This presents to the non-expert what was happening in Spain at this period, and the lengthy anthology gives the imaginative reader a good idea of the sort of music that was heard in Spanish plays.' Early Music News
`At last, thanks to the Herculean labours of the American scholar Louise K Stein, an extensive piece of terra incognita has been sighted and charted, and I have little doubt that her handsomely produced book provides an essential new perspective on Hispanic civilisation...her chapter on the three Spanish operas of the 17th century makes particularly fascinating reading...This is an absorbing book, nothing if not comprehensive, both in the highly detailed description of the music and drama, and in the wealth of contextual information - mythology, philosophy,dramatic theory, society, politics and economics - all well organised and integrated. Welcome, too, are the reproductions of stage sets and paintings.' The Musical Times
`At last, thanks to the Herculean labours of the American scholar Louise K Stein, an extensive piece of terra incognita has been sighted and charted, and I have little doubt that her handsomely produced book provides an essential new perspective on Hispanic civilisation...This is an absorbing book, nothing if not comprehensive, both in the highly detailed description of the music and drama, and in the wealth of contextual information - mythology, philosophy, dramatic theory, sociey, politics and economics - all well organised and integrated' Musical Times
'We are indeed grateful to Prof. Louise K. Stein for her remarkable achievement in "defining the place and function of music in the seventeenth-century Spanish theatre," as well as delineating the "distinct genres" therein - particularly in view of the limited musical sources she had at her disposal. Ongoing and subsequent research concerning Spanish theater of Spain's Siglo de oro, will be substantially aided by Prof. Stein's magnificent contribution. I cannot help but strongly recommend this book even to those with a peripheral interest.' Israel J. Katz, Early Music Newsletter, May, 1994, Vol. 33, No. 19
'... the book surely comes into a 'must-be-on-my-own-shelf'category. ... this book is based on prodigious research, meticulously probed and purposefully engineered. This is indisputably a major critical work, packed with data, essential musical transcriptions, new insights, vigorous arguments and challenging theories.' Jack Sage. King's College, London. Journal of the Royal Musical Association. Vol. 119. No 2.
an important contribution to our understanding of Spanish music and Baroque musical theater. Stein presents a detailed picture of Spanish musical theater ... shows excellent command of many musical and literary sources. Historical backgrounds are concise but adequate. Like most from Clarendon Press, the book is well produced and easily read. Stein serves her subject well with a work that should be consulted by those desiring a more complete picture of Baroque dramatic music. * Paul R. Laird, University of Kansas, Notes, March 1995 *
a formidable grasp of the subject and a willingness to confront issues that other scholars have seemed loth to tackle ... fulfils all the expectations raised by that earlier study ... Stein makes a cool, analytical, almost forensic assessment of the evidence, which contrasts strongly with the defensive tone or special pleading that has marred previous studies ... Stein elaborates the theme of the range of styles in Spanish theatre music, and the different function of music within a theatrical context in Spain, with admirable clarity. The reassessment of Spanish theatre music in a broader European context initiated by this excellent book will take time; there is simply so much information here to absorb and to stimulate further exploration. Stein must be congratulated for taking a bold step in this direction, and for clearing the brambles ... that have grown up around the subject ... * Tess Knighton, University of Cambridge, Early Music History, Vol. 13, 1994 *
Louise Stein's book is the first substantial English-language study of the music used in the seventeenth-century Spanish theatre...Her basic approach offers in-depth analysis and interpretation of selected theatrical works using music...a well researched product,uncovering little-known sources...the rich detail, the unfamiliarity of the field and the unusual focus may make her work less accessible to the average reader. I have no doubt, though, that this challenging and thought-provoking volume will be unsurpassed for many years to come. * Music and Letters Vol 76 no 3 *

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