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I would recommend this volume to anyone with little or no knowledge of the history of opera, but not to anyone moderately familiar with this musical genre. The last half-hour consists of opera anecdotes, which, for the most part, are disposable. Also, many times, a musical illustration is announced, only to not be actually played. An alternate recommendation is 'The History of Classical Music', by the same author, which held my attention throughout. It even has an excellent section on opera.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful
Many of the musical illustrations appear to be either missing or cut out, making it a poor listen, and the history itself, while covering the major names with brief biographical detail and few technical terms, offers little depth or insight.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This book is a pleasure to listen to. Musical extracts are nicely chosen and makes you feel like you want to listen to more music, which in fact I did, buying some operas I knew of but never rally listened to carefully.
I recommend this book especially to those who love opera but are no musicians since it will give them a key to better enjoy their listens.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This was an entertaining book, but there were a few obvious factual errors presented which did make me doubt some of the other ‘facts’ I wasn’t so sure about. Those kinds of things should have been picked up before production but overall, an interesting book. Just don’t use it as your definitive source.