Biographies; General Studies of Life and Works
DOI link for Biographies; General Studies of Life and Works
Biographies; General Studies of Life and Works book
This chapter lists the most significant biographical studies of the composer, including works that integrate a discussion of life and works (see chapter 12 for studies that concentrate on Verdi’s works, with relatively incidental emphasis on biographical matters). The biographies are arranged in four main sections. The first includes studies first published through ca. 1900, while the composer was still alive; these are particularly valuable for shedding light on what Verdi’s contemporaries thought about him. The second group contains materials first published from 1901 to 1930. These biographies begin to advance a historical position for Verdi in a more decisive manner. The third group includes works first published between 1931 and 1965. Initiating this set from a chronological perspective is Carlo Gatti’s important biography (item 174), generally considered to be the first “modern” biography of the composer due to the author’s use of primary source material that had been unavailable to earlier scholars. Frank Walker’s The Man Verdi, published toward the end of this period, was one of the first to call for a revisionary approach to Verdi’s biography, rooting out errors, inaccuracies, and false traditions. The final group contains biographical material published since 1966, the date of the first International Verdi Congress. This period as a whole is marked by increasingly detailed and revisionary approaches that draw on both archival documents and on new and more detailed studies about every aspect of Verdi’s music and career.