News & Interviews
Listen with Audible
Gay and Lesbian
Humor and Comedy
Ask the Author
Discover new books on Goodreads
Meet your next favorite book
Sign in with Facebook
> Seven Mozart Librettos: A Verse Translation
Want to Read
Want to Read
Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
Rate this book
1 of 5 stars
2 of 5 stars
3 of 5 stars
4 of 5 stars
5 of 5 stars
Seven Mozart Librettos: A Verse Translation
Oct 24, 2010
really liked it
Read from October 24, 2010 to February 10, 2011
Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read
Seven Mozart Librettos
Sign In »
Post a comment »
post a comment »
Add a reference:
Search for a book to add a reference
Feb 11, 2011 12:34AM
Disclaimer: I was provided this book at no charge with the understanding that I would review it for Goodreads.
As McClatchy states, the verses from the seven Mozart operas included in this book were, of course, not penned by Mozart, but by various librettists, some hired by Mozart. McClatchy chooses to use Mozart in the title of the books because it is commonly acknowledged that he was the dramatist and in most instances, de facto author of the librettos. This book is an English translation of the verses of the librettos from their original Italian or German as the case may be.
Each opera contains an Introduction, consisting of McClatchy's comments, the Story (by Act) and the Background. McClatchy's comments based on his extensive knowledge of Mozart and the piece, I found very satisfying. The prose explanation of the opera, teeters on the edge of condescension. Between the Notes on Translation, the Introduction, the Story, the Background and then...finally, the verse itself, I was exhausted. The verse becomes a little bit tedious. But let's face it, when you read it while listening to Mozart's music it is nothing short of glorious. I remember from the play "Amadeus" when Mozart 'fixed' the musical march by ??? that he said, "There, I fixed your march. I took out all those extra notes." Too bad he couldn't do that for this book.
The Theory of Translation is that all translations are lies. While I ascribe to that underlying premise, I must say that the translation of the 18th Century verse from both Italian and German is quite simply beautifully done. The translation from Italian is more difficult I think because all translations from the Romance Languages lose much of their lyric qualities. This translation retains the lovely charm of the original and all of the Italian pomp. The two translations from German are really comfortably current American reads. Of course their subjects lend themselves to America today more easily.
Save the lesser parts of this translation for your most leisurely hours, but cue up the opera on your CD player, I-pod or turntable while you read the English verses and enjoy Mozart as you never have before.
back to top
Flagging a post will send it to the Goodreads Customer Care team for review. We take abuse seriously in our discussion boards. Only flag comments that clearly need our attention. As a general rule we do not censor any content on the site. The only content we will consider removing is spam, slanderous attacks on other members, or extremely offensive content (eg. pornography, pro-Nazi, child abuse, etc). We will not remove any content for bad language alone, or being critical of a particular book.
© 2017 Goodreads Inc
authors & advertisers blog
Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.