Aida in Full Score (Dover Music Scores)

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9780486261720: Aida in Full Score (Dover Music Scores)

Aïda is one of Verdi's greatest gifts to grand opera. It magnificently combines high drama, stage spectacle, and a musical score that is one of the glories of operatic writing. A great success from its first performance over a century ago, it continues to dominate the repertory of opera houses around the world, among them the Metropolitan Opera in New York, which has staged Aïda more than any other opera in its long history.
In 1869, Verdi, at the peak of his career, initially declined offers from Egypt to create an opera for the new Cairo opera house, built to mark the opening of the Suez Canal. Then, in 1870, opera officials sent Verdi a short synopsis of a tragic love story that unfolds amid the pomp and pageantry of ancient Egypt. Verdi pronounced it "well-made" and "splendid from a scenic point of view." And when a handsome commission arrived from the Khedive as well, he set to work with his librettists on what would become his most famous opera. After many revisions, Aïda premiered in Cairo on Christmas Eve in 1871 and was an instantaneous success. Subsequent performances in Milan, Parma, Naples, and Paris confirmed its enormous popular appeal, which has never flagged.
Verdi endowed Aïda with arias, vocal ensembles, and orchestral scoring of thrilling power. Some of its passages, among them the celebrated third-act "Nile scene," are ranked by critics as among the finest in opera. This authoritative full-score edition will afford music lovers the opportunity to study intimately this grand opera that so richly displays Verdi's genius at its most inspired.

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Review:

You want orchestral color and an exotic setting for your grand opera? Nothing says it better than Aida, which is, in the grand operatic manner, a tragic tale of love and war with a nifty death scene at the end. Few moments in opera can touch the Triumphal Scene for sheer bombast, but sometimes bombast is a lot of fun. Verdi's use of brass here is instructive; with the full score, you can see exactly what is called for. Full scores are always more fun for armchair conducting, but they're not as useful for working singers who just need the vocal lines and piano accompaniment. Dover Scores, being reprints of out-of-copyright editions from other publishers, sometimes contain errors that have been corrected in more recent versions, but they're still the biggest bargain going in printed music.

About the Author:

An Italian composer of the Romantic era, Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) wrote operas that remain standards of the repertoire more than a century after his death. His most popular works include Rigoletto, La Traviata, and Aida.

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