Giacomo Puccini

A Discography

By (author) Roger Flury

Hardback - £131.00

Publication date:

21 June 2012

Length of book:

936 pages

Publisher

Scarecrow Press

ISBN-13: 9780810881549

Opera recordings have been with us since the creation of the first wax cylinders. Now at a time when the 25-year reign of the compact disc appears to be coming to an end is the moment to take stock of the history of recordings of arguably the most popular composer of operas, Giacomo Puccini. In Giacomo Puccini: A Discography, librarian and music historian Roger Flury looks at each opera chronologically from Le Villi to Turandot, followed by sections on Puccini's instrumental, chamber, orchestral, and solo vocal works. Details of each complete opera are listed by recording date, followed by excerpts in the order in which they occur in the opera. Recordings of each aria are listed alphabetically by the name of the artist. For ease of use, Flury establishes as the main criteria for inclusion those recordings assigned a commercial issue number and available for purchase.

This book does not limit itself to mainstream recordings but includes as well 'unofficial' recordings taken from broadcasts or illegally recorded in theaters, ensuring that the audio recording history of Puccini is free of gaps. (Video and DVD issues, whether of staged performances or excerpts in concert, are not included unless they have been issued in a sound-only format.) This volume brings together information on nearly 10,000 recordings of Puccini's music. It provides a comprehensive overview of the recorded history of the composer's works and serves as a useful guide for the transfer of recordings from one format to another.
Flury, a music librarian and discographer from New Zealand, has compiled a discography of recorded works by composer Giacomo Puccini. The composer's famous operas have been exhaustively recorded; Flury's organization of such a vast quantity of sound recordings into a coherent and useful product rivals one of the labors of Hercules. The discography consists of 'commercial audio recordings in disc format,' with noncommercial recordings admitted at the compiler's discretion. Even this choice of criteria does not cut the number of qualifying recordings significantly. Listed, for example, are over 450 complete recordings of La Boheme, with about 200 additional recordings of 'Musetta's Waltz.' The operas are arranged by title, with chapters listing other vocal music, chamber music, instrumental music, and miscellanea. Discographical data are clearly presented and follow the standards of such data presentation in, e.g., James Creighton's Discopaedia of the Violin, 1889-1971 (1974) and Ellingtonia: The Recorded Music of Duke Ellington and His Sidemen (5th ed., CH, Jul'08, 45-5911; 3rd ed., CH, Mar'89, 26-3826). Flury previously wrote Pietro Mascagni: A Bio-Bibliography (CH, Jul'01, 38-5900). Summing Up: Highly recommended. Comprehensive music collections; graduate students, researchers, and faculty.