Few of music's Golden Ages remain so obscure as the Italian eighteenth century, and few operatic repertories have so deterred our revivalist fervour as the Neapolitan of that period. Yet in the opinion of many good judges of the time, Naples, and its opera specifically, was, as de Brusses put it, "the capital of the world's music", and we may well wonder whether we can ever hope really to understand eighteenth-century music until this repertory is as familiar to us as Bach and Handel.
In 'The Neapolitan Environment" Dr. Robinson examines the institutions that nurtured opera in Naples, the theatres and the conservatories; and the relations of both with the court. It is a lucid and a richly-documented account in which the author marshals a huge amount of material with commendable adeptness. Followed by 'Heroic Opera', 'The Orchestral Items' and two chapters on 'Comic Opera'.




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