Five Operas and a Symphony

Richard Taruskin

in On Russian Music

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249790
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942806 | DOI:
Five Operas and a Symphony

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This chapter reviews the book “Five Operas and a Symphony,” a collection of essays. The book was conceived during the halcyon era when the author's presence in the Berkeley Slavic department, together with that of Simon Karlinsky and Robert Hughes, made that department virtually a second music department on campus. The third chapter, “Eugene Onegin in the Age of Realism,” is the zenith of the collection. It had its origin in a colloquium that attempted a defense of Chaikovsky's opera against the legions of offended Pushkinists who have inveighed against it since its première, lately under the banner of the militantly tone-deaf Nabokov. The book has the vices of their virtues. Their main vice is overkill. The arguments are often exaggerated, even forced at times, and they suffer from an excess of zeal to find meaning everywhere that occasionally borders on the humorless.

Keywords: Reviews; essay collection; Eugene Onegin; colloquium

Chapter.  2776 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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