cover of book

Chamber Music
by Giuseppe Verdi
edited by Gundula Kreuzer
introduction by Gundula Kreuzer
University of Chicago Press, 2011
Cloth: 978-0-226-85301-7

Once Verdi had become Italy’s preeminent opera composer, he created only a few compositions for instrumental soloists, most notably the String Quartet in E Minor. He originally wanted to keep the string quartet—which was first performed in his hotel for a few friends—private, but eventually he allowed its publication and it soon became well known all over Europe and the United States. Though several recordings are available and the piece is regularly featured in performances, all of them use later editions that do not live up to Verdi’s intentions as recorded in his autograph score. This critical edition is based on that score, preserved at the Naples conservatory library, and the composer’s own instructions for performance.

Verdi wrote as gifts for admirers the three original piano pieces—“Romance sans paroles,” “Valzer,” and “Album Leaf for Francesco Florimo”—also included here, and these critical editions are based on the autograph scores or, in the case of “Romance sans paroles,” on photographs of the never-released original.  Editor Gundula Kreuzer details the origins, sources, and performance questions of all these works in her skillful introduction, and her critical commentary explains editorial problems and solutions.

The instrumental parts are also available as Quartetto (1873): Four Parts for String Quartet (ISBN 978-0-226-85321-5), extracted from this full score.

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