The Bjorling Sound
Title Details

424 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

20 b/w illus.

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

The Bjorling Sound

A Recorded Legacy

by Stephen Hastings

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Detailed examination of the vocal and interpretive artistry of the great Jussi Björling.

A half century after his death in 1960, Swedish tenor Jussi Björling remains one of the most beloved singers in the world. He spent forty-five of his forty-nine years performing in public, rapidly conquering opera-house and concert stages on both sides of the Atlantic. Along the way, he left a vast recorded legacy that continues to enchant lovers of vocal music and inspire young singers. In this ground-breaking book, Stephen Hastings analyzes more than four hundred of the great tenor's recordings, comparing them with the output of a hundred other tenors, from Caruso to Alagna. The repertoire ranges from brief art songs by Schubert and Sibelius to entire opera recordings--some madein the studio, others captured live. What emerges is a richly layered portrait of this most musical of singers. As Hastings's comparisons demonstrate, Björling left his unique imprint on all the scores he sang, combining a perennial freshness of approach with the richly inflected phrasing made possible by a perfectly honed technique.

Born in London and educated in Oxford, Stephen Hastings has been the Milan correspondent of Opera Newssince 1991 and editor in chief of the Italian monthly Musica for the past twelve years.
Introduction
Adam
Alfvén
Atterberg
Beethoven
Bizet
Borodin
Brahms
Donizetti
Gounod
Grieg
Handel
Leoncavallo
Mascagni
Massenet
Meyerbeer
Mozart
Puccini
Rangström
Rossini
Schubert
Sibelius
Richard Strauss
Verdi
Wagner
Björling's Remaining Recordings: A Survey of the Best (1920-60)
Evolution and Influence
Notes
Discography
Bibliography
Index
"I devoured The Björling Sound with unashamed greed and great pleasure." F. Paul Driscoll, editor in chief, Opera News
"His passages on Gounod's Faust and Roméo et Juliette are a masterpiece of sensitive analysis." Stefan Johansson, NEWSLETTER OF THE SWEDISH JUSSI BJOERLING SOCIETY
"Remarkable new book. . . . Insightful scholarship and freshly evocative writing that will send Bjo'rling's fans back to their favourite recordings and will win the tenor many admirers. ***** [Highest ranking, and book of the month]" John Allison, BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
"[Hastings's] analyses are detailed, well written, and clear. . . . _The Björling Sound: A Recorded Legacy has become a standard work, like The Callas Legacy of John Ardoin." OPERA NEDERLAND Full review at http://www.operanederland.nl/Boeken%20Bjoering.htm
"Comparison between recordings and live performances . . . give great insight into the reasons why particular interpretations of the same piece can vary to an enormous degree. . . . Listing the recordings by composer is a stroke of genius and means that the reader can dip in and out without losing any continuity to the progression of Björling's career. . . . Should be devoured by anyone interested in the art of singing. Full review at http://vocalimages.com/?page_id=1097" VOCALIMAGES Full review at http://vocalimages.com/?page_id=1097
"An impressive documentation of Björling's sound. . . . Lively language gives good flow to the many details in the book." Ida Habbestad, KLASSISK MUSIKKMAGASIN
"Uncommonly successful. . . . Hastings is always specific, never resorting to vague poetics in passages of praise to describe work he likes, . . . Enrich[es] his findings by comparison with recordings of the same material from all ages[, e.g., Caruso, Pavarotti, and Alagna]." Mike Ashman noted opera director, GRAMOPHONE
"An exciting read about a beloved artist. . . .For the neophyte, it supplies an education in vocal terminology and history, and an unerring understanding of the voice and how it functions. . . . Compelling." Ira Siff, OPERA NEWS
"By a long way the best critical discography of anyone I have encountered. . . Eloquent, jargon-free and incisive prose. Many acute remarks about conductors. . . . Illuminating [on Schubert songs]. . . . Truly an education." Michael Tanner, OPERA

Hardcover

9781580464062

May 2012

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9781580468145

May 2012

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9781580467735

May 2012

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Title Details

424 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

20 b/w illus.

Imprint: University of Rochester Press