B1696. MARCELLO CONATI & MARIO MEDICI, Eds. The Verdi-Boito Correspondence (Trans. William Weaver). University of Chicago Press, 1994. 321pp. Index; Illus.; DJ - 0-226-85304-7 9780226853048
“These 301 letters between Giuseppe Verdi and his last, most gifted librettist, Arrigo Boito, document an extraordinary chapter in musical history. Now available for the first time in English, this correspondence records both a unique friendship and its creative legacy. This new edition of the landmark Carteggio Verdi/Boito is at once a valuable resource for all students, teachers, and scholars of opera and a fascinating glimpse of the daily life of European art and artists during the fertile last decades of the 19th century. Embarking on a 20-year collaboration, Verdi and Boito produced a successful revision of SIMON BOCCANEGRA, and two new operas, OTELLO and FALSTAFF. They created what many consider to be Verdi's greatest operas, thanks both to Boito's poetry and to his handling of the composer. Here are the day-to-day tasks of creation: poet and composer debating problems of dramatic structure, words, phrases, and meters; altering dialogue as, at the same time, they converse about the wider worlds of art and music. The give and take of artistic creation is rendered fascinatingly. This edition features a new introduction by Marcello Conati, improvements and updatings to the original edition, and an appendix of undated correspondence.
William Weaver's translation is characteristically pitch-perfect; he also provides a short closing sketch of Boito's life after the death of his beloved maestro. Explanatory 'linking texts' between the letters create a narrative.”
- Ned Ludd