by Marsh, Robert C.
Publisher:Diane Pub Co
James Levine, the legendary conductor and artistic director of the Metropolitan Opera, is one of the most public and yet most private figures in classical music. In his more than twenty-five years as maestro of the Met, Levine has carried his musical message around the world. His appearances in the opera houses and concert halls of Europe and Japan have been greeted with a fervor that not only matches but sometimes exceeds the loyalty and adoration of his fans in America.
In Dialogues and Discoveries, eminent music critic Robert C. Marsh presents the man behind the musical triumphs. From a series of interviews and conversations conducted over a period of twenty-five years with the maestro, his family, his colleagues, and his friends, Marsh brings us the private, the personal James Levine.
Levine's musical gifts were recognized early and fostered by his loving and understanding family in Ohio. Both parents had had professional careers -- his father was a musician, his mother an actress -- and they indulged and encouraged their prodigiously talented son, whether he was memorizing opera scores during elementary school recesses or designing productions with a toy theater.
By the time he was in his teens, Levine was working with the remarkable George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, where he made his debut at the age of twenty-three. Four years later, he was at the Metropolitan Opera and also served as the director of the Ravinia Festival, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony, for twenty-three seasons. Today he is truly, as New York magazine has said, "the Met's most valuable player." Under his guidance, the opera house has become the premier operatic stage in the world and the Metropolitan Orchestra one of the finest ensembles.
In Europe, he has been a regular conductor at the Wagnerian shrine, Bayreuth; the Salzburg Festival; and in Vienna and Berlin. In addition, he appears regularly on television and will conduct Fantasia 2000, the long-awaited sequel to the Disney classic Fantasia.
Robert Marsh has covered Levine in the concert hall, the recording studio, the opera house, and arenas and stadiums for the blockbuster Three Tenors concerts. He has produced a fascinating look at the world of classical music. Levine has known and worked with the famous musical figures of the past twenty-five years, and they all appear in Dialogues and Discoveries -- sopranos and basses, violinists and pianists, tenors and baritones.
One voice is dominant throughout, however -- that of James Levine. Here are Levine's opinions of famous colleagues, conductors, opera houses, and orchestras, as well as his assessments of the state of musical performance and the future of the performing arts. Dialogues and Discoveries is both a biography and an autobiography of one of the great musical artists of the twentieth century.
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