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Divas and ScholarsPerforming Italian Opera$
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Philip Gossett

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226304823

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226304885.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2019

Scandal and Scholarship

Scandal and Scholarship

(p.107) 4 Scandal and Scholarship
Divas and Scholars
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the controversy surrounding Verdi's and Puccini's work. In July 1958, a young Australian musician, Denis Vaughan, discovered that the autograph manuscripts of certain works by Verdi and Puccini were significantly different from the printed editions in circulation during the 1950s. Convinced that his discoveries would prompt a reinterpretation of the art of these composers, Vaughan declared war on the Verdi interpretive tradition and also on Verdi's editors at Casa Ricordi. Vaughan produced letters of support from many musicians and conductors. However, other musicians and conductors—led by Gianandrea Gavazzeni—ridiculed Vaughan's examples. Gavazzeni's response in Verdi's defense inevitably damaged Vaughan's credibility. The logic of Vaughan's argument was equally problematic. Vaughan proved to be an inaccurate literalist in his reading of Verdi's autographs.

Keywords:   Vaughan, Verdi, Puccini, manuscripts, composers, Ricordi, Gavazzeni, autographs

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