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Polymath of the Baroque: Agostino Steffani and His Music Hardcover – 1 Sep 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (1 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195154738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195154733
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 3.6 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,821,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This impressive study is as entertaining as it is informative, both for music specialists and for vistors from other disciplines...Steffani's life is fascinating, and very well told by Timms. (TLS)

About the Author

Colin Timms is Peyton and Barber Professor of Music at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Castelfranco is a pleasant, fortified town, situated in the fertile plain to the northwest of Venice and marking the intersection of several important routes-from Venice to Bassano, Trent, and Bolzano; from Padua north to Asolo and Belluno; and from Treviso west to Vicenza. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By IVAN VELLSO DA SILVEIRA BATALHA on 28 Nov 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cecilia Bartoli with her magnificent CD "Mission" revived the music of Agostino Steffani a great Baroque composer . And this excellent book about the life and works of Steffani became a must in my library.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Listen to the Music 19 Jan 2013
By G. Charles Steiner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This review is for: Polymath of the Baroque: Agostino Steffani and His Music (Hardcover)

Born in 1654, Steffani was born in Venice but was taken to Germany at the age of 13 and spent most of his life there, especially at the courts in Munich, Hanover and Dusseldorf. Known as a musician -- a singer, organist, harpsichordist and composer -- Steffani also was a diplomat, a bishop and a vicar (Chapters 4 and 5), hence the moniker "polymath." He also spoke several different languages. Some say Steffani was also a spy, but this book pays little attention to Steffani's political career and emphasizes instead Steffani's musical activities and compositions.

Most chapters in this book are concerned with the sacred music (Chapter 6) that Steffani wrote, the operas (Chapters 7 and 8) and his chamber music, including the cantatas (Chapter 9). Chapters 2, 3 and part of 4 discuss, in general terms, Steffani's musical career.

In the last unnumbered and very short chapter entitled "Conclusion: Personality and Achievement," the author asserts that Steffani may be viewed as a musical Raphael, noting that Steffani had many "transferable skills."

This book is best for those who are interested in the music Steffani composed, not for those readers, like me, who wanted to know more about Steffani's career as a diplomat, ecclesiastical, and spy.

I suppose Cecilia Bartoli's "The Mission" is the CD of choice for those who want to hear this musical Raphael.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An excellent scholarly work 8 Feb 2013
By Lilienthal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It is a wonderful surprise that there actually exists a scholarly study by a highly renowned musicologist about the inspired composer, musician, clergyman and diplomat Agostino Steffani. The only sad thing is that there are no comparable studies for so many other composers of this time or even the 18th century! Timm's work is everything one could ask for, and more. He gives overabundant information about Steffani's life, work and music, in a very intelligently ordered and of course immaculately researched manner. If you want any sort of information about Steffani, you should buy this book. It is worth every cent.
And no, this book does not contain unfounded speculations or sensational, but groundless rumours about Agostino Steffani. This is a scientific book, which, as it should, contains only facts.
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