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Four Last Songs
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Four Last Songs: Aging and Creativity in Verdi, Strauss, Messiaen, and Britten

Linda Hutcheon and Michael Hutcheon

Abstract

Later life is a fraught topic in our commercialized, anti-aging, death-denying culture. Where does creativity fit in? The canonical composers whose stories are told here—Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), Richard Strauss (1864–1949), Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992), and Benjamin Britten (1913–1976)—offer radically individual responses to that question. In their late years, each of these national icons wrote an opera around which coalesced for them major issues about their creativity and aging. While these and other late works helped them explore creatively their own aging and mortality, the composers no ... More

Keywords: aging, creativity, Verdi, Strauss, Messiaen, Britten, opera

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780226255590
Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226255620.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Linda Hutcheon, author

Michael Hutcheon, author