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date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

One task of musicology has been the recovery of operas believed lost, the principal example being Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims, whose reconstruction depended on a series of surmises and archival discoveries. Related topics include completion of unfinished operas (Berg’s Lulu, Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron, and especially Puccini’s Turandot and the composer’s drafts and sketches for the ending); reversion of operas to earlier states after the composers’ revisions (returning Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera to Gustavo III); conflation of different versions of an opera (Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Beethoven’s Fidelio, and especially Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea). These issues converge in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, left in particularly chaotic condition at the composer’s death in 1880 and with a complex posthumous history that blended the authentic and inauthentic; the chaos and posthumous history are only now being untangled by Michael Kaye, in a new edition co-edited with Jean-Christoph Keck.

Keywords: authentic, completion, conflation, draft, edition, reconstruction, reversion, revision, sketch, version

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