Adolphe Adam, Master of the Romantic Ballet, 1830-1856

The composer Adolphe-Charles Adam (1803-1856) is particularly famous for the Christmas anthem ‘Minuit chrétiens’ (‘O Holy Night’). He was renowned as a composer for the lyric stage. With Boïeldieu, Hérold and Auber, Adam forms one of the quartet of masters that represent the second school of that profoundly French genre of opéra-comique, producing the charming Le Chalet (1834) and the adorable and enduringly popular Le Postillon de Lonjumeau (1836). However, Adam’s greatest originality and most substantial achievement lay in the field of ballet. Giselle (1841) is the quintessence of mystical Romanticism and one of the most enduring works of the dance repertoire. His series of ballets, principally for the Paris Opéra, but also for London, St Petersburg and Berlin, helped to establish this genre as a serious and integral musical form. His last work Le Corsaire (1856) attains sublime heights.

This book concentrates on the dance aspect of Adam’s art, examining his 14 works in this genre in the context of the emergence and efflorescence of the Romantic ballet within the vibrant musical scene in Paris from 1830-1860.

Robert Ignatius Letellier was educated in Grahamstown, Cambridge, Salzburg, Rome and Jerusalem. He is a member of Trinity College, Cambridge, the Salzburg Centre for Research in the Early English Novel, the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, and the Institute for Continuing Education at Madingley Hall, Cambridge. His publications number over 100 items, including books and articles on the early English novel, the Gothic novel, Sir Walter Scott, the Bible, and European culture. He has specialized in the Romantic opera, especially the work of Giacomo Meyerbeer and Fromental Halévy, the opéra-comique and Daniel-François-Esprit Auber, the Operetta, the Romantic Ballet, and Ludwig Minkus.

Nicholas Lester Fuller is a journalist and studied Literature and History at the Australian National University and Sydney University. He has a specialist engagement with French opera of the 19th century, and has written articles on Massenet, Meyerbeer, Gounod, Reyer, and Hérold for MusicWeb International. He has also reviewed for Limelight, the Australian classical music magazine.

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ISBN: 1-5275-9321-5

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-9321-3

Release Date: 30th January 2023

Pages: 431

Price: £72.99