Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Paul Griffiths' Ophelia


Paul Griffiths – music critic and historian, novelist, biographer, librettist and beyond – is about to publish a new work entitled, Let Me Tell You, a short novel using only the vocabulary allotted to Ophelia in Hamlet. This constraint, the publisher notes, gives the discourse a haunting and poetic quality. Read an extract here.

Griffiths wrote the libretto for Elliott Carter’s opera, What Next?, which had its premiere in 1999 under Daniel Barenboim. Anyone within reach of Vienna in December will be able to hear the Neue Oper version. Its composition and premiere are covered in Elliott Carter: A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents by Felix Meyer and Anne C Shreffler, for publication shortly.

Also from our own lists we recommend Paul Griffiths’ acclaimed biography of Jean BarraquĆ©, The Sea on Fire, and his collection of essays, reviews and interviews, Substance of Things Heard, which includes a section on Carter and a superbly evocative piece on Canadian composer, Claude Vivier. “Griffiths writes more eloquently and with greater insight than any of his peers...Illuminating, translucent, sagacious,” said the Times Literary Supplement. We wholeheartedly agree.

Let Me Tell You is available from Reality Street Editions. The Sea on Fire and Substance of Things Heard are available from good music booksellers or from Boydell & Brewer.

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