The Works of Giuseppe Verdi

Verdi portrait

The Works of Giuseppe Verdi, published jointly by The University of Chicago Press and Casa Ricordi, is planned to be an opera omnia. In addition to all twenty-eight operas (six of them in two versions), it will include Verdi's sacred music, songs, chamber music, and juvenilia. The edition is projected to be completed in 2015. The full scores (cm. 26 x 36) are cloth bound with titles printed in intaglio and gold leaf. The critical commentaries (in Italian and English) are separate cloth-bound volumes (cm. 17 x 24). The full scores are distributed by The University of Chicago Press except for Italy and Germany, for which Casa Ricordi is the distributor. The vocal scores are distributed in the United States and Canada by The University of Chicago Press, in the rest of the world by Ricordi. Performing materials are available from Ricordi through its rental agents.

The critical edition, based on Verdi's autographs and important secondary sources, such as early performing materials, aims to make available all his works in as complete and textually accurate a reading as possible. All the known variants, revisions, and sketch material of the composer are taken into consideration. From much-performed works, the critical edition scales away decades of corrupt readings and interpretations marring previous scores. Works that have never before been published in full score are treated with the same rigor. In addition to the principal score, each volume contains appendixes of collateral material, including transcriptions of the composer's sketches and rejected fragments, and early versions of musical numbers, later revised. For operas in several versions, the critical edition publishes two separate volumes when the substantive differences warrant it.

Each score contains a wide-ranging historical introduction presenting the work's genesis, performance history, and sources, and discussing issues of instrumental and vocal performance practice, production and staging, and problems of notation. Accompanying each score is a critical commentary evaluating the sources used and detailing in full the editorial decisions and their rationale. The critical notes identify and resolve ambiguities of melodic detail, harmony, phrasing, and text in each movement or piece.

The editorial board consists of Philip Gossett (general editor), Martin Chusid, Gabriele Dotto, Giorgio Pestelli, and Pierluigi Petrobelli; the managing editor is Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell, and the Associate General Editor is Roberta Montemorra Marvin.

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