Giuseppe Verdi's family was very poor. However, when Verdi began
to show promise as a composer, his father made sacrifice to buy him
a spinet, which Verdi began his education in music on. Verdi went
on to become one of the greatest composers of opera, paralleling
even Gioacchino Rossini himself.
Verdi was born in 1813. At the age of 12, he became the local organist. Nonetheless, he was still denied entrance into the Milan Conservatory. With more effort, he eventually was given private instruction in Milan. The patron, who gave him this opportunity, had a beautiful daughter. Verdi married her in 1836.
At this time, he had also written his first opera, Oberto. With its relative success, he was commissioned to write three more operas. His next opera, Nabucco, was a failure. His initial attempts with comedic operas tended to fail, but with time, he gained valuable insight in the art of these compositions.
Up until this time, opera had been dominated by Rossini, Bellini
and Donzinetti. In 1847, he wrote Macbeth, and with this
composition, he exploded with several operas. This includes his
most famous such as Il Traviata. With this piece, his style finally
matured into the great composer that he is remembered as. In his
late seventies, he composed his final two operas, Otello and
Falstaff. He died in 1901 and was remembered as one of the greatest
opera composers of any generation.
His Famous Compositions
Verdi's notable pieces include Otello, Rigoletto, La Traviata,
Don Carlos, Falstaff, and Requiem. He also wrote a very popular
string quartet. However, he was mainly remembered for his massive
entourage of opera pieces.
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