"The first volume of Perle's magnificent study focused on Wozuck ...Its successor, equally painstaking and perceptive, is if anything more invaluable, for the clouds of mystery around Berg's second opera are only now beginning to disperse, and the work is coming to be regarded properly as the climax of the composer's achievement." (Andrew Clements, Opera). "Perle's books have laid the groundwork for a thorough exploration of the remarkably successful ways in which Berg was able to marry a powerful intellectual grasp of a richly developing language to an instinctive feel for dramatic shape, a process that marks him out as one of the few genuine opera composers this century." (Michael Taylor, Music and Letters). "The first volume, Wozzeck ...was universally recognized as being a work of outstanding scholarship. The Lulu volume is an even more impressive achievement. In its analytical sophistication, its critical insights and in the implications which it has for our understanding not only of Berg but of a whole body of post-diatonic music, Perle's Lulu is one of the most exciting and important books on music to appear for many years." (Douglas Jarman, Times Literary Supplement).
"With the second of his books on The Operas of Alban Berg, this American musicologist and composer has now taken advantage of all this new material to consolidate his own research and present us with the most sophisticated musical analysis yet made of the composer ...As Perle shows, Lulu represents the highest point of development in Berg's music from the point of view of ambiguity of fabrication." (Stephen Reeve, Classical Music). "Nothing I've read in the past year makes as important a contribution to this literature as The Operas of Alban Berg: Volume Two: Lulu ...Perle's saga of the opera's release from partial captivity reads like one of the great intellectual detective stories of our era ...What emerges most flavorfully is Perle's portrait of a haunted artist who imbued his later works with concealed autobiographical gestures, including his longtime love affair with a Prague matron." (Ailan Ulrich, San Francisco Focus). "The goal of the two-volume work is not merely to dwell in detail on the operas themselves, but to give some account of Berg's other music, in order to set the operas in the context of his complete output.
With a composer like Berg, whose music is intimately bound up with his own personal life, such an approach is particularly appropriate ...George Perle has given the world two volumes which will remain at the top of their field for many years to come." (Douglass M. Green, Journal of the American Musicological Society).
George Perle is a distinguished composer and Professor Emeritus of Music at the City University of New York. His books include Serial Composition and Atonality: An Introduction to the Music of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern (Sixth Edition, California, 1991); The Operas of Alban Berg, Volume 1, Wozzeck (California, 1980) and Volume 2, Lulu (California, 1985); and The Listening Composer (California, 1990). He has been a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.