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See below for a selection of the latest books from Western "classical" music category. Presented with a red border are the Western "classical" music books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Western "classical" music books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
First published in 1996, this volume counters the attitude of paying more attention to the performer than to the piece. Too often, Anthony Hopkins argues, music is simply regarded as a pleasant background noise to accompany our other activities, whereas Beethoven offers much more than that. Hopkins aim to promote hearing, rather than listening. He examines Beethoven's piano concertos numbers 1 through 5, along with the violin concerto in D Major, Op. 61, and the Triple Concerto, Op. 56.
Dangerous Melodies vividly evokes a time when classical music stood at the center of twentieth-century American life, occupying a prominent place in the nation's culture and politics. The work of renowned conductors, instrumentalists, and singers-and the activities of orchestras and opera companies-were intertwined with momentous international events, especially the two world wars and the long Cold War. Jonathan Rosenberg exposes the politics behind classical music, showing how German musicians were dismissed or imprisoned during World War I, while numerous German compositions were swept from American auditoriums. He writes of the accompanying impassioned protests, some of which verged on riots, by soldiers and ordinary citizens. Yet, during World War II, those same compositions were no longer part of the political discussion, while Russian music, especially Shostakovich's, was used as a tool to strengthen the US-Soviet alliance. During the Cold War, accusations of communism were leveled against members of the American music community, while the State Department sent symphony orchestras to play around the world, even performing behind the Iron Curtain. Rich with a stunning array of composers and musicians, including Karl Muck, Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Kirsten Flagstad, Aaron Copland, Van Cliburn, and Leonard Bernstein, Dangerous Melodies delves into the volatile intersection of classical music and world politics to reveal a tumultuous history of twentieth-century America.
Through forty-five creative and concise essays by an international team of authors, this Cambridge History brings the fifteenth century to life for both specialists and general readers. Combining the best qualities of survey texts and scholarly literature, the book offers authoritative overviews of central composers, genres, and musical institutions as well as new and provocative reassessments of the work concept, the boundaries between improvisation and composition, the practice of listening, humanism, musical borrowing, and other topics. Multidisciplinary studies of music and architecture, feasting, poetry, politics, liturgy, and religious devotion rub shoulders with studies of compositional techniques, musical notation, music manuscripts, and reception history. Generously illustrated with figures and examples, this volume paints a vibrant picture of musical life in a period characterized by extraordinary innovation and artistic achievement.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) took the symphony, one of the most abstract and tradition-bound genres in Western music, and opened it to the widest (and wildest) span of human experience. He opened it to themes of love, nature, the world's chasmic depth at darkest midnight, making peace with death, resurrection, seeking one's creator, being at one with God-just to mention a few of his themes. Mahler's music is experiential in the sense that it contradicts textbook ideas of style, taste, structure, orchestration, and musical language, abandoning musical politesse for a more radical undertaking. Musicologist Arved Ashby takes readers into the seeming chaos of Mahler's work to investigate the elements which make each work an experiential adventure which defines the symphonic genre in a new way. The book surveys Mahler's symphonies and song cycles in detail -introducing them not as artworks but as intensely vivid, truthful, and lived and felt experiences. As a study of musical experience, this book is not a Mahler biography, nor does it try to account for Mahler's pieces as compositional structures. Ashby offers a critical perspective on aspects that have been difficult to talk about in the past, including Mahler's style anomalies, the intuitive nature of his structures, Mahler's paradoxical relationship with the symphony genre, the fact that famous musicians have found the music wrong in ways that actually have some truth to them, and the re-creative rather than simply interpretive role that has been played by Mahler performance. All these things have deep implications for listening to and experiencing Mahler's works.
For almost three decades (1931-59) Carleton Sprague Smith served as Chief of the Music Division of The New York Public Library. Utilizing his training as historian, musicologist, and musician, together with his exceptional administrative and linguistic skills, he helped develop one of the world's greatest music research libraries. As early as 1932, he drew up the initial concept of a Library-Museum of the Performing Arts, which ultimately materialized at Lincoln Center. Smith also served as President of both the Music Library Association
This volume completes Newman's monumental study of the sonata. It examines the evolution of the sonata idea from the prexcocious Romanticisms of Dussek before 1880 to the near exhaustion of Romantic music by the time of World War I. Thoroughly documented, illustrated by new extended lists of sonatas as well as the fullest bibliography of Romantic music literature yet published, the book is invaluable to musicians. Originally published in 1969. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
This volume provides a full and careful history of what sonata meant and how the word was used from its first appearance as an instrumental title in the sixteenth century to the near end of the thorough-bass practice around 1750. The revised edition includes nearly three hundred new studies, editions, and other pertinent information. Originally published in 1966. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
What makes Mozart's music so great? Why does a minor chord sound sad and a major chord sound happy? What's the difference between opera and operetta? From Bach to Bernstein, this definitive guide offers a complete survey of the history of classical music. Whether you already love classical music or you're just beginning to explore it, The Complete Classical Music Guide invites you to discover the spirituality of Byrd's masses, the awesome power of Handel's Messiah, and the wonders of Wagner's operas, as well as hundreds more composers and their masterpieces. This guide takes you on a journey through more than 1,000 years, charting the evolution of musical instruments, styles, and genres. Biographies of major and lesser-known composers offer rich insights into their music and the historical and cultural contexts that influenced their genius. The book explores the features that defined each musical era - from the ornate brilliance of the Baroque, through the drama of Romantic music, to contemporary genres such as minimalism and electronic music. Timelines, quotes, and colour photographs give a voice to this music and the exceptionally gifted individuals who created it. Covering both music history and the fundamental elements of classical music, The Complete Classical Music Guide explains not just the who, what, and where of classical music, but the how and why.
The image of Vienna as a musical city is a familiar one. Vienna has long been associated with many of the most significant composers in Western music - from Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, through the Strauss family, Brahms, Bruckner and Wolf, to Mahler, Lehar, Schoenberg and Webern. Today, venerable institutions like the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Staatsoper and the Vienna Boys' Choir, together with the shared pride of residents and visitors in its musical inheritance, ensure that the image of a musical city is undimmed. This book explores the history of music in Vienna, focussing on three different epochs, 1700, 1800 and 1900, an approach which allows the very different relationships between music and society that existed in each of these periods to be distinguished. Patronage, social function and audience are key considerations, set within wider political and cultural developments. The volume is populated by emperors, princes, performers, publishers and writers as well as composers, and deals with institutional and commercial characteristics alongside representative individual works. Music in Vienna focusses on the political and social role of music, broadening our understanding of the city as a musical capital. It will appeal to a wide readership, including music historians and political, cultural and social historians, as well as the interested general reader. DAVID WYN JONES is Professor of Music at Cardiff University.