Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (1867-1944), the most widely performed composer of her generation, was the first American woman to succeed as a creator of large-scale art music. Her "Gaelic" Symphony, given its premiere by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1896, was the first work of its kind by an American woman to be performed by an American orchestra. Almost all of her more than 300 works were published soon after they were composed and performed, and today her music is finding new advocates and audiences for its energy, intensity, and sheer beauty. Yet, until now, no full-length critical biography of Beach's life or comprehensive critical overview of her music existed. This biography admirably fills that gap, fully examining the connections between Beach's life and work in light of social currents and dominant ideologies.Born into a musical family in Victorian times, Amy Beach started composing as a child of four and was equally gifted as a pianist. Her talent was recognized early by Boston's leading musicians, who gave her unqualified support. Although Beach believed that the life of a professional musician was the only life for her, her parents had raised her for marriage and a career of amateur music-making. Her response to this parental (and later spousal) opposition was to find creative ways of reaching her goal without direct confrontation. Discouraged from a full-scale concert career, she instead found her m�tier in composition. Success as a composer of art songs came early for Beach: indeed, her songs outsold those of her contemporaries. Nevertheless, she was determined to separate her work from the genteel parlor music women were writing in her day by creating large-scale works--a Mass, a symphony, and chamber music--that challenged the accepted notion that women were incapable of creating high art. She won the respect of colleagues and the allegiance of audiences. Many who praised her work, however, considered her an exception among women. Beach's reaction to this was to join with other women composers of serious music by promoting their works along with her own. Adrienne Fried Block has written a biography that takes full account of issues of gender and musical modernism, considering Beach in the contexts of her time and of her composer contemporaries, both male and female. Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian will be of great interest to students and scholars of American music, and to music lovers in general.
Anthony Milner, who is recognized as Britain's leading Catholic composer, has been widely praised for his ability to combine freshness and originality with a thorough grounding in the historic traditions of music. Although his choral works on religious themes have attracted a wide audience, his instrumental works also have a prominent place in the modern repertoire. This new bio-bibliography is the first book devoted to Milner's music and career. It provides fully annotated catalogues of his compositions, performances and reviews of his works, and his achievements as a teacher, writer, and lecturer.
The volume begins with a biographical survey of the life and works of Anthony Milner. A works and performances section presents a catalogue arranged alphabetically by genre and supplying descriptive notes and information on commissions, texts, scoring, and publication. A bibliography of some 400 references by or about Milner lists books, articles, magazine and newspaper reviews, published or broadcast talks, lectures and interviews, record album essays, and other publications. Quotations or summaries of the contents are provided. The volume includes a complete discography as well as several supplemental lists that will help the reader locate specific information. A research tool for performers, conductors, music critics, and specialists in musicology or church music, this work will be a useful addition to collections in contemporary, choral or liturgical music.
A concise biographical study of the life and work of Anton von Webern. The book explores the idea that modern music is obscure by setting Webern's technical advances against the Romantic inheritance of 19th century Austro-Germany.
In his memoir Anyone Who Had a Heart, Burt Bacharach, one of the greatest songwriters of all time, offers a frank and riveting account of his unparalleled life.
From his tumultuous marriages and the tragic suicide of his daughter, to his collaborations with Hal David, Carole Bayer Sager, Neil Diamond, Elvis Costello, and others, Bacharach details his long-lasting success as well as the never-before-told stories behind the hits.
Candid and emotional, and with 16 pages of color photographs, Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music is Burt Bacharach in his own words--a powerful and personal look at the award-winning songwriter and composer.
In this lucid, revealing book, award-winning pianist and scholar Charles Rosen sheds light on the elusive music of Arnold Schoenberg and his challenge to conventional musical forms. Rosen argues that Schoenberg's music, with its atonality and dissonance, possesses a rare balance of form and emotion, making it, according to Rosen, the most expressive music ever written. Concise and accessible, this book will appeal to fans, non-fans, and scholars of Schoenberg, and to those who have yet to be introduced to the works of one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.Arnold Schoenberg is one of the most brilliant monographs ever to be published on any composer, let alone the most difficult master of the present age. . . . Indispensable to anyone seeking to understand the crucial musical ideas of the first three decades.--Robert Craft, New York Review of Books What Mr. Rosen does far better than one could reasonably expect in so concise a book is not only elucidate Schoenberg's composing techniques and artistic philosophy but to place them in history.--Donal Henahan, New York Times Book Review For the novice and the knowledgeable, Mr. Rosen's book is very important reading, either as an introduction to the master or as a stimulus to rethinking our opinions of him. Mr. Rosen's accomplishment is enviable.--Joel Sachs, Musical Quarterly
With language unencumbered by technical jargon, these scholarly writings bring to life the various facets of Schoenberg's creative process and its influence. Topics include biographical essays, surveys of the music from different periods in Schoenberg's career, and essays on the development of Schoenberg's style, on Schoenberg's attitudes toward music, composition and analysis, and the effect of and interpretation of Schoenberg's music. The contributors provide different points of view based on their unique specialties. The resulting breadth of information illuminates distinct aspects of Schoenberg's musical career.
The Arnold Schoenberg Companion aims to introduce Schoenberg and his music to a nonspecialist audience. The chronological essays place Schoenberg and his achievements in the context of the past and present. The contributing authors include scholars and composers of different generations, including two of his American students. The companion also contains an annotated bibliography and discography, and is an invaluable resource to scholars and researchers.
Joy H. Calico examines the cultural history of postwar Europe through the lens of the performance and reception of Arnold Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw--a short but powerful work, she argues, capable of irritating every exposed nerve in postwar Europe. Schoenberg, a Jewish composer whose oeuvre had been one of the Nazis' prime exemplars of entartete (degenerate) music, immigrated to the United States and became an American citizen. Both admired and reviled as a pioneer of dodecaphony, he wrote this twelve-tone piece about the Holocaust in three languages for an American audience. This book investigates the meanings attached to the work as it circulated through Europe during the early Cold War in a kind of symbolic musical remigration, focusing on six case studies: West Germany, Austria, Norway, East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Each case is unique, informed by individual geopolitical concerns, but this analysis also reveals common themes in anxieties about musical modernism, Holocaust memory and culpability, the coexistence of Jews and former Nazis, anti-Semitism, dislocation, and the presence of occupying forces on both sides of the Cold War divide.
Sir Arthur Bliss was one of England's most renowned twentieth-century composers. This bio-bibliography provides a brief biography prepared with the assistance of the composer's widow. It then presents a complete list of works and performances, classified by genre and arranged alphabetically by title of composition. Each entry contains a list of premiere performances, with references to commentaries from performance reviews cited in the bibliography. Brief details are also given concerning original manuscripts and their location. The next section contains a discography of commercially and privately produced sound recordings. An annotated bibliography of writings by the composer and about him and his music follows. Annotations are often in the form of quotations from performance reviews. The bibliography concludes with appendices providing alphabetical and chronological listings of Bliss's works and a complete index of names and titles.
Arthur Foote (1853-1937) was one of the most important American composers who worked creatively in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His musical style was at first Germanic in orientation, soon changing to include Anglo-Americanisms and modifications derived from French and Russian composers. His compositions were highly esteemed by his contemporaries. Moreover, today's listeners continue to be struck by the coherency of his music, both in its general form and in its details. They note a command of craft, an integration of tone with desired expression, and an honest straightforward sound that brooks no pretentious complexities or enigmas of meaning. In addition, he was admired as an educator, musical theorist, keyboard performer, and choral music director. His books and articles on keyboard pedagogy and those containing his insightful contemplation of aspects of modulation and third-relationships in musical structures are still of great value. Assiduous as he was in preserving various aspects of his public life in his several scrapbooks, Foote strove to keep his private life out of the public eye. He discouraged the publication of his more personal letters, and late in life even desired their destruction. This book attempts to gather all the available information in order to give information about the man, his life, and his thinking. Lastly, it looks into the music, what it is, why and where it was written, and what its significance is. With bibliography and musical examples.