Music in the Castle of Heaven
Paperback ISBN: 1400031435
"An unprecedented book about one of the greatest of all composers, by his greatest modern interpreter. Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most famously unfathomable composers in the history of music. How can such sublime work have been produced by a man who (when we can discern his personality at all) seems so ordinary, so opaque--and occasionally so intemperate? John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every morning and evening on the stairs of his parents' house, where it hung for safety during the Second World War. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer's greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime's immersion are now distilled in this remarkable book, which explains in wonderful detail how Bach worked, how his music is constructed, how it achieves its effects--and what it can tell us about Bach the man. It is grounded in all the most recent Bach scholarship but moves far beyond it, andtakes us as deeply into Bach's works and mind as perhaps words can. This is a unique book about one of the greatest of all creative artists"--
Accent on Composers
The Music and Lives of 22 Great Composers
Paperback ISBN: 1470611279
Introducing another volume of Alfred Music's most popular reproducible book! PDFs of the entire book are included on the enhanced CD. Includes lessons, assessments, and professional recordings for Berlioz, Bernstein, Chopin, Ellington, Gershwin, Prokofiev, Puccini, Purcell, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, and more! Recommended for grades 4 and up.
An Artistic Vision
Paperback ISBN: 0393353850
More than any other composer, Beethoven left to posterity a vast body of material that documents the early stages of almost everything he wrote. From this trove of sketchbooks, Lewis Lockwood draws us into the composer's mind, unveiling a creative process of astonishing scope and originality. For musicians and nonmusicians alike, Beethoven's symphonies stand at the summit of artistic achievement, loved today as they were two hundred years ago for their emotional cogency, variety, and unprecedented individuality. Beethoven labored to complete nine of them over his lifetime--a quarter of Mozart's output and a tenth of Haydn's--yet no musical works are more iconic, more indelibly stamped on the memory of anyone who has heard them. They are the products of an imagination that drove the composer to build out of the highest musical traditions of the past something startlingly new. Lockwood brings to bear a long career of studying the surviving sources that yield insight into Beethoven's creative work, including concept sketches for symphonies that were never finished. From these, Lockwood offers fascinating revelations into the historical and biographical circumstances in which the symphonies were composed. In this compelling story of Beethoven's singular ambition, Lockwood introduces readers to the symphonies as individual artworks, broadly tracing their genesis against the backdrop of political upheavals, concert life, and their relationship to his major works in other genres. From the first symphonies, written during his emerging deafness, to the monumental Ninth, Lockwood brings to life Beethoven's lifelong passion to compose works of unsurpassed beauty [Publisher description]
Geniuses of the American Musical Theatre
The Composers and Lyricists
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 1423462750
This volume collects, for the first time, twenty-eight biographies of the greatest songwriters and lyricists of Broadway musicals. It goes below the surface to see what made them tick and to uncover the secrets of their success - as well as the personal foibles that sometimes led to their downfall. Longtime theatre-lover and stage veteran Herbert Keyser takes us on a personal journey through the music that made these great artists so much a part of our history and our lives. Keyser has assembled a reader-friendly collection of stories that will capture your heart, bring a tear to your eye or a smile to your face, and all the while have you singing along. In presenting these life histories, full of drama, humor, and poignancy, The Geniuses of the American Musical Theatre gives us the story of the golden age of Broadway from a well-informed, witty, and warmhearted new perspective. The first book of its type ever assembled, it is a tremendous attraction for all those who love theatre and popular music, with intimate, little-known details of popular songwriters' lives.
Inside Beethoven's Quartets
History, Interpretation, Performance
Hardcover ISBN: 0674028090
The string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven, the signal achievement of “that noble genre,” have rewarded the engagement of scholars, performers, and audiences for almost two hundred years. This book and its accompanying recording invite you to experience three of these profound and beautiful works of music from the inside, with a leading Beethoven scholar and a premier performing ensemble as your guides. Lewis Lockwood provides historical and biographical background along with musical analysis, drawing on the most important insights of recent scholarship on Beethoven’s life and works. The members of the Juilliard Quartet share the fruits of decades of performing and teaching these compositions through annotated scores and recordings of the first movements of three representative quartets, including the rarely heard original version of opus 18 no. 1. And all parties join in lively and illuminating conversations that range from details of bowing and articulation to Beethoven’s development as a composer to the social history of the nineteenth century. Inside Beethoven’s Quartets illustrates how scholarly knowledge can inform a performance, as well as how performers’ interpretive choices can illuminate this sublime music.
The Man That Got Away
The Life and Songs of Harold Arlen
Hardcover ISBN: 0252039467
Over the Rainbow, "Stormy Weather," and "One for My Baby" are just a few of Harold Arlen's well-loved compositions. Yet his name is hardly known--except to the musicians who venerate him. At a gathering of songwriters George Gershwin called him "the bestof us." Irving Berlin agreed. Paul McCartney sent him a fan letter and became his publisher. Bob Dylan wrote of his fascination with Arlen's "bittersweet, lonely world." A cantor's son, Arlen believed his music was from a place outside himself, a place that also sent tragedy. When his wife became mentally ill and was institutionalized he turned to alcohol. It nearly killed him. But the beautiful songs kept coming: "Blues in the Night," "My Shining Hour," "Come Rain or Come Shine," and "The Man That Got Away." Walter Rimler drew on interviews with friends and associates of Arlen and on newly available archives to write this intimate portrait of a genius whose work is a pillar of the Great American Songbook.
Jazz for the New Century
Paperback ISBN: 1101873493
One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, GQ, Billboard, JazzTimes In jazz parlance, “playing changes” refers to an improviser’s resourceful path through a chord progression. In this definitive guide to the jazz of our time, leading critic Nate Chinen boldly expands on that idea, taking us through the key changes, concepts, events, and people that have shaped jazz since the turn of the century—from Wayne Shorter and Henry Threadgill to Kamasi Washington and Esperanza Spalding; from the phrase “America’s classical music” to an explosion of new ideas and approaches; from claims of jazz’s demise to the living, breathing scene that exerts influence on mass culture, hip-hop, and R&B. Grounded in authority and brimming with style, packed with essential album lists and listening recommendations, Playing Changes takes the measure of this exhilarating moment—and the shimmering possibilities to come.
The Lighter Side: An Illustrated Collection of Interesting Facts, Quips, Quotes, Anecdotes, and Inspirational Tales from the Life and Works of the Ger
1st Edition Paperback ISBN: 1574674412
(Amadeus). Richard Wagner: The Lighter Side appeals to classical music and opera enthusiasts in general, but particularly the many thousands of members of the 135 Wagner Societies around the world. There are many books about every aspect of Wagner's life and works, but none has focused on the trivia, the interesting facts, anecdotes, and quotations about the man and his operas. For more than twenty years, Terry Quinn has collected information on each of Wagner's 13 completed operas and the difficulties encountered in staging them; famous Wagnerian directors, conductors, and singers; key persons in the composer's life, especially the women, not to mention the dysfunctional Wagner family; Wagner's visits to London; the festival and theater he created in Bavaria; and a great deal more. Also included are interviews with current Wagnerian scholars. Richard Wagner: The Lighter Side contains more than 300 tidbits and features, ranging from a few paragraphs to several pages. The light side of the book is immediately apparent via its lively headings, as well as its fascinating tales of the fanatical enthusiasts who travel the world to see Wagner's operas performed. Illustrations include photographs, dozens of contemporary caricatures, beautiful postage stamps on Wagnerian subjects, and other reproductions of ephemera.
Ruth Crawford Seeger
A Composer's Search for American Music
Paperback ISBN: 0195137922
Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953) is frequently considered the most significant American female composer in this century. Joining Aaron Copland and Henry Cowell as a key member of the 1920s musical avant-garde, she went on to study with modernist theorist and future husband Charles Seeger, writing her masterpiece, String Quartet 1931, not long after. But her legacy extends far beyond the cutting edge of modern music. Collaborating with poet Carl Sandburg on folk song arrangements in the twenties, and with the famous folk-song collectors John and Alan Lomax in the 1930s, she emerged as a central figure in the American folk music revival, issuing several important books of transcriptions and arrangements and pioneering the use of American folk songs in children's music education. Radicalized by the Depression, she spent much of the ensuing two decades working aggressively for social change with her husband and stepson, the folksinger Pete Seeger. This engrossing new biography emphasizes the choices Crawford Seeger made in her roles as composer, activist, teacher, wife and mother. The first woman to win a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in music composition, Crawford Seeger nearly gave up writing music as the demands of family, politics, and the folk song movement intervened. It was only at the very end of her life, with cancer sapping her strength, that she returned to composing. Written with unique insight and compassion, this book offers the definitive treatment of a fascinating twentieth-century figure.