From the turn of the century to the 1960s, the songwriters of Tin Pan Alley dominated American music. Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart--even today these giants remain household names, their musicals regularly revived, their methods and styles analyzed and imitated, and their songs the bedrock of jazz and cabaret. In The Poets of Tin Pan Alley Philip Furia offers a unique new perspective on these great songwriters, showing how their poetic lyrics were as important as their brilliant music in shaping a golden age of American popular song.
Furia writes with great perception and understanding as he explores the deft rhymes, inventive imagery, and witty solutions these songwriters used to breathe new life into rigidly established genres. He devotes full chapters to all the greats, including Irving Berlin, Lorenz Hart, Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Oscar Hammerstain II, Howard Dietz nd E.Y. Harburg, Dorothy Fields and Leo Robin, and Johnny Mercer. Furia also offers a comprehensive survey of other lyricists who wrote for the sheet-music industry, Broadway, Hollywood, and Harlem nightclub revues. This was the era that produced The New Yorker, Don Marquis, Dorothy Parker, and E.B. White--and Furia places the lyrics firmly in this fascinating historical context. In these pages, the lyrics emerge as an imporant element of American modernism, as the lyricists, like the great modernist poets, took the American vernacular and made it sing.
Renowned for its celebrated slow movement, Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 is one of his most popular works. Written in 1812, when the 42-year-old composer was at the peak of his powers, it demonstrates the mastery of a mature artist in complete control of his craft. His command of symphonic form, thematic development, and orchestral texture is everywhere evident in this remarkable composition.
Reprinted here from the authoritative Litolff edition, this work appears in full score with bar-numbered movements for easy reference. Ideal for study in the classroom, at home, or in the concert hall, this affordable, high-quality, conveniently sized volume will be the edition of choice for music students and music lovers alike.
The most readable and comprehensive guide to enjoying over five hundred years of classical music -- from Gregorian chants, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Johannes Brahms, Igor Stravinsky, John Cage, and beyond.The Vintage Guide to Classical Music is a lively -- and opinionated -- musical history and an insider's key to the personalities, epochs, and genres of the Western classical tradition. Among its features:
-- chronologically arranged essays on nearly 100 composers, from Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377) to Aaron Copland (1900-1990), that combine biography with detailed analyses of the major works while assessing their role in the social, cultural, and political climate of their times;
-- informative sidebars that clarify broader topics such as melody, polyphony, atonality, and the impact of the early-music movement;
-- a glossary of musical terms, from a cappella to woodwinds;
-- a step-by-step guide to building a great classical music library. Written with wit and a clarity that both musical experts and beginners can appreciate, The Vintage Guide to Classical Music is an invaluable source-book for music lovers everywhere.
Opera is the fastest growing of all the performing arts, attracting audiences of all ages who are enthralled by the gorgeous music, vivid drama, and magnificent production values. If you've decided that the time has finally come to learn about opera and discover for yourself what it is about opera that sends your normally reserved friends into states of ecstatic abandon, this is the book for you.Opera 101 is recognized as the standard text in English for anyone who wants to become an opera lover--a clear, friendly, and truly complete handbook to learning how to listen to opera, whether on the radio, on recordings, or live at the opera house. Fred Plotkin, an internationally respected writer and teacher about opera who for many years was performance manager of the Metropolitan Opera, introduces the reader (whatever his or her level of musical knowledge) to all the elements that make up opera, including:
- A brief, entertaining history of opera;
- An explanation of key operatic concepts, from vocal types to musical conventions;
- Hints on the best way to approach the first opera you attend and how to best understand what is happening both offstage and on;
- Lists of recommended books and recordings, and the most complete traveler's guide to opera houses around the world.
In its lavish amalgam of theatrical and musical resources, its flamboyant charm, its extravagant appeal to the heart and the mind, and its seemingly inexhaustible power to move and astonish us, opera is clearly the most spectacular of all the arts. Now, eleven leading authorities chronicle the full sweep of this stunning musical genre, ranging from the earliest known works to such recent experimental efforts as Robert Wilson and Philip Glass's Einstein on the Beach.
The contributors--including such noted opera critics as William Ashbrook, Paul Griffiths, and Barry Millington--provide superb coverage of all the major periods. We read of the remarkable success of opera in republican Venice, where by 1650 some fifty operas had been performed, including masterworks by Monteverdi, the giant of the era. We learn of opera seria--which within the world of eighteenth-century Italian opera was the summit of prestige--and opera buffa, most noted today for three major works by Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi Fan Tutti. We explore the peak of opera's popularity in nineteenth-century France, Italy, and Germany, with astute commentary on such major composers as Berlioz, Bizet, Rossini, Donizetti, and especially Wagner and Verdi. And we examine the remarkably diverse works of our own century, from Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and Alban Berg's Wozzeck to Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice and John Adams's Nixon in China. Throughout, the contributors illuminate how opera often reflects the cultural concerns of the age, how it is part of the social fabric, and in three fascinating sections on staging, singers, and the social climate, they give us a look behind the scenes as well as a feel for what opera was like in the past. We discover, for instance, that before the late nineteenth century, patrons were not expected to arrive on time, sit still, keep quiet, concentrate on the stage action, or stay to the end (Wagner put an end to this practice by darkening the theatre).
Nowhere does the rich panoply of opera history unfold more grandly than in this volume. Authoritative, vivid, and beautifully written, it will be treasured by everyone who loves opera.
Commentary on and a concise, lucid interpretation of the opera world's most complex masterwork, expanded from the author's popular intermission talks during Met Opera broadcasts. "Anyone, whether knowledgeable or not, will profit by reading it..." - Opera Quarterly
"All I have to say about these songs is that I love them, and want to sing along to them, and force other people to listen to them, and get cross when these other people don't like them as much as I do." --Nick Hornby, from Songbook
A wise and hilarious collection from the bestselling author of Funny Girl, About a Boy, and High Fidelity.
Songs, songwriters, and why and how they get under our skin...
Songbook is Nick Hornby's labor of love. A shrewd, funny, and completely unique collection of musings on pop music, why it's good, what makes us listen and love it, and the ways in which it attaches itself to our lives--all with the beat of a perfectly mastered mix tape.
Introducing the indispensable book that helps listeners choose the best classical music on CD. Based on Ted Libbey's highly popular segment on National Public Radio, the "NPR Guide To Building A Classical CD Collection" is an expert's selection of 350 must-have, must-listen-to pieces in the basic classical repertory.
A da is one of Verdi's greatest gifts to grand opera. It magnificently combines high drama, stage spectacle, and a musical score that is one of the glories of operatic writing. A great success from its first performance over a century ago, it continues to dominate the repertory of opera houses around the world, among them the Metropolitan Opera in New York, which has staged A da more than any other opera in its long history.
In 1869, Verdi, at the peak of his career, initially declined offers from Egypt to create an opera for the new Cairo opera house, built to mark the opening of the Suez Canal. Then, in 1870, opera officials sent Verdi a short synopsis of a tragic love story that unfolds amid the pomp and pageantry of ancient Egypt. Verdi pronounced it "well-made" and "splendid from a scenic point of view." And when a handsome commission arrived from the Khedive as well, he set to work with his librettists on what would become his most famous opera. After many revisions, A da premiered in Cairo on Christmas Eve in 1871 and was an instantaneous success. Subsequent performances in Milan, Parma, Naples, and Paris confirmed its enormous popular appeal, which has never flagged.
Verdi endowed A da with arias, vocal ensembles, and orchestral scoring of thrilling power. Some of its passages, among them the celebrated third-act "Nile scene," are ranked by critics as among the finest in opera. This authoritative full-score edition will afford music lovers the opportunity to study intimately this grand opera that so richly displays Verdi's genius at its most inspired.