Classical Music Biography
21st-Century Cellists
21st-Century Cellists
Paperback      ISBN: 1890490393

(String Letter Publishing). This collection of interviews sparkles with the individual personalities of some of this century's most gifted cellists. With voices as unique as their instruments', these musicians reveal the facets and textures of their professional and personal lives. From the intrepid Bion Tsang to the dynamic Kenneth Slowik and the charming Yo-Yo Ma, these artists and many others discuss what it's like to be a soloist, member of an ensemble, composer, mentor, musical activist and recording artist. How they began, what cultural and historical forces shaped them, how they practice, and what they aspire to this and more are illuminated in this fascinating volume. Artists include: David Finckel, Ralph Kirshbaum, Laurence Lesser, Yo-Yo Ma, Kermit Moore, Carlos Prieto, Hai-Ye Ni, Kenneth Slowik, Bion Tsang, Jian Wang and Peter Wispelwey.

American Muse: The Life and Times of William Schuman
American Muse
The Life and Times of William Schuman
Hardcover      ISBN: 1574671731

President of The Juilliard School and then of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts during the years 1945-1968, Schuman (1910-1992) was an "artistic catalyst" who was instrumental in shaping how America perceived and supported music, dance and drama in the second half of the twentieth century. His influence as an arts administrator, educator and composer caused him to be considered at one time as "probably the most powerful figure in the world of art music." Complex, driven, and filled with a confident optimism that characterized America at the time, Schuman thought of himself as "a part of many different worlds." Those worlds included his life as a composer of more than one hundred works in orchestral, choral, chamber, and operatic settings. His music has been characterized as "full of American directness in its vibrant rhythms and brilliant orchestrations." This first-ever complete biography of Schuman brings the many threads of his life together within the context of the personalities and events that shaped how we experience the arts in America in the twenty-first century.

Arturo Toscanini: The NBC Years
Arturo Toscanini
The NBC Years
Hardcover      ISBN: 1574670697

Arturo Toscanini: The NBC Years details Toscanini's magnificent and heroic 17 years (1937-1954) conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The archival broadcast recordings documented and reassessed in this lively account comprise the most complete recorded legacy of Toscanini's orchestral conducting career. The broadcast recordings include his readings of many scores for which he left no approved recording, and his NBC career included performances of works he never conducted before coming to the network. The concerts and the broadcasts were immensely popular, and for generations Toscanini's name became synonymous with conducting. His legendary art and fiery personality also engendered controversy that has yet to subside, but this account takes on the challengers, accepting neither hero worship nor criticism that ignores the evidence.

An Autobiography
An Autobiography
Paperback      ISBN: 0393318567
An Autobiography chronicles the first half-century of Stravinsky's life, all the while offering his opinions and "abhorrences." A Parsifal performance at Bayreuth? "At the end of a quarter of an hour I could bear no more." Nijinsky? "The poor boy knew nothing of music." Spanish folk music? "Endless preliminary chords of guitar playing."
Bach
Bach
Paperback      ISBN: 0711902623

A series of biographies of great composers which present the subjects against the social background of their times. Each book draws on personal letters and recollections, engravings, paintings and - where they exist - photographs, to build up a complete picture of the composer's life.

Bach: Essays on His Life and Music
Bach
Essays on His Life and Music
Paperback      ISBN: 0674059263

Johann Sebastian Bach holds a singular position in the history of music. A uniquely gifted musician, he combined outstanding performing virtuosity with supreme creative powers and remarkable intellectual discipline. More than two centuries after his lifetime, Bach's work continues to set musical standards.

The noted Bach scholar Christoph Wolff offers in this book new perspectives on the composer's life and remarkable career. Uncovering important historical evidence, the author demonstrates significant influences on Bach's artistic development and brings fresh insight on his work habits, compositional intent, and the musical traditions that shaped Bach's thought. Wolff reveals a composer devoted to an ambitious and highly individual creative approach, one characterized by constant self-criticism and self-challenge, the absorption of new skills and techniques, and the rethinking of riches from the musical past.

Readers will find illuminating analyses of some of Bach's greatest music, including the B Minor Mass, important cantatas, keyboard and chamber compositions, the Musical Offering, and the Art of Fugue. Discussion of how these pieces "work" will be helpful to performers--singers, players, conductors--and to everyone interested in exploring the conceptual and contextual aspects of Bach's music. All readers will find especially interesting those essays in which Wolff elaborates on his celebrated discoveries of previously unknown works: notably the fourteen "Goldberg" canons and a collection of thirty-three chorale preludes.

Representing twenty-five years of scholarship, these essays--half of which appear here in English for the first time--have established Christoph Wolff as one of the world's preeminent authorities on J. S. Bach. All students, performers, and lovers of Bach's music will find this an engaging and enlightening book.

Beethoven
Beethoven
Paperback      ISBN: 0394701003

From the Author's Preface:

"I believe that in his greatest music Beethoven was primarily concerned to express his personal vision of life. This vision was, of course, the product of his character and his experience. Beethoven the man and Beethoven the composer are not two unconnected entities, and the known history of the man may be used to throw light upon the character of his music."

Clifton Fadiman has said of this classic study:

"It is the most interesting book on music that I have ever read and it is not written for musical experts; rather for people like myself who like to listen to music but can boast no special knowledge of it. It deals not only with music, on which I do not speak with authority, but with human life in general, about which you and I speak with authority every day of our lives."
Beethoven: The First Biography
Beethoven
The First Biography
Hardcover      ISBN: 1574670069

Available for the first time in English, this biography, published in Prague only a few months after the composer's death, provides a contemporary view of the man and musician. Eminent Beethoven scholar Barry Cooper puts this curious work into perspective, clarifying inaccuracies in the original 19th-century text.

Beethoven: The Man and the Artist, as Revealed in His Own Words
Beethoven
The Man and the Artist, as Revealed in His Own Words
Paperback      ISBN: 0486212610

This long-esteemed book offers the reader a highly interesting glimpse of Beethoven, the man. There are a number of biographical studies of Beethoven, but nowhere else will you find such a convenient classified collection of his utterances and opinions. Through his own words emerges an image of a man, torn by personal problems and a tragic affliction, yet impelled by a keen sense of his destiny and place in the history of music.
Included are over 300 of Beethoven's reflections on the art of composing: "The startling effects which many credit to the natural genius of the composer, are often achieved with the greatest ease by the use and resolution of the diminished seventh chords"; on his own temperament and character: "Many a vigorous and unconsidered word drops from my mouth, for which reason I am considered mad"; and on other composers: "Rossini would have become a great composer if his teacher had frequently applied some blows ad posteriora"; on performers: "These pianoforte players have their coteries whom they often join; there they are praised continually -- and there's an end of art "; on his own suffering: "My defective hearing appeared everywhere before me like a ghost; I fled from the presence of men, was obliged to appear to be a misanthrope although I am so little such."
There are also his views on art and artists, on his own works, on education, nature, poetry, God and other matters. Friedrich Kerst originally gleaned this material from various sources, such as Beethoven's diary, the famous conversation-books, the Heiligenstadt Will, and his correspondence with the Archduke Rudolf, Ferdinand Ries, Dr. Wegeler, Cherubini, the "Immortal Beloved," and many others. Altogether it forms the handiest compilation of Beethoven's recorded remarks in existence. Out of print for years, this annotated translation by a renowned American music authority, Henry Edward Krehbiel, is once more made available for the illumination and enjoyment of scholars, students, and music lovers.

Beethoven: The Philosophy of Music
Beethoven
The Philosophy of Music
Paperback      ISBN: 0745630456

Beethoven is a classic study of the composer's music, written by one of the most important thinkers of our time. Throughout his life, Adorno wrote extensive notes, essay fragments and aides-memoires on the subject of Beethoven's music. This book brings together all of Beethoven's music in relation to the society in which he lived.

Adorno identifies three periods in Beethoven's work, arguing that the thematic unity of the first and second periods begins to break down in the third. Adorno follows this progressive disintegration of organic unity in the classical music of Beethoven and his contemporaries, linking it with the rationality and monopolistic nature of modern society.

Beethoven will be welcomed by students and researchers in a wide range of disciplines - philosophy, sociology, music and history - and by anyone interested in the life of the composer.