Classical Music Biography
Charles Ives and His World
Charles Ives and His World
Paperback      ISBN: 069101163x

This volume shows Charles Ives in the context of his world in a number of revealing ways. Five new essays examine Ives's relationships to European music and to American music, politics, business, and landscape. J. Peter Burkholder shows Ives as a composer well versed in four distinctive musical traditions who blended them in his mature music. Leon Botstein explores the paradox of how, in the works of Ives and Mahler, musical modernism emerges from profoundly antimodern sensibilities. David Michael Hertz reveals unsuspected parallels between one of Ives's most famous pieces, the Concord Piano Sonata, and the piano sonatas of Liszt and Scriabin. Michael Broyles sheds new light on Ives's political orientation and on his career in the insurance business, and Mark Tucker shows the importance for Ives of his vacations in the Adirondacks and the representation of that landscape in his music.


The remainder of the book presents documents that illuminate Ives's personal life. A selection of some sixty letters to and from Ives and his family, edited and annotated by Tom C. Owens, is the first substantial collection of Ives correspondence to be published. Two sections of reviews and longer profiles published during his lifetime highlight the important stages in the reception of Ives's music, from his early works through the premieres of his most important compositions to his elevation as an almost mythic figure with a reputation among some critics as America's greatest composer.

-- "History"
Chopin
Chopin
Paperback      ISBN: 0198167032

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, this extraordinary series continues to amaze and captivate its readers with detailed insight into the lives and work of music's geniuses. Unlike other composer biographies that focus narrowly on the music, this series explores the personal history of each composer and the social context surrounding the music. In a precise, engaging, and authoritative manner, each volume combines a vivid portrait of the master musicians' inspirations, influences, life experiences, even their weaknesses, with an accessible discussion of their work-all in roughly 300 pages. Further, each volume offers superb reference material, including a detailed life and times chronology, a complete list of works, a personalia glossary highlighting the important people in the composer's life, and a select bibliography. Under the supervision of music expert and series general editor Stanley Sadie, Master Musicians will certainly proceed to delight music scholars, serious musicians, and all music lovers for another hundred years.
In this profound look at Chopin, Jim Samson interweaves biographical and musical commentary to produce a well-rounded portrait the man and the musician. Incorporating the most recent research, it succeeds in presenting it without recourse to unduly complex technical language. Samson addresses such questions as pedagogy, musical influences, and pianistic idiom. He examines the composer's mature musical style, considers his unique approach to the genres of nineteenth-century piano music, and investigates the nature of his compositional process as revealed through manuscripts and early printed scores. Readers to understand why this frail and fastidious musician from Warsaw, whose music is so immensely refined and innovatory, has captured the imagination of generations of music lovers the world over.

Chopin: The Man and His Music
Chopin
The Man and His Music
Paperback      ISBN: 048621687x

James Gibbon Huneker (1857-1921) was a distinguished American newspaper critic, an essayist, and a prolific author. His writing style is remarkable -- unrestrained, informal, full of brilliant insight -- and this style plus Huneker's wide knowledge of art and literature as well as music has kept his literacy work alive. Chopin: The Man and His Music reflects the intimate, thorough knowledge of Chopin's music that Huneker acquired while studying to be a concert pianist and his unusually keen insight into the character of the great Polish composer whose music he adored.
The book is divided into two parts. The first treats Chopin's life -- his youth in Poland, his emigration to Paris, the famous George Sand episode, his sickness and death -- and comments on Chopin as a teacher and as a pianist and performer. The second part discusses the entire body of Chopin's music, piece by piece. Huneker notes his own overall impression of the individual compositions as well as the impressions of Schumann, George Sand, Chopin's biographer Frederick Niecks, many of the great pianists, and others. He directly compares differing editions of Chopin's tudes, Preludes, Nocturnes, Mazurkas, Polonaises, Sonatas, and other works edited by von B low, Kullak, Riemann, Mikuli, and Godowsky in their detailed treatment of fingering, phrasing, pedaling, tempo indication, and so forth.
Huneker's entire work is reprinted here unchanged, thoroughly edited in running footnotes by Herbert Weinstock to correct the exuberant Huneker's inaccuracies and to add information that modern musical scholarship has unearthed. Weinstock has also provided an engrossing introductory essay on Huneker, and has amplified the bibliography to include modern books and articles on Chopin.
A classic in musical biography and commentary, this work is unsurpassed for sympathetic understanding and insight into Chopin's life and music. It will interest equally music students, pianists, and music lovers.

Chopin in Paris: The Life and Times of the Romantic Composer
Chopin in Paris
The Life and Times of the Romantic Composer
Paperback      ISBN: 0306809338

Born in Poland in 1810, Chopin emigrated to Vienna at age eighteen--and then to Paris, where from 1831 to 1849 he would spend almost half of his brief and tumultuous life. In Paris his extraordinary powers would reach their height and he would shine among the immensely talented writers, painters, and musicians who were working there and defining their era. Chopin's other acquaintances ranged from Rothschild to Marx--and it was here that he began his long and stormy relationship with the novelist George Sand. In Chopin in Paris--a New York Times Notable Book--Tad Szulc brings to life this complex, contradictory genius, and re-creates an unsurpassed epoch of European history, culture, and music.

Definitive Biography of P.D.Q. Bach
Definitive Biography of P.D.Q. Bach
Paperback      ISBN: 0394734092

What little-known son of a famous genius has been called:

"A musical blight"

"A one-man plague"

"History's most justifiably neglected composer"

"The worst musician ever to trod organ pedals" "A pimple on the face of music"

In this long-awaited hoax, possibly the most unimportant piece of scholarship in over two thousand years, Professor Peter Schickele has finally succeeded in ripping the veil of obscurity from the most unusual -- to put it kindly -- composer in the history of music: P.D.Q. Bach, the last and unquestionably the least of the great Johann Sebastian Bach's many children.
Diaries 1915-1923: Behind the Mask
Diaries 1915-1923
Behind the Mask
Hardcover      ISBN: 080144702x

"'To go to America ' Here was wretchedness; there life brimming over.... Such was the flag under which I greeted the New Year. Surely it will not disappoint my hopes'"With these words Sergey Prokofiev closed his diary for the revolutionary year 1917. He would not be disappointed by 1918. On August 24, after an epic trek that carried him across strife-torn Russia to the Pacific and the breadth of North America, he stepped from a stifling Grand Central Terminal onto the streets of New York. This marked the beginning of his exile, which would last--with one brief exception--until 1934. This second volume of Prokofiev's diary records an astonishing record of artistic accomplishment against a backdrop of cataclysmic change. The composer dodges gunfire in Petrograd during the February Revolution, but as a rule pays attention to political events only as they affect him personally. Composition and performance are the main concerns, along with the persistent and ultimately failed struggle to arrange a performance of his opera The Gambler. As in his Conservatory years, he also reveals his own aesthetic principles as he reacts to the work of others, sometimes with dark humor ("bored out of my life" by Mahler's 7th Symphony, "it is like kissing a still-born child."). The years in America were difficult. Always in the shadow of Rachmaninoff, he struggled to establish himself as composer and piano virtuoso. He details the seemingly endless but finally successful battle with the Chicago Civic Opera to mount Love for the Three Oranges, falls in love with the young Stella Adler, and begins work on his third opera, The Fiery Angel. Two years later he is in Paris, where his music is more warmly received than in Russia or America. Here the galaxy of connections grows exponentially as his fame expands. As always, he documents his encounters with sharp, often sardonic insight. The pages of the diary teem with the names of the period's most celebrated artists. There are the Russians Diaghilev, Chaliapin, Kossevitzky, Stravinsky, Mayakovsky ("a fearsome apache"), Meyerhold, and Bakst. But Prokofiev's world now expands to include Ravel, Szymanowski, Marinetti, Mary Garden, Cocteau, Artur Rubenstein, and many others.

Dvorak: Romantic Music's Most Versatile Genius (Unlocking the Masters Series)
Dvorak
Romantic Music's Most Versatile Genius (Unlocking the Masters Series)
Paperback      ISBN: 1574671073

The music of Antonin Dvor k defies fashion. He is one of the very few composers whose works entered the international mainstream during his own lifetime, and some of them have remained there ever since. The pieces that historically define his international reputation, however, represent only a small fraction of what he actually composed. They comprise just one facet of his complex and remarkably rich artistic personality. This book invites readers to celebrate his extraordinary achievement and experience the pleasure of getting to know more than 90 of his most important works. This edition also includes links to online audio of two full-length CDs from Suprahon Records with 22 works.

Edgard Varese
Edgard Varese
Paperback      ISBN: 1860743986

Alan Clayson presents an English-language biography of Edgard Varese, a contemporary of Debussy, Stockhausen and Stravinsky and hero of Zappa, The Dead and Laurie Anderson.

Efrem Zimbalist: A Life
Efrem Zimbalist
A Life
Hardcover      ISBN: 1574670913

(Amadeus). Violinist and educator Efrem Zimbalist (1890-1985) led a legendary life in music in an age of violin legends. Of the dazzling stars to emerge from the Russian School at the beginning of the 20th century, Zimbalist earned a special place. David Oistrakh compared him to Heifetz: "While Heifetz conquered by sheer brilliance, Zimbalist captivated people by appealing to profound mysteries of heart and soul." Zimbalist was also one of the century's great teachers, for 40 years devoting himself to the renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, serving as its director from 1941 to 1968. His was a remarkable journey, fortunately recounted in hundreds of hours of taped interviews with author and Curtis Institute student Roy Malan, longtime concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Malan then waited nearly a decade after Zimbalist's death before seeking publication, so that the story could be told in its entirety. This definitive biography of the world's first globe-trotting virtuoso also includes a discography and a list of Zimbalist's students.

Encounters with Verdi
Encounters with Verdi
Hardcover      ISBN: 0801417171

Interviews, memoirs, and essays describe the experiences, personality, and musical career of the distinguished Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi