Classical Music Biography
Patrick Conway and His Famous Band
Patrick Conway and His Famous Band
Paperback      ISBN: 1574631675

(Meredith Music Resource). This is an American dream story rarely encountered Patrick Conway's lifespan and the golden era of the professional band in America literally coincided. This book tells how Conway became one of the luminaries of the professional band era; as famous in his day as John Philip Sousa. Within Conway's story we see how his professional band developed after the Civil War, how the instrumentation of the American wind band evolved, how band musicians learned their craft and made a living, and how bands functioned in the social fabric of the American culture. Click here for a YouTube video on Patrick Conway and His Famous Band

The Pegasus Pocket Guide to Mozart
The Pegasus Pocket Guide to Mozart
Paperback      ISBN: 1933648236

It does all one could ask, and more, of a pocket guide.-The Times Literary Supplement One of the newest and most recommendable Mozart books is the Pocket Guide to Mozart. Written in a beautifully lucid and enthusiastic style.-The Independent on Sunday To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, an easy-to-use guide to Mozart's life and music, including: symphonies, concertos, operas, a seventy-five-page biography, and a poignant assessment of what the composer means to us today.

The People's Artist: Prokofiev's Soviet Years
The People's Artist
Prokofiev's Soviet Years
Paperback      ISBN: 0199753482

Sergey Prokofiev was one of the twentieth century's greatest composers--and one of its greatest mysteries. Until now. In The People's Artist, Simon Morrison draws on groundbreaking research to illuminate the life of this major composer, deftly analyzing Prokofiev's music in light of new
archival discoveries. Indeed, Morrison was the first scholar to gain access to the composer's sealed files in the Russian State Archives, where he uncovered a wealth of previously unknown scores, writings, correspondence, and unopened journals and diaries. The story he found in these documents is
one of lofty hopes and disillusionment, of personal and creative upheavals. Morrison shows that Prokofiev seemed to thrive on uncertainty during his Paris years, stashing scores in suitcases, and ultimately stunning his fellow emigrés by returning to Stalin's Russia. At first, Stalin's regime
treated him as a celebrity, but Morrison details how the bureaucratic machine ground him down with corrections and censorship (forcing rewrites of such major works as Romeo and Juliet), until it finally censured him in 1948, ending his career and breaking his health.

A Pianist's Landscape
A Pianist's Landscape
Paperback      ISBN: 1574670735

These intensely personal and perceptive essays explore the author's life as a pianist---practicing, performing, teaching, and writing---but they could be the thoughts and reflections of any artist. They recount the challenges, rewards, and joys of a caree

The Piano Works of Claude Debussy
The Piano Works of Claude Debussy
Paperback      ISBN: 0486215679

This book is a firsthand report of a great composer's intentions in regard to the performance of his music. These intentions have been digested and interpreted for us by the composer's friend Robert Schmitz (1889-1949), who was himself a distinguished pianist, an articulate musician, and a well-known teacher. The product is an authoritative commentary on the entire body of Debussy's work for piano solo.
Written for both performers and listeners, the book's purpose is to increase enjoyment of and insight into these works. The book's shorter opening section comprises notes on many general aspects of the composer's life and work; a biographical sketch; a discussion of Debussy's place in relation to the concepts of impressionism and romanticism; his use of classical forms, tonality and modality, melody, counterpoint, etc. Section two, the heart of the book, examines in detail the whole of Debussy's music for solo piano, two hands. Seventy-one pieces in all are included: The Arabesques, the Suite Bergmasque, the Estampes, Images, Children's Corner, Pr ludes and tudes. Each in its chronological place, the pieces are first described as a whole as to mood, source of programmatic inspiration, structure, tonality, and other characteristics. Then follows specific suggestions dealing with technical and expressive problems of particular measures and phrases.
The book is not meant as a substitute for Debussy's piano works; on the contrary, it will cause both listeners and performers to turn to this superb corpus of music with new interest and insight. Complete, thorough, authoritative and important. -- San Francisco Chronicle. It is a thoughtful and mature reference book and though I am at variance with certain of its premises and conclusions, there is much to provoke the intelligent music lover and the inquiring musician. -- Abram Chasins, The New York Times. There is no doubt that he had closely identified himself with the great French composer, and his love and belief in the music shine through every page of this book. -- H. C. Schonbert, The Saturday Review.

Priest of Music: The Life of Dimitri Mitropoulos
Priest of Music
The Life of Dimitri Mitropoulos
Hardcover      ISBN: 0931340810

Impeccably researched and written with a novelist's narrative mastery, this biography of the great conductor is a modern tragedy. Mitropoulos was a passionate advocate of difficult modern music and an early champion of Mahler; his emotionally charged performances brought the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra into the first rank of American orchestras. Generous and self-effacing, he was an innocent in the game of musical politics, unprepared for the intrigues and treachery in store when he became music director of the New York Philharmonic, "the orchestra that took no prisoners."

Richard Strauss and His World
Richard Strauss and His World
Paperback      ISBN: 0691027625

Strongly influencing European musical life from the 1880s through the First World War and remaining highly productive into the 1940s, Richard Strauss enjoyed a remarkable career in a constantly changing artistic and political climate. This volume presents six original essays on Strauss's musical works--including tone poems, lieder, and operas--and brings together letters, memoirs, and criticism from various periods of the composer's life. Many of these materials appear in English for the first time. In the essays Leon Botstein contradicts the notion of the composer's stylistic "about face" after Elektra; Derrick Puffett reinforces the argument for Strauss's artistic consistency by tracing in the tone poems and operas the phenomenon of pitch specificity; James Hepokoski establishes Strauss as an early modernist in an examination of Macbeth; Michael Steinberg probes the composer's political sensibility as expressed in the 1930s through his music and use of such texts as Friedenstag and Daphne; Bryan Gilliam discusses the genesis of both the text and the music in the final scene of Daphne; Timothy Jackson in his thorough source study argues for a new addition to the so-called Four Last Songs. Among the correspondence are previously untranslated letters between Strauss and his post-Hofmannsthal librettist, Joseph Gregor. The memoirs range from early biographical sketches to Rudolf Hartmann's moving account of his last visit with Strauss shortly before the composer's death. Critical reviews include recently translated essays by Theodor Adorno, Guido Adler, Paul Bekker, and Julius Korngold.

Seeking the Infinite
Seeking the Infinite
Paperback      ISBN: 1439257744

Seeking the Infinite: The Musical Life of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski is the riveting biography of one of classical music's most eminent artists. Like the legendary Leonard Bernstein, Skrowaczewski is one of the few conductor-composers of his generation whose achievements in both realms uphold a tradition reaching back to Mahler. Frederick Harris vividly details Skrowaczewski's incredible life: his struggle for survival in Poland during World War II; his tenures as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra and Halle Orchestra; and his complex career as an internationally renowned conductor-composer. The book offers a behind-the-scenes view into the world of the professional orchestra and Skrowaczewski's personal challenges and successes within that sphere. It also presents-for the first time-a comprehensive look at his compositions, approach to conducting, and celebrated recordings. More than a biography, Seeking the Infinite provides a cultural history of multiple countries spanning nearly ninety years. Skrowaczewski's career has intersected with music's most illustrious figures of the past: Boulanger, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Rubinstein, among others. Drawing upon hundreds of interviews with many of today's greatest classical music artists, this book appeals to both general music lovers and seasoned professionals. Seeking the Infinite reveals why Stanislaw Skrowaczewski is among the most important-yet underappreciated-musicians of our time.

Violin Mastery: Interviews with Heifetz, Auer, Kreisler and Others
Violin Mastery
Interviews with Heifetz, Auer, Kreisler and Others
Paperback      ISBN: 0486450414

How long should I practice? Which pieces should I study? How can I develop a singing tone? All violinists ponder these questions, striving to make the most of their practice and performances. This enlightening and encouraging book holds the answers, offering a series of interviews with the most celebrated violin teachers and performers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Twenty-four famous violinists reveal the secrets to their success, sharing the lessons of their artistry and experience. In addition to aesthetic and technical aspects of playing, they discuss their personal conceptions of violin mastery. Eugene Ysaye reminisces about his studies with Vieuxtemps and Wieniawski, and Leopold Auer emphasizes the importance of fostering students' individual talents. Maud Powell describes her pioneering role as a female orchestral musician, and Jascha Heifetz voices his views on technical mastery and temperament. Hints and advice from other masters include tips on efficient practice, improving bow technique, and refining intonation. A rare find in the musical literature, this book is essential reading for every serious violinist.

Vivaldi: Voice of the Baroque
Voice of the Baroque
Paperback      ISBN: 0226468429

Vivaldi boasted that he could compose a concerto faster than a scribe could copy one. Despite his prolificacy, The Four Seasons, and the majority of his already published work had fallen into obscurity by the time of his death in poverty in 1741. Most of his music-concertos, sonatas, operas, and sacral music-has been published only recently.

Very little has been written on Vivaldi for the nonspecialist, especially in English. Landon rediscovers the composer in this accessible and musically informed biography while presenting documentation of the musician's life discovered after the Baroque revival in the 1930s. This book includes illustrations of eighteenth-century Venice and several newly translated letters, thoroughly evoking the style of the time and revealing some of the more personal aspects of Vivaldi's life.

"Belongs on the shelf of every serious music student."-Kirkus

"Gives a good feel for Vivaldi's life and times . . . and describes particularly well how Vivaldi has been revived."-Booklist

"Robbins Landon is marvelously entertaining, extravagantly learned."-The Independent