Bob Dylan's lyrics are at once abstruse and evocative, urgent and timeless. But, as Mike Marqusee's compelling study makes clear, behind the anarchy and playfulness of Dylan's imagery lie meanings that are often highly charged with political and social concerns. politics that unlocked his own astonishing songwriting ability, evidenced by dazzling responses in the early 1960s to the civil rights movement and the threat of nuclear war. Marqusee traces the young song-writer's subsequent reluctance to be pigeonholed, his rejection of protest, and his turn to electric rock at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. He shows the way folk tradition, modernism, and commercial popular culture are sublimely fused in Dylan's masterworks of the mid-1960s, notably on the albums Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, and discusses the artist's quest for American identity-amid the continuing carnage in Vietnam and growing chaos at home - in The Basement Tapes.
When Bobbie Ann Mason first heard Elvis Presley on the family radio, she recognized him as "one of us . . . a country person who spoke our language"--Southern, working class, a little wild. In "Elvis Presley," the bestselling author of the two modern American classics "Shiloh and Other Stories" and "In Country" captures all the vibrancy and tragedy of this mythic figure.
With heartfelt intimacy and a novelist's insight, Mason charts the intoxicating life of the first rock-and-roll superstar, whose music shattered barriers and changed the sound of America. Elvis the impassioned singer and charismatic youth embraced the celebrity brought him by a host of top-forty hits and movies. But Elvis the small-town boy and devoted son was in no way prepared for being catapulted into an unimagined stratosphere. This is the riveting story of an unforgettable man and his indelible legacy.
Plot and counterplot lie at the heart of Don Giovanni, Cos fan tutte, and The Marriage of Figaro, the three brilliant libretti that Lorenzo Da Ponte prepared for Mozart. They were also central to Da Ponte's own extraordinary life. His Memoirs record a fantastic variety of romantic, political, and professional intrigues, and tell of meetings with a host of remarkable men. In a life that took him from the canals of Venice to the streets of New York, Da Ponte was at different times priest, professional gambler, proprietor of a bordello, political agitator, court poet, impresario, grocery store owner, and the first professor of Italian literature at Columbia University. His Memoirs, a minor classic of Italian literature, are the picaresque and engrossing story of a man of enormous talent and unsurpassed flair who was, above all, an indefatigable survivor."I shall speak of things . . . so singular in their oddity as in some manner to instruct, or at least entertain, without wearying." --Lorenzo da Ponte
Compiled from the literary estate of the singer who brought a wildly lyrical poetry of the damned to the world of rock 'n' roll. Includes unpublished poems, drawings, photos, and a candid self-interview.
In the first full-scale life of the most
important composer-lyricist at work in musical theatre today, Meryle Secrest, the biographer of Frank Lloyd Wright and Leonard Bernstein, draws on her extended conversations with Stephen Sondheim as well as on her interviews with his friends, family, collaborators, and lovers to bring us not only the artist--as a master of
modernist compositional style--but also the private man.
Beginning with his early childhood on New York's prosperous Upper West Side, Secrest describes how Sondheim was taught to play the piano by his father, a successful dress manufacturer and amateur musician. She writes about Sondheim's early ambition to become a concert pianist, about the effect on him of his parents' divorce when he was ten, about his years in military and private schools. She writes about his feelings of loneliness and abandonment, about the refuge he found in the home of Oscar and Dorothy Hammerstein, and his determination to become just like Oscar.
Secrest describes the years when Sondheim was struggling to gain a foothold in the theatre, his attempts at scriptwriting (in his early twenties in Rome on the
set of Beat the Devil with Bogart and Huston, and later in Hollywood as a co-writer with George Oppenheimer for the TV series Topper), living the Hollywood life.
Here is Sondheim's ascent to the peaks of the Broadway musical, from his chance meeting with play-
wright Arthur Laurents, which led to his first success--
as co-lyricist with Leonard Bernstein on West Side Story--to his collaboration with Laurents on Gypsy, to his first full Broadway score, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. And Secrest writes about his first big success as composer, lyricist, writer in the 1960s with Company, an innovative and sophisticated musical that examined marriage a la mode. It was the start of an almost-twenty-year collaboration with producer and director Hal Prince that resulted in such shows as Follies, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, and
A Little Night Music.
We see Sondheim at work with composers, producers, directors, co-writers, actors, the greats of his time and ours, among them Leonard Bernstein, Ethel Merman, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Jerome Robbins, Zero Mostel, Bernadette Peters, and Lee Remick (with whom it was said he was in love, and she with him), as Secrest vividly re-creates the energy, the passion, the despair, the excitement, the genius, that went into the making of show after Sondheim show.
A biography that is sure to become the standard work on Sondheim's life and art.
"From the Hardcover edition."
Best known as the composer (with lyricist Hal David) of such 1960s hits as Dionne Warwick's "Walk On By," Dusty Springfield's "The Look of Love," and the Carpenters' "Close to You," Burt Bacharach wrote the music for over 700 published songs, which have been recorded by some 2,000 artists - from Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley to the Beatles and the Supremes. Song By Song is a witty, cheeky song-by-song journey through Bacharach's vast recorded oeuvre, from Nat "King" Cole's little-known 1952 version of 'Once in a Blue Moon" to Burt's recent collaborations with Elvis Costello, Lyle Lovett and Chicago.
Shinichi Suzuki has been described as a humanitarian as well as an educator and musician. As a young man, he observed that children absorbed their spoken language based on their environment. This led him to adapt his teaching of music to the same method, that which is called the "Mother Tongue Approach." Through listening to the sound of music, very young children soon imitate the tones they hear. Suzuki believes that talent is not inherited, but is a product of environment, and that every child can perform music just as he or she has learned to speak, if the proper teaching approach is used. Revised in 1995, The Man and His Philosophy contains many new photos, some of them depicting the many "firsts" in the Suzuki world, such as Dr. Suzuki with his first students, plus many more. This is a complete history of the Suzuki movement, in words and pictures, from its beginnings to the present day.