(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.
Alma Ros 's tragic story, from her birth and youth in the exalted musical circles of Vienna (her father was leader of the Vienna Philharmonic, her uncle was Gustav Mahler) to her death at Auschwitz, first came to public attention through the 1980 film Playing for Time. As leader of the only women's orchestra in the Nazi camps, by force of her will and spirit, she molded a terrified group of young musicians into an ensemble that became their sole hope of survival. And although Alma herself died of a sudden illness shortly before the liberation of the camps, she saved the lives of some four dozen members of the orchestra. In telling her full story for the first time, Richard Newman and Karen Kirtley honor her and the valiant prisoner-musicians for whom music meant life.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
"Brilliant....This book is a perfect marriage--or should one say, duet--of subject and author, every word as masterly as the notes of the artist it illuminates." -- Christopher Buckley, Forbes
"This is not just criticism but poetry in itself, with the additional--and inestimable--merit of being true." -- Washington Post Book World
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, Dutch) is one of America's most distinguished biographers, known for his rich, compulsively readable prose style. His biography of Beethoven, one of the most admired composers in the history of music, is above all a study of genius in action, of one of the few giants of Western culture. Beethoven is another engaging entry in the HarperCollins' "Eminent Lives" series of biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures.