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Thread: Music Books - A Quick Reference

  1. #61
    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    I've been digging into various Mozart biographies in recent months, with varying success, and by far the most enlightening and readable is Mozart in Vienna, 1781-1791, by Volkmar Braunbehrens (pub. Deutsch 1990).

    It sets Mozart very firmly into the Vienna of his day, and does so entertainingly and vividly. It has no truck with uncritical acceptance of Mozart myth, and makes a serious attempt to distinguish fact from fiction. It's the sort of book that makes you wish, when you're halfway through, it were twice as long as it is. And even better, it makes you want to go and listen to more Mozart.

    Strongly recommended.

  2. #62
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    A friend of mine recommended me The Piano Shop on the Left Bank - http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Shop-Lef...6779459&sr=8-1 . It seems a pleasant read. I wonder if anyone here have read it.

  3. #63
    Junior Member 52paul's Avatar
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    The Music Instinct - how music works and why we can't do without it - by Philip Ball
    My friend Philip Ball has come out with yet another superb book. This one about music.
    On Tuesday I went to the Royal Institution where he was lecturing on the subject of his book and very fascinating it was too.
    The lecture hall and gallery were sold out and we ended up sitting on the steps as we were a bit late. Anyway I managed to catch up with what we had missed by listening to the audio recording which is conveniently included on the Royal Institution website

    There are more great reviews in today's papers. Here are a couple:

    The Independent on Sunday


    The Observer

    Philip is repeating the lecture at the Royal Institution on 27 February and then more lectures around the country in March.

    Here's a link to Amazon UK:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Instin...f=pd_rhf_p_t_1

  4. #64
    Junior Member bigham45's Avatar
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    Hello all!

    Obviously I am new here, but I am not new to music and all it's wonders. I know this thread has been dormant for a while, but I'm hoping to get a reply or two about some books I'm looking into. I read through the thread but never saw anything about either. One was mentioned at the beginning but not connected anywhere:

    1. [I]Tonal Harmony[I] by Kostka/Payne
    2. [I]Harmony and Voice Leading[I] by Aldwell/Schacter

    I've been through collegiate theory but I am wanting to keep my "skills" up to par and continue to learn and further those so-called "skills". Lol.

    Any comments about these books or perhaps other books I should look into would be great!

    Hope to meet you all in the forums!

    Ty

  5. #65
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    Can anyone recommend any really detailed analyses of Mozart's piano concerti or string quartets - I have come across those by Hutchings, Girdlestone and a little BBC guide, all of which are useful. The Mozart companions are not very detailed.

    I don't know whether Tovey covers these.

    Does Tovey have a successor?

    Also interested in similar on Bach, eg his concerti.

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    For anyone who doesn't know, The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is the largest single reference work for classical music - some 22 enormous volumes. It also exists in an online version as part of Oxford Music Online, though I'm not sure if a university student ID is required to access it.

  7. #67
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    Harold C. Schonberg's "The Great Conductors" is the companion to his book on the great pianists, and a goldmine of information about such giants of the podium as Toscanini,Stokowski,Karajan, Klemperer, Beecham, Walter, Szell, Bernstein, and others.
    It also offers a fascinating discussion of how the art and profession of conducting evolved.
    As it was written in the 60s, it lacks information about many important conductors who have since emerged, but that is no reason not to get it.

    "The Compleat Conductor" (author's spelling) by composer/conductor and polymath
    Gunther Schuller is a fascinating if at times exasperating critical evaluation of an enormous number of recordings by many,many different conductors past and present of symphonies by Beethoven,Brahms, SchumannTchaikovsky and other orchestral works such as Till Eulenspiegel,the second suite from Daphnis and Chloe, etc.
    Schuller painstakingly notes deviations from the composer's written instructions,or careful observance of them, and trashes many great conductors their supposed failure to be faithful to the score. He often gets bogged down in splitting hairs, and is often too rigidly literal in judging the performances, but it's an absorbing,if often disturbing read.

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    Default about classical period

    i need info for Mozart-piano concerto in G major & piano sonata in A major

  9. #69
    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elgarian View Post
    I've been digging into various Mozart biographies in recent months, with varying success, and by far the most enlightening and readable is Mozart in Vienna, 1781-1791, by Volkmar Braunbehrens (pub. Deutsch 1990).

    It sets Mozart very firmly into the Vienna of his day, and does so entertainingly and vividly. It has no truck with uncritical acceptance of Mozart myth, and makes a serious attempt to distinguish fact from fiction. It's the sort of book that makes you wish, when you're halfway through, it were twice as long as it is. And even better, it makes you want to go and listen to more Mozart.

    Strongly recommended.
    Hi Elgarian,

    Just saw this, but I highly recommend David Cairns Mozart & His Operas, which is great for both connoisseurs or lay people - of which I'm the latter.

    He has a scintillating chapter on Idomeneo, but the whole book is excellent.

    I don't know the book you recommend, but I will!

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    Elgarian,

    It sounds like you know a lot about mozart biographies. What do you think about solomon's biography? It's the only one I've ever read, but I found it very poignant and touching. A lot of the book seems to focus on mozart's/father as the emotional driving force behind who he was. I've heard its well researched as well.

    I understand that solomon also wrote a strong beethoven bio? Any thoughts on that?

  11. #71
    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Just wondering if anyone has an opinion on Schoenberg's Harmonielehre? Ive ordered it recently.

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    I think that best one volume book about Beethoven is "Beethoven" by Maynard Solomon. Of course, there is bit of "Psyco Babble" but not enough to detract from the very high quality of the book. A must have is "Music and Society Since 1815" by Henry Raynnor. If you are interested in the Musical world of the 19th century this a most interesting read. the correct spelling is of course Raynor.

  13. #73
    Junior Member janealex's Avatar
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    Default Great Collection

    In fact i was looking for any online school for classical music but your given book i hope that are also useful for me in my learning.

  14. #74
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    Thank you so much for the list!

    I strongly recommend Harold Schonberg's books for starters. Despite the thickness of his books his storytelling style is easy to follow and simply keeps you turning one page after the other.

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Has anyone mentioned the following?:

    Charles Rosen - The Classical Style
    Samuel Adler - A Guide to Orchestration
    Paul Griffiths - Modern Music

    These are books I can't recommend strongly enough.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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