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Thread: Music Books - A Quick Reference

  1. #136
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    Some horn and brass method/technique books that should have a mention are:

    The Art of Brass Playing by Phillip Farkas
    The Art of French Horn Playing by Phillip Farkas
    The Horn Handbook by Verne Reynolds
    The Horn by Barry Tuckwell
    Essentials of Brass Playing by Fred Fox
    "True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time."
    -George Gershwin

  2. #137
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    Arnold Schoenberg's Journey by Allen Shawn

    This is the best book I have found on Schoenberg. It's concise, readable by the layman (a few musical terms and score examples, but no long paragraphs of technical jargon), and completely non-confrontational. It is both a biography of Schoenberg's life and a look at his major works, showing how and why his style evolved over time.

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  4. #138
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    Any other reasons you might like this book? The author, perhaps? Tah hah!

    Yes, I've got this one, and it is an excellent read. It goes quite carefully and methodically through each work. As far as Shawn's speculations about Schoenberg hearing his works "tonally," that is worth pondering, but might ultimately distract us from hearing serial music on its own terms.
    The photos of Schoenberg's charts and mechanical "wheels" are quite interesting.

  5. #139
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    I like all the Instrument-specific Books

  6. #140
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    I am looking into books that will teach me a little more technical aspects of works but without going way over my head with terms. Has anyone read any of the "Unlocking The Masters" series of books? I've linked a couple of examples below.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Beethovens-Cham...=pd_sim_kinc_3

    http://www.amazon.ca/Mahler-Symphoni...ng+the+Masters

    http://www.amazon.ca/Beethovens-Symp...ng+the+Masters

  7. #141
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    History:
    Allan Atlas - Renaissance Music (in the Norton Introductions series), more colorful and modern than Reese's, though nowhere near as detailed.
    Oliver Strunk - Source Readings in Music History (massive and addictive anthology of primary sources on musical thought from Plato to Pravda)
    Paul Griffiths - Modern Music and After

    Composers in their own words:
    Morton Feldman - Give My Regards to 8th Street
    Arnold Schönberg - Style and Idea

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  9. #142
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    Probably the best contemporary book on Schubert is, as recommended earlier, Brian Newbold's, "Schubert: Life & Music". For those who might wish for a shorter but complete bio, there are books by Peter Clive & Eliz. McKay. Ms. McKay's book contains good information of Schubert's Choral & Opera works. While Rey Longyear's book on Romantic period is an excellent explanation and survey of the period, Charles Rosen's book on Romantic Style is an revealing study of the musical process of the period { the book focuses on three composers}. Schoenberg's Style and idea is full of insights about music of the "second" Vienna period and much more {A really fine article on Brahms}. I've noticed that Irving Kolodin's book "The Continuity of Music" has been suggested. It is a fine book about a subject that is not much covered. If I could make a wish, It would be for a really complete discussion of the life and mmusic of Bela Bartok!! Thank you for the opportunity to "sound off".

  10. #143
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    Love the list, thanks!!

  11. #144
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    Chamber music makes up a large chunk of my music collection. There are several important surveys that I didn't see mentioned in the earlier pages. These are a pair of studies that complement one another well since they approach the topic from two different methods.

    Mark Radice, Chamber Music: An Essential History (University of Michigan Press, 2012)., 384 pp., $40 paperback. This is really a state-of-the-art historical survey. Clear, surveys the key repertoire and essential composers, sets developments in their historical context (e.g. the rise of amateur music-making and the publishing industry in the late 18th century). Essential reading is chapter 2: "The Crystallization of Genres during the Golden Age of Chamber Music." Fine chapters on Beethoven, Schubert, fin-de-siecle French salon culture, Schoenberg, and at the close chapters on Shostakovich and then Ligeti and Husa. The closing chapter examines a miscellany of 20th century masterpieces: Stravinsky's Octet (1923), Varese's Octandre (1923), Bartok's Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion (1937), Messiaen's Quatuor pour la fin du temps (1941), Boulez's Le marteau san maître (1954), Reich's Violin Phase (1967), Crumb's Black Angels (1970), Wen-Chung's Echoes from the Gorge (1989). In its appendix it does list more contemporary works, but it could use a new closing chapter on chamber music in the early 21st century.



    James M. Keller, Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide (Oxford University Press, 2011). 520 pp., $40 list as a hardcover (but $30 on Amazon); paperback to be released in November, $20. Where Radice's survey is historical in its narrative, tracing broad trends, this focuses on individual composers and specifically individual works. It's arranged alphabetically, with 3-4 pages on each of the major masterpieces of chamber music. Menahem Pressler who played for decades in the acclaimed Beaux Arts Trio has reviewed it in glowing terms: "Even after a career spent immersed in chamber music, I gained new and fascinating insights from James Keller's essays. This is a book that enlightens professionals as well as general music-lovers." That's a pretty good indicator of its value.



    I have a special interest in string quartets and will post some further recommendations on them soon.
    Last edited by Alypius; Aug-16-2014 at 17:20.

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  13. #145
    Senior Member (Ret) Alypius's Avatar
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    A major new biography of Beethoven:

    Jan Swafford, Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph
    (New York: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2014),
    1104 pp. ISBN 978-0618054749. Hardcover, $40.



    Review by Jeremy Denk in the New York Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/bo...temail0=y&_r=1

    For a discussion thread on this, see New Biography: "Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph" by Jan Swafford

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  15. #146
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    Interesting new study of Olivier Messiaen:

    Stephen Schloesser, Visions of Amen: The Early Life and Music of Olivier Messiaen
    Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2014
    Published July 24, 2014
    594 pp. ISBN 978-0802807625. Hardcover, $50.



    Blurb on it:
    French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) is probably best known for his Quartet for the End of Time, premiered in a German prisoner-of-war camp in 1941. However, Messiaen was a remarkably complex, intelligent person with a sometimes tragic domestic life who composed a wide range of music. This book explores the enormous web of influences in the early part of Messiaen's long life.

    The first section of the book provides an intellectual biography of Messiaen's early life in order to make his (difficult) music more accessible to the general listener. The second section offers an analysis of and thematic commentaries on Messiaen's pivotal work for two pianos, Visions of Amen, composed in 1943. Schloesser's analysis includes timing indications corresponding to a downloadable performance of the work by accomplished pianists Stèphane Lemelin and Hyesook Kim.

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  17. #147
    Senior Member (Ret) Alypius's Avatar
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    Andrew Shenton, ed.
    Cambridge Companion to Arvo Pärt
    series: Cambridge Companions to Music
    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012



    The Cambridge Companions to Music series has been one of the most consistent and high quality collection of handbooks on composers, instruments, and genres. This is one of the more recent volumes and one of the best. The best previous book-length scholarly study of Arvo Pärt's music was Paul Hillier's excellent Arvo Pärt in the Oxford Composers series from 1997. Hillier was a uniquely qualified author since he has led performances and fine recordings of many of Pärt's works. But Pärt has been unusually prolific in the years since 1997, and Hillier's work is now getting badly out of date. Shenton, who edited a fine study of Messiaen (Messiaen the Theologian, Ashgate, 2011), has brought together a variety of experts for this volume. Especially recommended is the essay by Leopold Brauneiss, "Musical Archtypes: The Basic Elements of the Tintinnabuli Style," pp. 49-75; and Robert Sholl, "Arvo Pärt and Spirituality," pp. 140-158.
    Last edited by Alypius; Aug-22-2014 at 06:07.

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  19. #148
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    This is really ORCHESTRATION and contemporary INSTRUMENTATION, a really great book.

    http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic...-orchestration

  20. #149
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    I like the biographies of Victor Seroff.
    He was born in Georgia (the country) before the Russian Revolution which happened when he was about 17. He left the country and studied piano in Vienna, living in various parts of Europe before moving the the USA where he settled down to a concert career for a while. He eventually took to journalism and became a music critic and writer on musical subjects.
    In the 1940's he wrote a biography of Dmitri Shostakovich who was at the time in besieged Leningrad and only 31 years old. Seroff was obviously concerned that a composer he admired greatly was in grave danger and completed his research into Shostakovitch's background and early career quickly, publishing the book in 1943.

    After Prokofiev died in 1953, Seroff wrote his biography too. In it he sources the background and early life of Prokofiev from writings by his mother and first wife.
    He went on to write about Liszt, Rachmaninov (who he knew personally) and Ravel amongst others.

    He writes very engagingly and with great sympathy for his subjects Also with great understanding of their musical lives - thanks to his background and training.

    You can generally pick his books up very cheap from online second hand stores.

    download.jpg

  21. #150
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    Three more books:

    The Mozart Companion - a symposium by leading Mozart scholars, edited by H.C. Robbins Landon

    Mozart and His Piano Concertos by Cuthbert Girdlestone

    Composers On Composers by John Holmes consisting of quoted statements of composers' opinions on other composers.

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