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Can someone please tell me how to include a picture with an OP? I need to put up 2 images with a thread I intend to start. Thanks

In response to this thread, I'll add Hector Berlioz's outstanding work if fiction, Evenings with the Orchestra. Has anyone else read this? His autobiography is a good read too. He was an excellent writer. Evenings... is a great, fun read and should be better known.
 

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Does anyone have any of the Groves editions? I'm looking at a set, 20-volumes, for a dang reasonable price, but I don't want to get it if it doesn't make interesting reading. I can Google stuff for reference. What I'd like it to be is medi depth, interesting articles that may not turn up with an online search. How close am I to it's reality?

Thanks
 

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Any mentions yet of Wilhelm von Lenz's The Piano Virtuosos of Our Time? It's a great little read, full of humor and great anecdotes, chiefly about Liszt, Chopin, Tausig and Henselt. Lenz of course knew them all.

Likewise the Gottschalk (sp?) memoirs are a pretty insightful read.
 

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Schubert Songs - A Biographical Study by the great Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau has been my favorite sketch of the composer and his most returned-to form. The works that are considered minor by Dieskau don't receive much attention, unless their back story warrants the attention. But as long as one trusts the author/interpretor and his value on each song, you'll stay consistently interested. Fischer-Dieskau gives notes on performance, places specific songs in context of the time they were written, as well as their place in posterity. He compares Schubert's settings to those of other composers and gives a plenty of anecdotes of both larger, historical interest, as well as the impact they had in Schubert's own circle. An invaluable and eternally interesting read. I found much quiet entertainment listening to the singer's interpretation while reading his impetus behind it.
 

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After years of resisting streaming services, I recently subscribed to Spotify. In these modern times, despite all my reservations, it looks like a great resource. Despite reading books, forums, blogs, and magazines-online and print-I was missing a lot it seems.

I went to Spotify to hear Mozart's K.356, Adagio for Glass Harmonica in C Major, and it puts me down in the middle of a multi-CD album, The Life and Works of Mozart, by Jeremy Siepmann, on Naxos. It seems Siepmann did a whole series of these audiobooks released about 2001 to 2005.

I have listened to "Mozart" and am now part way into "Beethoven". I am really impressed. Most of my previous experience with this sort of thing has been Robert Greenberg's Great Courses, formerly The Teaching Company, lectures. The Siepmann series are quite different. He is not a composer like Greenberg but his knowledge and perspectives are spot on. There is more of a tendency to present complete movements and Siepmann is witty and entertaining. He has the big broadcaster's voice and has found outstanding actors to read the composers' quotes.

I am very surprised I never heard of this series and it has received so little mention on talkclassical. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about a composer and their works. I haven't listened to any of his series beyond "The Life and Works" sets but I see "Classics Explained" albums dedicated to individual works like Beethoven's Sixth, and Brahmns' Piano Concerto No. 2.

A begrudged thank you to Spotify, I guess.
I listened to all of the Siepmann Life and Works on Spotify. They were all very good. At home I still listen to go vinyl. I use Spotify when on the road. Lately, however, I've been using Primephonic, which is a streaming app like Spotify, but one that is exclusively for classical music lovers. As such, it is a lot better than Spotify. Its classical library is enormous compared to Spotify. If you mainly use Spotify for classical, I would definitely look into Primephonic. I'm still buying it by the month but I've decided to get a year subscription, I just haven't but the bullet yet.
 
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