Now, in this masterful book, Jan Swafford, critically acclaimed as both biographer and composer, takes a fresh look at Brahms, giving us for the first time a fully realized portrait of the man who created the magnificent music. Brahms was a man with many friends and no intimates, who experienced triumphs few artists achieve in their lifetime. Yet he lived with a relentless loneliness and a growing fatalism about the future of music and the world. The Brahms that emerges from these pages is not the bearded eminence of previous biographies but rather a fascinating assemblage of contradictions. Brought up in poverty, he was forced to play the piano in the brothels of Hamburg, where he met with both mental and physical abuse. At the same time, he was the golden boy of his teachers, who found themselves in awe of a stupendous talent: a miraculous young composer and pianist, poised between the emotionalism of the Romantics and the rigors of the composers he worshipped--Bach, Mozart, Beethoven. In 1853, Robert Schumann proclaimed the twenty-year-old Brahms the savior of German music. Brahms spent the rest of his days trying to live up to that prophecy, ever fearful of proving unworthy of his musical inheritance. We find here more of Brahms's words, his daily life and joys and sorrows, than in any other biography.
With novelistic grace, Swafford shows us a warm-blooded but guarded genius who hid behind jokes and prickliness, rudeness and intractability with his friends as well as his enemies, but who was also a witty drinking companion and a consummate careerist skillfully courting the powerful. This is a book rich in secondary characters as well, including Robert Schumann, declining into madness as he hailed the advent of a new genius; Clara Schumann, the towering pianist, tormented personality, and great love of Brahms's life; Josef Joachim, the brilliant, self-lacerating violinist; the extraordinary musical amateur Elisabet von Herzogenberg, on whose exacting criticism Brahms relied; Brahms's rival and shadow, the malevolent genius Richard Wagner; and Eduard Hanslick, enemy of Wagner and apostle of Brahms, at once the most powerful and most wrongheaded music critic of his time. Among the characters in the book are two great cities: the stolid North German harbor town of Hamburg where Johannes grew up, which later spurned him; and glittering, fickle, music-mad Vienna, where Brahms the self-proclaimed vagabond finally settled, to find his sweetest triumphs and his most bitter failures. Unique to this book is the way in which musical scholarship and biography are combined: in a style refreshingly free of pretentiousness, Jan Swafford takes us deep into the music--from the grandeur of the First Symphony and the intricacies of the chamber work to the sorrow of the German Requiem--allowing us to hear these familiar works in new and often surprising ways.
This is a clear-eyed study of a remarkable man and a vivid portrait of an era in transition. Ultimately, Johannes Brahms is the story of a great, backward-looking artist who inspired musical revolutionaries of the following generations, yet who was no less a prophet of the darkness and violence of our century. A biographical masterpiece at once wholly original and definitive.
From the Hardcover edition.
Chopin's magnificent Ballade No. 1 in G minor, arguably one of the most difficult Romantic compositions in the repertory. With pyrotechnic passages that require feats of memory, dexterity, and power, the piece is one that causes alarm even in battle-hardened concert pianists. He gives himself a year.
Under ideal circumstances, this would have been a daunting task. But the particular year Rusbridger chooses turns out to be one of frenetic intensity. As he writes in his introduction, "Perhaps if I'd known then what else would soon be happening in my day job, I might have had second thoughts. For it would transpire that, at the same time, I would be steering the Guardian through one of the most dramatic years in its history." It was a year that began with WikiLeaks' massive dump of state secrets and ended with the Guardian's revelations about widespread phone hacking at News of the World. "In between, there were the Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring, the English riots . . . and the death of Osama Bin Laden," writes Rusbridger. The test would be to "nibble out" twenty minutes per day to do something totally unrelated to the above.
Rusbridger's description of mastering the Ballade is hugely engaging, yet his subject is clearly larger than any one piece of classical music. Play It Again deals with focus, discipline, and desire but is, above all, about the sanctity of one's inner life in a world dominated by deadlines and distractions.
What will you do with your twenty minutes?
Born in China to parents whose musical careers were interrupted by the Cultural Revolution, Lang Lang has emerged as one of the greatest pianists of our time. Yet despite his fame, few in the West know of the heart-wrenching journey from his early childhood as a prodigy in an industrial city in northern China to his difficult years in Beijing to his success today.
Journey of a Thousand Miles documents the remarkable, dramatic story of a family who sacrificed almost everything—his parents’ marriage, financial security, Lang Lang’s childhood, and their reputation in China’s insular classical music world—for the belief in a young boy’s talent. And it reveals the devastating and intense relationship between a boy and his father, who was willing to go to any length to make his son a star.
An engaging, informative cultural commentator who bridges East and West, Lang Lang has written more than an autobiography: his book opens a door to China, where Lang Lang is a cultural icon, at a time when the world’s attention will be on Beijing. Written with David Ritz, the coauthor of many bestselling autobiographies, Journey of a Thousand Miles is an inspiring story that will give readers an appreciation for the courage and sacrifice it takes to achieve greatness.
This modern critical edition presents 17 secular monodies for one and two voices with figured bass accompaniment from this landmark collection. The book includes text translations, biographical and stylistic essays, recommendations on performance practice, and other commentary.
This informed assessment of the genius of Bach's works can be applied with greatest accuracy to The Well-Tempered Clavier. This highly influential work is monumental in the history of Western music. It represents not only the culmination of Bach's own maturation process, but also the galvanization of the emerging style and structure of modern keyboard music.
The grace and fecundity of The Well-Tempered Clavier have thrilled audiences, musicians, and composers for centuries. Mozart, when rapidly advancing to the height of his mastery, had but to read a manuscript copy of The Well-Tempered Clavier and his style developed a new polyphonic richness and depth of harmony. Beethoven studied all the accessible works of Bach profoundly (including The Well-Tempered Clavier) and frequently quoted them in his sketchbooks, often with direct bearing on his own works. Chopin is nowhere more characteristic than when he shows his love of The Well-Tempered Clavier in his Etudes and Preludes. It was Schumann who, in a series of maxims for young musicians, said "Make The Well-Tempered Clavier your daily bread."
This remarkable volume contains all 48 preludes and fugues, from Books I and II, in all major keys, reproduced directly from the authoritative Bach-Gesellschaft edition. The fine engraving is beautiful, clear, and easy to read. These elegant pieces, which vary in difficulty, are available complete in one low-cost, convenient Dover edition.
Goldman hadn’t seriously picked up his cello in twenty-five years, but the Late Starters (its motto, If you think you can play, you can) seemed just the right orchestra for this music lover whose busy life had always gotten in the way of its pursuit.
In The Late Starters Orchestra, Goldman takes us along to LSO rehearsals and lets us sit in on his son’s Suzuki lessons, where we find out that children do indeed learn differently from adults. He explores history’s greatest cellists and also attempts to understand what motivates his fellow late starters, amateurs all, whose quest is for joy, not greatness. And when Goldman commits to playing at his upcoming birthday party we wonder with him whether he’ll be good enough to perform in public. To the rescue comes the ghost of Goldman’s first cello teacher, the wise and eccentric Mr. J, who continues to inspire and guide him--about music and more--through this well-tuned journey.
With enchanting illustrations by Eric Hanson, The Late Starters Orchestra is about teachers and students, fathers and sons, courage and creativity, individual perseverance and the power of community. And Ari Goldman has a message for anyone who has ever had a dream deferred: it’s never too late to find happiness on one’s own terms.
Along with the 24 piano arrangements, this collection includes a free MP3 download for every piece, which will help beginning pianists develop an ear for the melodies. The MP3s may be downloaded individually or collectively.
Did you know that Jean-Baptiste Lully actually died from conducting one of his own compositions? You may have heard of Gregorian chant, but did you know there are many forms of chant, including Ambrosian and Byzantine chant? And did you also know that only a small portion of “classical music” is even technically Classical?
These interesting, insightful facts and more are yours to discover in The History of Classical Music For Beginners.
* Diagon Alley
* Family Portrait
* Harry's Wondrous World
* Hedwig's Theme
* Leaving Hogwarts
* Nimbus 2000
* The Chamber of Secrets
* Fawkes the Phoenix
* Buckbeak's Flight
* Double Trouble
* Hagrid the Professor
* Harry in Winter
* Hogwarts March
* Potter Waltz
* This Is the Night
* Dumbledore's Army
* Loved Ones and Leaving
* Professor Umbridge
* Dumbledore's Farewell
* Harry and Hermione
* In Noctem
* When Ginny Kissed Harry
* Farewell to Dobby
* Godric's Hollow Graveyard
* Harry and Ginny
* Ron Leaves
* Snape to Malfoy Manor
* Courtyard Apocalypse
* Harry's Sacrifice
* Lily's Lullaby
* Lily's Theme
* Severus and Lily
This edition, based on Mozart's autograph manuscript and early German translations of the libretto, embodies both the original Italian libretto of Lorenzo Da Ponte and a new corrected version of the German text. It is totally complete and contains all passages, including some that are missing from other editions and often cut in performances. In addition, the Editor's Commentary includes a complete review of all dubious passages and text problems.
This full orchestral score is an indispensable aid for study and for anyone listening to recordings or live performances. In no other manner can the listener or student keep full awareness of the many elements that make up this opera.
Professor Crocker's exceptionally clear and systematic presentation enables students to easily follow the evolution of Western musical style from Gregorian Chant (ca. 750) to the atonal music of the mid-20th century. The book stresses the continuity of basic musical principles over long periods of history, while it explores in detail moments of high stylistic achievement and the composers who exemplified them.
Drawing of the earliest written records, Crocker begins his description and analysis of Western music's changing style with a discussion of Frankish Gregorian Chant, laudes and melismas, and polyphony — the leading medium of musical development after 1150. The author traces the progression of new polyphonic forms from the Parisian motet of the 13th and 14th centuries through Italian song forms to the Franco-Flemish style of the 15th and 16th centuries. This sweeping survey then documents the emergence of the Classic Style after 1550, embodied in the music of such composers as Palestrina and Byrd, moves through new Italian dramatic styles (1600–1650) and on to the harmonic and polyphonic contributions of the 17th- and 18th-century masters.
With perception and insight, Crocker traces the creation of the German symphonic style, epitomized in the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, and deals with the parallel development of operatic style. An illuminating examination of new styles after 1900, including the serial music of Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg, concludes this exhaustive study.
Over 140 music examples complement Crocker's lucid text, and lists of Selected Study Materials for each chapter are given at the back of the book. This work will be welcomed by music students at all levels, music scholars, and the interested layman as well.
In this volume, readers (and Pulp fans) will find such classic Jarvis lyrics as 'Common People', 'Disco 2000', 'Babies', 'This is Hardcore' and 'Do You Remember the First Time?' The selection, assembled by the author, reveals a sensibility that is unmistakeably Jarvis: a sometimes visceral, sometimes everyday take on love, relationships and the things we do to each other when the lights get low.
Mother, Brother, Lover takes the reader on a thirty-year tour into the life, art and preoccupations of one of the great British artists of the late twentieth century. Shocking, sharp, clever and funny, it is a beautiful collection of lyrics and commentary.
***Comes with online access to free guitar videos and audio for all examples. See and hear how each one is played by a teacher, then play along with the backing band. Also includes music score animation for easy music learning.***
"Best teacher on paper! I’ve always wanted to learn how to play a guitar. It amazes me how I was able to learn so fast." - Joe McDougal, Leominster MA
Progressive Beginner Classical Guitar contains all you need to know to start learning to be a great classical guitar player - in one easy-to-follow, lesson-by-lesson classical guitar tutorial. Suitable for all ages and all types of classical guitars. No prior knowledge of how to read music or playing the guitar is required to teach yourself to learn to play guitar from this book.
• How to play basic guitar chords for beginners, guitar notes for beginners, arpeggios and classical guitar scales
• All the left hand and right hand fundamental techniques of classical guitar playing
• Practical guitar theory for learning how to read classical guitar music for beginners to play solo or in an ensemble
• How to tune a guitar
• Classical guitar tips and classical guitar tricks that every player should know when learning guitar
• Shortcuts for how to learn guitar fast by getting the most from guitar practice sessions
Contains everything you need to know to learn to play the guitar today.
• Progressive step-by-step easy guitar lessons written by a professional classical guitar teacher
• Easy-to-read classical guitar music
• Photos and diagrams
• 70+ classical guitar exercises and popular easy classical guitar songs for beginners including music by Tarrega, Giuliani, Sor, Aguado, Carulli and Carcassi
Beginner guitar lessons have never been this easy for anyone who wants to learn how to play the guitar, fast.