TITLES OF INTEREST
"21st-Century String Quartets: Volume I"
by Edith Eisler
Edith Eisler--writer and corresponding editor for Strings magazine--doesn't just interview some of the world's most famous chamber music players in "21st-Century String Quartets," she gets to know them. Using the insights of a performer and the conversational tone of a good friend, Eisler gives her readers the inside story on the personalities and musical philosophies of the Emerson, Guarneri, Borodin, Orion, and Tokyo string quartets, among others.
"Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician"
by Christoph Wolff
Harvard professor and Bach scholar Christoph Wolff has written a densely argued, contextually rich study of the great "wellspring" of music. The subtitle refers to a famous attack on Bach for using too much artifice and creating works of dry pedantry, which Wolff masterfully counters with his vision of Bach as a true paradigm shifter, comparable to an uncanny degree to the genius of Isaac Newton. Wolff's book is itself richly contrapuntal in its development of themes and synchronic significances, doing the master proud.
"Peter Pears: Travel Diaries, 1936-1978"
edited by Philip Reed
A volume in the Aldeburgh Studies in Music series published by Boydell and Brewer, which focuses on Benjamin Britten's techniques and influences, "Peter Pears: Travel Diaries" documents the alert observer's reactions to the world that he and famous lover Britten traveled in pursuit of careers and pleasure. Some of the most compelling aspects of the tenor's journal entries center around the Asian tour they made in the mid-1950s, which would profoundly influence the composer's subsequent development.
"Jacqueline du Pre: Her Life, Her Music, Her Legend"
by Elizabeth Wilson
Elizabeth Wilson's exhaustive biography pulls together many of the contradictory depictions and images of the legendary--indeed, now mythical--cellist. Originally published last year amid the du Pre fever that resulted from the hit 1998 film "Hilary and Jackie," and now reprinted in paperback, Wilson's study serves as a powerful corrective that actually keeps the music center stage but also presents du Pre as a fully dimensional person. Wilson is a cellist herself and was a friend of du Pre for years, and she brings these insights to bear in a way that will appeal both to experts and the average music lover alike.
ALSO OF NOTE
"Gustav Mahler: Vienna: Triumph and Disillusion (1904-1907)" by Henry-Louis de La Grange
Eminent Mahler expert Henry-Louis de La Grange continues with his epic biographical journey in this highly anticipated third volume of his Mahler biography. These are the years that gave us some of the composer's most celebrated works, during a time of great stress and creative upheaval.
NEW CLASSICAL FOR BEGINNERS STORE
Looking for ways to introduce friends to the world of classical music? Check out Amazon.com's new Classical for Beginners Store, where you'll find guides to composers, recommended music, great performers, historical period overviews, audio tours with essays relating to specific works, and more. For those just beginning their appreciation of classical music, this is the place to go.
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