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Music Books ~ 1999 Releases

THE VOICE, A SPIRITUAL APPROACH TO SINGING
By Miriam J. Arman
When I first began writing this book, I wanted to turn back many times...I knew, that what I would be putting forth, would most likely stir up a great deal of discussion in the establishments of vocal pedagogy....yet, I also was certain, that what I had to say was so important, that this book absolutely had to be written.

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"Bach, English and French Suites; Music Scores" by Johann Sebastian Bach List: $7.95 -- Our Price: $6.36 -- You Save: $1.59 (20%) Subjects: Music; Songbooks; Classical; Musical Instruments - Piano Publisher: Koenemann Inc Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 9639155616 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Bach, Inventions and Little Preludes; Music Scores" by Johann Sebastian Bach List: $7.95 -- Our Price: $6.36 -- You Save: $1.59 (20%) Subjects: Music; Songbooks; Classical; Musical Instruments - Piano Publisher: Koenemann Inc Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 9639155624 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Bach, Piano Exercises I-IV; Music Scores" by Johann Sebastian Bach List: $7.95 -- Our Price: $6.36 -- You Save: $1.59 (20%) Subjects: Music; Songbooks; Classical; Musical Instruments - Piano Publisher: Koenemann Inc Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 9639155608 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Bach, Wohitemperiertes Klavier I-II; Music Scores" by Johann Sebastian Bach List: $7.95 -- Our Price: $6.36 -- You Save: $1.59 (20%) Subjects: Music; Songbooks; Classical; Musical Instruments - Piano Publisher: Koenemann Inc Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 9639155594 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Beautiful Mornin : The Broadway Musical in the 1940s" by Ethan Mordden List: $30.00 -- Our Price: $21.00 -- You Save: $9.00 (30%) Subjects: Musicals; New York (State); New York; History and criticism; Broadway (New York); Theater Music; Theater; Performing Arts; Broadway & Musical Revue; Theater - General; Music Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr (Trade) Binding: Hardcover Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 0195128516 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Black Chord" by David Corio, Vivien Goldman, Isaac Hayes List: $45.00 -- Our Price: $31.50 -- You Save: $13.50 (30%) Subjects: Afro-Americans; Music; Pictorial works; Popular music; Social aspects; Black Musicians And Their Music; Ethnomusicology; World Beat; General Publisher: Universe Pub Binding: Hardcover Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 078930337X URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Bright Moments : The Life and Legacy of Rahsaan Roland Kirk" by John Kruth List: $25.00 -- Our Price: $25.00 Subjects: Biography/Autobiography; Composers & Musicians; Biography & Autobiography; Composers & Musicians - Jazz; People of Color; Jazz; Music Publisher: Intl Book Marketing Binding: Hardcover Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 1566491053 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Callas" by Sainderichin, Andre Tubuef List: $18.95 -- Our Price: $13.27 -- You Save: $5.68 (30%) Subjects: Music; Opera; History & Criticism; Entertainment & Performing Arts; Biography & Autobiography Publisher: Universe Pub Binding: Hardcover Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 0789303817 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Chopin, Sonatas" by Frederic Chopin List: $7.95 -- Our Price: $6.36 -- You Save: $1.59 (20%) Subjects: Music; Songbooks; Classical; Musical Instruments - Piano Publisher: Koenemann Inc Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 9639059374 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Cinderella & Company" by Manuela Hoelterhoff List: $14.00 -- Our Price: $11.20 -- You Save: $2.80 (20%) Subjects: Performing Arts/Dance; Performing Arts; Music; Opera; History & Criticism; General Publisher: Vintage Books Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 0375707123 URL: READ MORE ------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The Encyclopedia of Classical Music" by Robert Ainsley List: $22.95 -- Our Price: $18.36 -- You Save: $4.59 (20%) Subjects: Music; Classical; Reference Publisher: Carlton Books Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 1858686288 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Etudes Piano" by Claude Debussy List: $7.95 -- Our Price: $6.36 -- You Save: $1.59 (20%) Subjects: Music; Songbooks; Classical; Musical Instruments - Piano Publisher: Konemann Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 9639059579 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Harrison Birtwistle in Recent Years" by Michael Hall List: $17.95 -- Our Price: $14.36 -- You Save: $3.59 (20%) Subjects: Music; History & Criticism - By Composer; Classical Publisher: Robson Book Ltd Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 1861051794 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"How to Read Music" by Terry Burrows List: $22.95 -- Our Price: $18.36 -- You Save: $4.59 (20%) Subjects: Music; Musical Instruments - Techniques; Reference; Musical Instruments - General Publisher: Griffin Trade Paperback Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 0312241593 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"It Ain't No Sin to Be Glad You're Alive : The Promise of Bruce Springsteen" by Eric Alterman List: $20.00 -- Our Price: $14.00 -- You Save: $6.00 (30%) Subjects: Springsteen, Bruce; Rock musicians; United States; Biography; Biography / Autobiography; Popular; Composers & Musicians - Rock; Historical - U.S.; Music; Composers & Musicians; Biography & Autobiography Publisher: Little Brown & Company 1 EdBinding: Hardcover Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 0316038857 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"John Lennon: Whatever Gets You Through the Night" by Paul Du Noyer List: $22.95 -- Our Price: $18.36 -- You Save: $4.59 (20%) Subjects: Music; Rock; Discography & Buyer's Guides; Composers & Musicians; Biography & Autobiography Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Pr Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 1560252103 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"The Life of Charles Ives (Musical Lives)" by Stuart Feder List: $14.95 -- Our Price: $14.95 Subjects: Music; Biography / Autobiography; General; Composers & Musicians - Classical Composers Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr (Pap Txt) 0 Edition Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 0521599318 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Listen to This : Leading Musicians Recommend Their Favorite Artists and Recordings" by Alan Reder, John Baxter List: $16.95 -- Our Price: $13.56 -- You Save: $3.39 (20%) Subjects: Popular music; Discography; Musicians; Biography; Music; Reference; General; Popular Publisher: Hyperion (P) Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 0786882603 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT
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"Lullabies for Little Hearts (Bible for Little Hearts)" by Carol Smith, Elena Kucharik List: $12.99 -- Our Price: $10.39 -- You Save: $2.60 (20%) Subjects: Music; Children's Baby - Religion - Christianity; Juvenile Fiction; Bedtime Stories; Religious - Christian; Religion - Bible - General; Juvenile Nonfiction Publisher: Tyndale House Pub Binding: Paperback Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 0842338772 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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"Masters of Music : Opera" by Alessandro Taverna, Alessandra Taverna List: $14.95 -- Our Price: $10.47 -- You Save: $4.48 (30%) Subjects: Music; Children's 12-Up - Music; Juvenile Nonfiction; Music - Classical; Music - History Publisher: Barrons Juveniles Binding: Hardcover Expected publication date: October 1999 ISBN: 0764151347 URL: READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE
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AcoustiCDigest.com with new books from Amazon.com Delivering Classical Music Books and Scores Editor, Thomas May

To many music lovers, Richard Strauss stands as one of the most significant composers of this century and--to operaphiles in particular--perhaps the unsurpassed master, whose dramatic acumen and writing for the female voice resulted in works of incomparably ravishing beauty. This September the music world officially commemorates the 50th anniversary of Strauss's death. In honor of that occasion, our selections this month include Michael Kennedy's critical reassessment of Strauss--the first significant biography of the composer to be published in English in several decades. You'll also find a fascinating collection of essays edited by Bryan Gilliam (whose own biographical study of the composer is soon to be published). Meanwhile, opera lovers interested in the genre's intellectual and social history will be intrigued by "Opera: Desire, Disease, Death," a richly discursive study of the sociological context of operatic suffering. This month we also salute Richard Taruskin's seminal critique of the historically informed performance movement. Finally, Isaac Stern's memoirs-- polished to a smooth style by coauthor Chaim Potok--recount a musician, not unlike Strauss, devoted to his art as a means to transcend barriers.

"Richard Strauss: Man, Musician, Enigma"
by Michael Kennedy
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Michael Kennedy here undertakes to penetrate Strauss's contradictions and see the man whole. Through his impressive access to diaries, letters, and living relatives, he posits an underlying consistency of attitude that made "art the reality in [Strauss's] life." The central enigma about the composer that fascinates Kennedy is the "disparity between man and musician," the paradox that this fundamentally aloof and reserved person, dedicated to bourgeois stability, could produce music of such overpowering passion. While steering clear of an overbearingly Freudian analysis, Kennedy reveals the crucial significance of Strauss's mother's nervous instability and the centrality of the work ethic inherited from his father. The result was to make music "Strauss's means of escape ... and in much of his music he wore a mask." Yet for all his aloofness, Strauss "let [the mask] slip"--another aspect of the enigma surrounding him--in such compositions as "Don Quixote" ("the most profound" of his orchestral works) or the pervasively autobiographical "Capriccio," which Kennedy counts as Strauss's greatest achievement for the lyrical stage. He is particularly persuasive in his high estimation of the post-"Rosenkavalier" output and the undiminished quest for artistic innovation that they continued to exemplify--above all in Strauss's development of a fluently conversational style in his operas. Kennedy similarly demystifies much of the received opinion that has developed around the composer, particularly in the level-headed portrait of his wife, Pauline. The fundamental happiness of their lifelong relationship emerges as a context indispensable to Strauss's creative focus. Kennedy devotes a significant portion of the book to the composer's position as president of the Reich Music Chamber and subsequent fall from grace both with the Nazis and in world opinion. In his view, Strauss becomes a "tragic figure, symbolizing the struggle to preserve beauty and style in Western European culture" against emerging barbarism. This biography largely succeeds in pointing to a greatness that "has not yet been fully understood and discovered."

"Richard Strauss and His World"
edited by Bryan Gilliam
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When these essays were first published in 1992, Timothy L. Jackson's thoughts on the "Four Last Songs" got the most attention. Jackson argues, quite persuasively, that the four songs were originally five, with the orchestral song "Ruhe, meine Seele!" to be heard before "Im Abendrot." Elsewhere, Leon Botstein contributes the "keynote address," taking up the odd disjunction of Richard Strauss's life versus his music. He demolishes the idea of Strauss having stylistic shifts. Michael Steinberg takes on Strauss's behavior during the Nazi era. Like Kirsten Flagstad, Karl Boehm, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Strauss will always be linked to his politics. James Hepokoski offers a look at "Macbeth," Strauss's first tone poem. In general, the lesser-known works such as "Intermezzo" and the "Burleske" for piano and orchestra come up more than you would expect, with correspondingly less on "Don Juan" or "Ariadne auf Naxos." Two chapters offer selections from the composer's correspondence, nicely translated by Susan Gillespie. The essays are quite fine individually; taken together they offer nothing less than a wholesale reevaluation of the composer. Focusing on the "middle period" after "Elektra," editor Gilliam asks for a separation of style from historical era, and it is the key to a much deeper understanding of the music.

"Opera: Desire, Disease, Death"
by Linda Hutcheon and Michael Hutcheon
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Opera has never been short on pain and suffering. The diseases that actually appear onstage, however, depend greatly on cultural context. In this provocative academic study, the authors ponder the significance behind the ailments that beset operatic characters. Their division of specialties--she is a literary critic, he is an MD--gives them a built-in perspective on their subject. The Hutcheons do not claim to be musical experts: they quote from scholars to bolster their arguments, which focus on librettos and source material. Operatic diseases are largely those with overtones of moral, not just physical, infection. Tuberculosis was a 19th-century favorite, associated with feverish passion and the self-consuming flame of artistic creativity. The authors contrast tubercular heroines before and after the discovery of the illness's cause, which altered the perception of TB from a disease of temperament ("La Traviata") to one of poverty and overcrowding ("La Boheme"). They also consider syphilis, cholera, and another "pathology," smoking. As the last example hints, the book's true theme is not disease, exactly. These conditions and habits--all linked in some way to emphatic sexuality-- indicated a morally dubious life and marked a character for doom. The authors' thesis encourages the reader to look behind the assumptions in these works. In an epilogue, the Hutcheons discuss plays--there are not yet any operas-- dealing with AIDS. These works suggest a 21st-century model: affirmative, sometimes angry, refusing to exoticize or condemn their diseased heroes.

"Text and Act: Essays on Music and Performance"
by Richard Taruskin
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It is as an essayist and critic (if not a professional gadfly) that Richard Taruskin has made a real impact on American musical culture. Indeed, in early-music circles, and even in the marketing of period-instrument performances by record labels, the word "authentic" has been abandoned almost entirely--and this is due largely to Taruskin's impassioned arguments (and his ability to get them published in places like the New York Times). "Text and Act" is a collection of Taruskin's most important (or, at least, most inflammatory) essays and articles on the subject of authenticity in the performance of 18th-and 19th-century music. These are the pieces that got him a reputation for being a flame-thrower; many fans of what is now called HIP (historically informed performance) have gotten the idea that Taruskin is the enemy of everything HIP stands for. They should have a look at this book: they'll see that he actually applauds many of the HIP movement's achievements. What he skewers mercilessly are the pretensions and a few of the assumptions on which HIP was originally based and that it used to market itself. Readers will also see why Taruskin has deeply infuriated so many people. He regularly makes inflammatory statements at the outset of an essay and then backpedals in the middle. Nevertheless, Taruskin's main points are persuasive. They may even seem obvious, but all too many musicians seem to have forgotten them. "Authenticity" in the sense of a faithful re-creation of the composer's intentions and preferred conditions of performance is simply not an achievable goal. We can't know the composer's real intentions (he or she is almost certainly dead), and re-creating original performance conditions is unfeasible, if not impossible. So for anyone who wants to understand the early-music revival of the late 20th century and the debates surrounding it, this book is indispensable.

"My First 79 Years"
by Isaac Stern, with Chaim Potok
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The conductor George Szell once told Isaac Stern that if he spent less time doing other things and more time practicing he could be "the greatest violinist in the world." Since those "other things" included saving Carnegie Hall from the wrecker's ball, generously sponsoring young artists like Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, and touring the world as an ambassador of American classical performance, music lovers can only be grateful that Stern settled for being one of the world's great violinists. His appealing memoir reveals a well-rounded man with a gusto for life beyond the concert hall that made his passion for music all the more fulfilling. Born on the Russian-Polish border in 1920, Stern grew up in San Francisco and by age 6 already displayed a precocious musical gift. His assessment of his abilities is refreshingly free of false modesty, while his enthusiastic appreciation for such fellow artists as Pablo Casals, Leonard Bernstein, and Rudolf Serkin keeps him from seeming like an egomaniac. Perhaps because of the contributions of coauthor Chaim Potok (author of "The Chosen" and other novels), the prose here is smoother and less self-conscious than in many performers' memoirs. It limns a vigorous, busy life dedicated to the idea that music has the power to break down barriers between people and nations.

Summer might be the time to get back to practicing your favorite instrument. Pianists in particular will find solid practical advice in the legendary Abby Whiteside's reprinted essays and fascinating insights in Leon Plantinga's colorful, exhaustive study of the Beethoven concertos. Whatever your instrument, the latter is saturated with historical and contextual information, and it will enrich your enjoyment of the newly released complete CD set of Beethoven piano concertos as interpreted by Alfred Brendel and Simon Rattle. If the "early music" phenomenon still leaves you puzzled--or indifferent--Bernard Sherman's "Inside Early Music" is a must-read, bringing important personalities and debates to life in a series of vivid interviews. And for a unique overview of opera and its rituals, let Denis Forman be your humorously irreverent but passionate guide.

"Abby Whiteside on Piano Playing"
by Abby Whiteside
REVIEW
Two of piano pedagogue Abby Whiteside's most influential essays, "Indispensables of Piano Playing," from 1955, and "Mastering the Chopin Etudes," from 1969, are reprinted in this volume, along with several shorter pieces. Whiteside's iconoclastic but firmly held beliefs are still provocative: "The pianist cannot control tone quality," "The importance of a prescribed fingering is practically nil," and "Time spent on scales is not used to best advantage" are among them. But Whiteside backs up her ideas persuasively, and even pianists who cannot go along with her all the way will likely find themselves altering aspects of their techniques. Whiteside bases all pianism on motions of the upper arms and de-emphasizes anything to do with the fingers. She sees the forearm and fingers only as extensions of the upper arm, which is responsible for speed and accuracy. Another of her main principles, the idea of basic rhythm, is well characterized by musical examples. Undoubtedly, there are some ideas in these essays that made complete sense only from the source herself, but there is much here of benefit to pianists of all levels.

"Beethoven's Concertos: History, Style, Performance"
by Leon Plantinga
REVIEW
Analysis of Beethoven's concertos, at least in the hands of Leon Plantinga, yields insights into almost every aspect of the composer's work. Originally Beethoven withheld and revised his piano concertos for his own use and did not perform them after they had been published. But by the time of the Fourth Concerto, Plantinga sees a decided shift to the concerto as a work meant to stand on its own, as a symphony does. In discussing the other works, Plantinga makes an effective comparison of the B-flat Concerto with Haydn's music rather than (as is conventional) with Mozart's. Even readers who are not pianists will find helpful, practical information about when and how a soloist might participate in the orchestral sections of classical concertos, systems of tuning in the period, cadenzas, and historical ideas about tempo. They will also enjoy Plantinga's direct, colorful writing style: the last movement of the "Emperor" behaves "more like a large puppy than a reliable steed."

You can find "Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos," featuring Alfred Brendel and Simon Rattle, at
REVIEW

"Inside Early Music: Conversations with Performers"
by Bernard D. Sherman
REVIEW
How far should we go in attempting to re-create the specific conditions of earlier musical eras (instruments, vocal techniques, scoring, pitch, etc.), as opposed to using the most up-to-date media available or making compromises between the two extremes? This fundamental question--with the many different ways in which musicians answer it and the controversies that result--is what makes "Historically Informed Performance" (HIP) the most interesting and dynamic field in classical music today. Bernard D. Sherman's "conversations with performers" illuminate these topics in a way that most scholars can't, and most music magazines don't have space for.

Sherman is a superb interviewer: well informed, respectful without being sycophantic. The thoughtful, articulate musicians who share their views with him make this book a delight for early-music neophytes and mavens alike. It should even hold some interest for those who dislike everything "HIP" stands for.

"A Night at the Opera: An Irreverent Guide to the Plots, the Singers, the Composers, the Recordings" by Denis Forman REVIEW
The author--a British television executive and former deputy chairman of the Royal Opera House--covers most of the likely offerings of your local repertory company, providing synopses, musical highlights, critical remarks, and historical information. Another section offers comments on everything from the craze for authenticity to the practice of booing. Forman's opinions sometimes run athwart of convention: "Falstaff" "has no sex appeal and no heart, and opera demands both these qualities"; "Tristan und Isolde" is the creation of "the Wagner that liked to spend time stroking velvet." His tone, especially in the synopses, is often evocative of Anna Russell's opera parodies: "It really is too bad of you Tristan to die on me like this. She passes out." The prose can be cute, but that fits Forman's approach of puncturing the inflated atmosphere of opera while glorying in it. Though he is most entertaining when he's daring to shout in church, his enthusiasms are as illuminating as his barbs. It's the book's greatest pleasure that Forman's passion is matched by his knowledge.

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