Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide

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Oxford University Press, 2011 - Music - 494 pages
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Oxford's highly successful listener's guides--The Symphony, The Concerto, and Choral Masterworks--have been widely praised for their blend of captivating biography, crystal clear musical analysis, and delightful humor. Now James Keller follows these greatly admired volumes with Chamber Music. Approaching the tradition of chamber music with knowledge and passion, Keller here serves as the often-opinionated but always genial guide to 192 essential works by 56 composers, providing illuminating essays on what makes each piece distinctive and admirable. Keller spans the history of this intimate genre of music, from key works of the Baroque through the emotionally stirring "golden age" of the Classical and Romantic composers, to modern masterpieces rich in political, psychological, and sometimes comical overtones. For each piece, from Bach through to contemporary figures like George Crumb and Steve Reich, the author includes an astute musical analysis that casual music lovers can easily appreciate yet that more experienced listeners will find enriching. Keller shares the colorful, often surprising stories behind the compositions while revealing the delights of an art form once described by Goethe as the musical equivalent of "thoughtful people conversing."
 

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Contents

ANTON ARENSKY
1
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
5
SAMUEL BARBER
11
BÉLA BARTÓK
17
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
35
ALBAN BERG
80
ALEXANDER BORODIN
84
JOHANNES BRAHMS
88
ZOLTÁN KODÁLY
272
GYÖRGY LIGETI
276
BOHUSLAV MARTINU
283
FELIX MENDELSSOHN
290
OLIVIER MESSIAEN
308
WOLFGANG AMADČ MOZART
313
CARL NIELSEN
361
FRANCIS POULENC
364

BENJAMIN BRITTEN
130
ELLIOTT CARTER
136
AARON COPLAND
141
RUTH CRAWFORD SEEGER
146
GEORGE CRUMB
150
CLAUDE DEBUSSY
159
ERNST VON DOHNÁNYI
165
ANTONÍN DVORÁK
168
EDWARD ELGAR
184
GEORGE ENESCU
188
GABRIEL FAURÉ
191
CÉSAR FRANCK
198
MIKHAIL GLINKA
202
OSVALDO GOLIJOV
205
EDVARD GRIEG
209
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN
213
FANNY MENDELSSOHN HENSEL
247
PAUL HINDEMITH
251
JACQUES IBERT
256
CHARLES IVES
259
LEOŠ JANÁČEK
263
SERGEI PROKOFIEV
366
MAURICE RAVEL
369
STEVE REICH
377
SILVESTRE REVUELTAS
381
CAMILLE SAINTSAËNS
385
ARNOLD SCHOENBERG
388
FRANZ SCHUBERT
393
CLARA WIECK SCHUMANN
413
ROBERT SCHUMANN
416
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
428
JEAN SIBELIUS
443
BEDRICH SMETANA
446
IGOR STRAVINSKY
452
KAROL SZYMANOWSKI
461
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
466
JOAN TOWER
478
CARL MARIA VON WEBER
482
ANTON WEBERN
486
HUGO WOLF
489
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About the author (2011)


James Keller, longtime Program Annotator of the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, was awarded the prestigious ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for feature writing about music in Chamber Music magazine, where he has been Contributing Editor for more than a decade.

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