Hans Von Bülow: A Life and Times

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Oxford University Press, Dec 4, 2009 - Music - 544 pages
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Hans von Bülow is a key figure in 19th century music whose career path was as broad as it was successful. Music history's first virtuoso orchestral conductor, Bülow created the model for the profession-both in musical brilliance and in domineering personality-which still holds forth today. He was an eminent and renowned concert pianist, a respected (and often feared) teacher and music critic, an influential editor of works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Chopin, and Beethoven, and a composer in a variety of musical genres. As a student and son-in-law of Franz Liszt, and estranged friend of Richard Wagner (for whom his wife Cosima famously left him), Bülow is intricately connected with the canonical greats of the period. Yet despite his critical and lasting importance for orchestral music, Bülow's life and significant achievements have yet to be heralded in biographical form. In Hans von Bülow: A Life and Times, Alan Walker, the acclaimed author of numerous award-winning books on the era's iconic composers, provides the first full-length English biography of this remarkable musical figure. Walker traces Bülow's life in illuminating and engaging detail, from the first piano lessons of his boyhood days, to his first American tour, to his last days as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. Unearthing Bülow's extensive and previously unavailable correspondence and writings, Walker conveys amusing and informative anecdotes about this unique musical legend- from his sardonic and clever personality to his meticulous devotion to his work-and reveals enlightening insights on the still-contested sensibilities of musical-compositional style and "idea" at play in the vibrant musical world of which Bülowwas a part.
 

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Contents

On the Slopes of Parnassus 18301869
29
Ascending the Peak 18701880
161
Vistas from the Summit 18801894
275
Bülows Autopsy Report
465
Complete Catalogue of Bülows Compositions Transcriptions and Editions
469
Bülows Titles and Honours
483
List of Sources
485
Index
493
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

ALAN WALKER is Professor Emeritus of Music at McMaster University, Canada. Before settling in North America he was on the staff of the Music Division of the British Broadcasting Corporation in London. He has broadcast for the BBC, for the CBC, and for CJRT - FM (Toronto), and gives regular public lectures on the music of the Romantic Era, a period in which he specializes. His thirteen published books include A Study in Musical Analysis, An Anatomy of Musical Criticism, and symposia on Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt. Dr. Walker is also author of a three-volume, prize winning biography of Franz Liszt, a project which took him twenty-five years to complete, and for which the President of Hungary bestowed on him the medal ProCulturaHungarica. The biography also received the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize, presented by HRH The Duke of Kent in London. He is the recipient of the Music Teachers National Association 2010 Achievement Award and the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit from Hungary.

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