Classical Music: An Introduction to Classical Music Through the Great Composers & Their Masterworks

Front Cover
Reader's Digest Association, 1997 - Reference - 264 pages
1 Review
An informed and accessible introduction to over 800 years of classical music through the lives and masterworks of the great composers -- includes 2 CDs

More people than ever are buying and listening to classical music, but to many more who would like to enjoy it, "classical" suggests an elite, inaccessible world. "Classical Music" -- the book and the CDs -- have been prepared expressly to welcome and guide those who would like to become better acquainted with the enduring musical works and composers of the Western world, from Gregorian chants to Beethoven to the contemporary explorations of Philip Glass.

The book consists of studies of the lives and works of some 150 composers selected by Gramophone magazine, the internationally renowned classical music authority. These composers appear in approximate chronological order, from the year 1100 to the present. For each composer, John Stanley and the editors of Gramophone have selected representative works to illustrate the main characteristics of the composer's style. Stanley gives careful attention to the historical times that inspired the music in an effort to relate the composers' lives and their works to the broader culture of the period.

A two-disc CD set brings together a stirring and majestic collection of 34 compositions -- over two hours of classical favorites as performed by top international orchestras -- featuring such maestros as Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Handel, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Verdi. You'll be enchanted by the beauty and range of the compositions, from the lush, opulent "Canon in D" by Johann Pachelbel to the simple rustic beauty of Ralph Vaughn Williams's "Fantasia on 'Greensleeves'".

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Introduction 10

3 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Anton Webern artists Bach ballet Baroque bass became Beethoven Berlioz born Brahms Brandenburg Concertos cantata castrati cathedral cello Cello Concerto century chamber music choir Chopin choral church clarinet Classical classical music composer composition Conservatory court courtly love dance Darmstadt death Debussy Deutsche Grammophon developed died Donizetti Dvorak early Emma Kirkby Europe folk folk music France French gamelan German Germany Gounod Gregorian chant Handel harpsichord Haydn influence inspired instruments Italian Italy J. S. Bach John Cage Josquin Desprez Kapellmeister keyboard instrument later Leipzig Leonard Bernstein libretto Liszt London lute Lutoslawski madrigals Mahler melody ment Meyerbeer Monteverdi motet movement Mozart musicians musique concrete Ockeghem Olivier Messiaen opera oratorio orchestra organist Paganini Palestrina Paris Paris Conservatoire performed Philharmonic pianist Piano Concerto Piano Sonata pieces Pierrot Lunaire plainchant played polyphonic popular Portrait poser Prokofiev psaltery Puccini Rachmaninov RECOMMENDED recording Renaissance REPRESENTAT1VE Richard Strauss Romantic Romanticism Rome Rossini Ruslan and Lyudmila Russia Russian sacred Schoenberg Second Viennese School secular shawm Shostakovich singers solo Sonata songs soprano sound Spain Stravinsky String Quartet style success symphonic poem Symphony Tchaikovsky ten tenor Thomas Tallis tion Venice Verdi Vienna viol Violin Concerto vocal voice Wagner Westminster Abbey wrote York Philharmonic

Bibliographic information