Robert Schumann is one of the most intriguing-and enigmatic-composers of the nineteenth century. Extraordinarily gifted in both music and literature, many of his compositions were inspired by poetry and novels. For much of his life he was better known as a music critic than as a composer. But whether writing as critic or composer, what he produced was created by him as a reflection of his often turbulent life. Best known was the tempestuous courtship of his future wife, the pianist Clara Wieck. Though marriage and family life seemed to provide a sense of constancy, he increasingly experienced periods of depression and instability. Mounting criticism of his performance as music director at Dusseldorf led to his attempted suicide in 1854. Schumann was voluntarily committed to an insane asylum near Bonn where, despite indications of improvement and dissatisfaction with his treatment, he spent the final two years of his life. Drawing on original research and newly published letters and journals from the time, author Eric Frederick Jensen presents a balanced portrait of the composer with both scholarly authority and engaging clarity. Biographical chapters alternate with discussion of Schumann's piano, chamber, choral, symphonic, and operatic works, demonstrating how the circumstances of his life helped shape the music he wrote. Chronicling the romance of Robert and Clara, Jensen offers a nuanced look at the evolution of their relationship, one that changed dramatically after marriage. He also follows Schumann's creative musical criticism, which championed the burgeoning careers of Chopin, Liszt, and Brahms and challenged the musical tastes of Europe.
Robert Schumann (1810-56) is one of the most important and representative composers of the Romantic era. Here acclaimed biographer martin Geck tells the story of this multifaceted genius, set in the context of the political and social revolutions of his time.
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."
In Chamber Music: An Extensive Guide for Listeners, Lucy Miller Murray transforms her decades of program notes for some of the world’s most distinguished artists and presenters into the go-to guide for the chamber music novice and enthusiast. Offering practical information on the broad array of chamber music works from the Classical, Romantic, and Modern periods—and an artful selection from the Baroque period of Johann Sebastian Bach’s works—Chamber Music: An Extensive Guide for Listeners is both the perfect reference resource and chamber music primer for listeners.
A fascinating history of the piano explored through 100 pieces chosen by one of the UK's most renowned concert pianists An astonishingly versatile instrument, the piano allows just two hands to play music of great complexity and subtlety. For more than two hundred years, it has brought solo and collaborative music into homes and concert halls and has inspired composers in every musical genre--from classical to jazz and light music. Charting the development of the piano from the late eighteenth century to the present day, pianist and writer Susan Tomes takes the reader with her on a personal journey through 100 pieces including solo works, chamber music, concertos, and jazz. Her choices include composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Gershwin, and Philip Glass. Looking at this history from a modern performer's perspective, she acknowledges neglected women composers and players including Fanny Mendelssohn, Maria Szymanowska, Clara Schumann, and Amy Beach.
Menahem Pressler and the Beaux Arts Trio German born pianist Menahem Pressler (1923) was forced to flee Nazi terror to Israel. He quickly attained international fame in 1946 by winning the Debussy Competition in San Francisco and performing his debut with Eugene Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Ultimately emigrating to the United States, Pressler teaches at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University where he holds an endowed chair as Distinguished Professor. As founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, he alone survived the ensemble's changes in membership during its unprecedented 53 year history. 'Setting the standard' for piano trio performance, the Beaux Arts Trio elevated the ensemble type to a par with the string quartet in over seven thousand performances, hundreds of award winning recordings and extensive broadcasts. Famed for his musicality and equally admired for his way with words, communicator Menahem Pressler is captured here, an inspiration to colleagues, students and his international public. In Always Something New to Discover, Pressler's biography, esthetics, pianism and dedication to music are gathered in texts enriched with oral history as generously shared by Pressler and his intimates. 'I am as hungry now making my music as when I was young ' With as yet no retirement in sight, Menahem Pressler continues his musical journey with an undiminished schedule and a full studio of international students, all in blissful service of the music he loves. Originally from Boston, Cynthia Wilson (1953) was educated at Concord Academy in Massachusetts and Sarah Lawrence College in New York before following her passion for early music to Amsterdam. After a decade of concertizing she held a number of management positions in the Dutch music world. In 2006, she founded wwclassics to pursue a wider range of artistic activities."
After obtaining access to long-sought-after archival material about the final years of Robert Schumann, Lise Deschamps Ostwald, the author's widow, is finally able to detail the composer's last years at the mental institution in Endenich, fulfilling her husband's original intent "Schumann is a remarkable piece of work...Soberly and objectively, it unearths information that no previous Schumann researcher--in English at least--has come near duplicating."--Harold C. Schonberg, The New York Times Book Review "Peter Ostwald, a San Francisco psychiatrist who is also a trained musician, has dug deeply...and applied his professional knowledge to the fashioning of a fascinating, perceptive psychobiography of the nineteenth-century Romantic master."--Arthur Hepner, Boston Globe "Ostwald...offers new insights into one about whom the musical world has never ceased wondering."--Robert Commanday, San Francisco Chronicle --Book Jacket.
Analysis of 18th- and 19th-Century Musical Works in the Classical Tradition is a textbook for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in music analysis. It outlines a process of analyzing works in the Classical tradition by uncovering the construction of a piece of music—the formal, harmonic, rhythmic, and voice-leading organizations—as well as its unique features. It develops an in-depth approach that is applied to works by composers including Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms. The book begins with foundational chapters in music theory, starting with basic diatonic harmony and progressing rapidly to more advanced topics, such as phrase design, phrase expansion, and chromatic harmony. The second part contains analyses of complete musical works and movements. The text features over 150 musical examples, including numerous complete annotated scores. Suggested assignments at the end of each chapter guide students in their own musical analysis.