History of Music

  • ACNDV
    • £10.59
    • RRP £10.99
    • Save £0.40Save 2.999999999999999875655021241982467472553253173828125%
    A century after his death, Gustav Mahler is the most important composer of modern times. Displacing Beethoven as a box-office draw, heard in Hollywood films and on state occasions, his music inspires particular devotion. Some believe it helps heal emotional wounds, others find intellectual fascination in its contradictory meanings, and many feel that the music captures the yearnings and anxieties of our post-industrial society. In this highly original account of the composer's life and work, Norman Lebrecht explores the Mahler Effect, asking why Mahler's music has become the soundtrack to our twenty-first-century lives.
  • ABISZ
    • £7.89
    • RRP £7.99
    The music of the medieval, Renaissance, and baroque periods have been repeatedly discarded and rediscovered ever since they were new. An interest in music of the past has been characteristic of a part of the musical world since the early 19th century. The revival of Gregorian chant in the early 19th century; the "Cecilian movement" in later 19th-century Germany seeking to immortalize Palestrina's music as a sound-ideal; Mendelssohn's revival of Bach: these are some of the efforts made in the past to restore still earlier music. In recent years this interest has taken on particular meaning, representing two specific trends: first, a rediscovery of little-known underappreciated repertories, and second, an effort to recover lost performing styles, with the conviction that such music will come to life anew with the right performance. Much has been gained in the 20th century from the study and revival of instruments, playing techniques, and repertories. In this VSI, Thomas Forrest Kelly frames chapters on the forms, techniques, and repertories practices of the medieval, Renaissance, and baroque periods with discussion of why old music has been and should be revived, as well as a short history of early music revivals.
  • ABOON
    • £16.89
    • RRP £16.99
    When Donna Leon, the acclaimed author of the best-selling "Commissario Guido Brunetti series", is not conjuring up tales of crime and corruption in Venice, she is listening to opera. Over the years, Leon has noticed that her favourite composer, George Frideric Handel, filled his operas with arias that make reference to animals; rich in symbolism, the perceived virtues and vices of the lion, bee, nightingale, snake, elephant, and tiger, among others, resonate in his works. In "Handel's Bestiary", Leon draws on her love of Handel and her expertise in medieval bestiaries - illustrated collections of animal stories - to assemble a bestiary of her own. Twelve chapters trace twelve animals through history, mythology, and the arias. Each is joined by whimsical original illustrations by German painter Michael Sowa. The accompanying CD includes each aria, expertly recorded by Il Complesso Barocco with Alan Curtis conducting. Fascinating and utterly original, Handel's Bestiary springs to life with Leon's knowledge and wit.
  • AGEXL
    • £12.89
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £2.10Save 14.00%
    A unique look at the history, adventures, myths and realities of this most legendary and powerful of bands, it is a labour of love based on hours of first-hand and original interviews. What emerges is a compelling portrait of the four musicians themselves, as well as a fresh insight into the close-knit entourage that protected them, from Peter Grant to Richard Cole to Ahmet Ertegun, giant figures from the long-vanished world of 1970s rock. Featuring many rare and never before seen photographs, it is also the first book on Led Zeppelin to cover such recent events as their triumphant 2007 - O2 Arena gig and Robert Plant's Grammy-winning resurgence of recent years.
  • BTDUH
    • £63.99
    • RRP £79.99
    • Save £16.00Save 20.00%
    King Arthur was the first of 28 scores Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) composed for radio between 1937 and 1947. It was an ambitious dramatisation of King Arthur's life and times - part pageant, part play, part cantata - written by D.G. Bridson. This colourful suite incorporates the Introduction, a dramatic Wild Dance, some of the music underscoring the scenes for Galahad and The Holy Grail, and two vivid battle scenes, ending with The Final Battle and Apotheosis. King Arthur (scenes from a radio drama) for brass band should not be confused with a much longer orchestral suite which Paul Hindmarsh devised from the same source in 1995. King Arthur (scenes from a radio drama) will be played by the 20 First Section finalists on 16th September 2018 at this year's National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.
  • AUHJF
    • £62.89
    • RRP £69.99
    • Save £7.10Save 9.9999999999999994315658113919198513031005859375%
    A heartfelt and subtly beautiful tribute to the dead of the First World War, Vaughan Williams' Third Symphony is amongst his most powerful works. Misunderstood at its premiere in 1922, the haunting 35-minute elegy is almost entirely quiet and contemplative, though beneath its tranquillity lays a deep sadness. In the second movement a lone trumpet calls over a bleak and desolate landscape whilst the fourth and final movement is framed by a wordless lament for solo soprano. Faber Music publishes this long-awaited hardback critical edition.
  • BJVAM
    • £24.00
    • RRP £30.00
    • Save £6.00Save 20.00%
    In 1934, Igor Stravinsky was fifty-two, a Russian expatriate living in Paris and already regarded by many as the most important composer of his generation. Stravinsky: The Second Exile follows him through the remainder of his long life, which he would spend largely in the United States. These are the years during which he would compose such masterworks as The Rake's Progress and Symphony in C, and achieve a new level of fame as a conductor and concert pianist in his own right. In this second and final volume of Stephen Walsh's acclaimed biography, the author traces and illuminates Stravinsky's increasingly complex and often agonised family life and his crucially important relationship with his associate Robert Craft. As a musicologist and critic, Walsh is able to speak with authority and wit not only about Stravinsky's life, but also about his work, expertly following the composer's musical journey from the neoclassicism of his late French and early American periods, through his early essays in serial technique, and on finally to the astonishing complexities of this protean genius's final works. Based on exhaustive research, Stephen Walsh uncovers new and controversial material, making this the second volume of the most definitive biography of the most significant and influential composer of the twentieth century.
  • BSXXF
    • £24.00
    • RRP £30.00
    • Save £6.00Save 20.00%
    Pierre Boulez was appointed to the College de France in 1976, with the chair devoted to 'Invention, technique and language in Music', and he held his position until 1995. The publication of his extraordinary College de France lectures, his most significant writings from the 1970s to the 1990s, will make a major contribution to the discussion in English about Boulez's aesthetic legacy. His goal in Lecons de musique is to express his conception of musical language, laid out over the course of nearly twenty years of lecturing. He is thinking about the possible paths musical thought could take, as well as the musical legacy of the past In addition to composers, music historians, theorists, and music students, this book will be invaluable to those interested in the history and aesthetics of 20th century music, musical manifestations of artistic modernism, the history of ideas, and French intellectual and cultural history. Faber have been Pierre Boulez's publisher since 1986 - previous books include Orientations, Boulez on Music Today and Boulez on Conducting. 'Boulez's achievements in changing every part of the fabric of classical musical culture all over the world are indelible.' Tom Service, Guardian
  • BHWEE
    • £22.00
    • RRP £27.50
    • Save £5.50Save 18.9999999999999994315658113919198513031005859375%
    The Oxford History of Western Music is a magisterial survey of the traditions of Western music by one of the most prominent and provocative musicologists of our time. This text illuminates, through a representative sampling of masterworks, those themes, styles, and currents that give shape and direction to each musical age. Taking a critical perspective, this text sets the details of music, the chronological sweep of figures, works, and musical ideas, within the larger context of world affairs and cultural history. Written by an authoritative, opinionated, and controversial figure in musicology, The Oxford History of Western Music provides a critical aesthetic position with respect to individual works, a context in which each composition may be evaluated and remembered. Taruskin combines an emphasis on structure and form with a discussion of relevant theoretical concepts in each age, to illustrate how the music itself works, and how contemporaries heard and understood it. It also describes how the context of each stylistic period-key cultural, historical, social, economic, and scientific events-influenced and directed compositional choices.
  • BQXKD
    • £20.00
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £5.00Save 20.00%
    Can music make the world a better place? Can it really 'belong' to anyone? Can the magic, mystery and incertitude of music - of the human brain meeting or making sound - can it stop wars, rehabilitate the broken, unite, educate or inspire? From Jimi Hendrix playing 'Machine Gun' at The Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 to the Bataclan under siege in 2015, Ed Vulliamy has lived the music, met the legends, and asked, when words fail, might we turn to music? There's only one way to find out, and that is to listen...
  • BQXKH
    • £20.00
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £5.00Save 20.00%
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's life - and premature death - has long been mythologised and misunderstood. John Suchet draws back the curtain to show us the real man behind the music. A shy, emotional child, Tchaikovsky came late to composing as a career. Doubting himself at every turn and keenly wounded by criticism, he went on to become one of the world's best-loved composers. Yet behind the success lay sadness: the death of his mother haunted him all his life, while his incessant attempts to suppress his homosexuality took a huge toll. From his disastrous marriage to his extraordinary relationship with his female patron, his many amorous liaisons and his devotion to friends and family, Suchet shows us how the complexity of Tchaikovsky's emotional life plays out in his music. Long hidden behind sanitised depictions by his brother and the Russian authorities, Tchaikovsky: The Man Revealed examines the complex and contradictory character of this great artist, and how he came to take his rightful place among the world's greatest composers.
  • BRIVY
    • £20.00
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £5.00Save 20.00%
    Handel in London tells the story of a young German composer who in 1712, followed his princely master to London and would remain there for the rest of his life. That master would become King George II and the composer was George Frideric Handel. Handel, then still only twenty-seven and largely self-taught, would be at the heart of musical activity in London for the next four decades, composing masterpiece after masterpiece, whether the glorious coronation anthem, Zadok the Priest, operas such as Giulio Cesare, Rinaldo and Alcina or the great oratorios, culminating, of course, in Messiah. Here, Jane Glover, who has conducted Handel's work in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, draws on her profound understanding of music and musicians to tell Handel's story. It is a story of music-making and musicianship, of practices and practicalities, but also of courts and cabals, of theatrical rivalries and of eighteenth-century society. It is also, of course, the story of some of the most remarkable music ever written, music that has been played and sung, and loved, in this country - and throughout the world - for three hundred years.
  • AZIVH
    • £20.00
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £5.00Save 20.00%
    The story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life is well known. Austrian-born to a tyrannical father who worked him --fiercely; unhappily married to a spendthrift woman; a child-like character ill at ease amid the aristocratic splendour of the Viennese court; a musical genius who died young thus depriving the world of future glories.; Yet only that last point is really true. In this comprehensive biography, John Suchet examines the many myths and misunderstandings surrounding the world's best-loved composer. From his early days as a child prodigy performing for the imperial royal family in Vienna to the last months of his short life, driven to exhaustion by a punitive workload, one thing remained constant: his happy disposition.; Through trials and tribulations, grand successes and disheartening setbacks, Suchet shows us the real Mozart - blessed with an abundance of talent yet sometimes struggling to earn a living. His mischievous nature and earthy sense of humour, his ease and confidence in his own incredible abilities; these were traits that never left him. His music has brought comfort to countless generations; his life, though brief, is no less fascinating.
  • BRNGN
    • £18.39
    • RRP £22.99
    • Save £4.60Save 20.00%
    Elliott Carter (1908-2012) was the foremost composer of classical music in America during the second half of the 20th century. Over the course of a career that spanned seven decades, he consistently produced works that critics hailed as creatively daring, intellectually demanding, and emotionally complex. Distancing himself from the various "schools" and movements that grew and waned in popularity during the postwar era, Carter cultivated a deeply personal musical style that he developed and refined up until the very end of his life. This book springs from author David Schiff's life-long interest in Elliott Carter's music and his close personal connection with the composer which spanned over forty years. This critical overview of Carter's life and work explores aspects of the composer's life about which he was usually reticent-and occasionally misleading-such as his complicated relationships with Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Nicolas Nabokov, and his own parents. Schiff's study of Carter's complete oeuvre-from his politically charged Depression-era ballets to the deeply personal and reflective late works-is based on extensive study of the composer's personal sketches and letters. Featuring an in-depth look at the legacy project of Carter's final decade, seven settings of American modernist poetry by E.E. Cummings, T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams, this newest addition to the Master Musicians Series paints with a fine brush the story of America's foremost composer of the second half of the twentieth century.
  • BALKE
    • £15.89
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £4.11Save 19.999999999999999289457264239899814128875732421875%
    Jan Swafford's biographies of composers Charles Ives and Johannes Brahms have established him as a revered music historian, capable of bringing his subjects vibrantly to life. His magnificent new biography of Ludwig van Beethoven peels away layers of legend to get to the living, breathing human being who composed some of the world's most iconic music. Swafford mines sources never before used in English-language biographies to reanimate the revolutionary ferment of Enlightenment-era Bonn, where Beethoven grew up and imbibed the ideas that would shape all of his future work. Swafford then tracks his subject to Vienna, capital of European music, where Beethoven built his career in the face of critical incomprehension, crippling ill health, romantic rejection, and 'fate's hammer', his ever-encroaching deafness. At the time of his death he was so widely celebrated that over ten thousand people attended his funeral. This book is a biography of Beethoven the man and musician, not the myth, and throughout, Swafford - himself a composer - offers insightful readings of Beethoven's key works. More than a decade in the making, this will be the standard Beethoven biography for years to come.
  • BMPVW
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £4.00Save 20.00%
    Claude Debussy was that rare creature, a composer who reinvented the language of music without alienating the majority of music lovers. He is the modernist everyone loves. How did he manage this? Was it through the association of his music with visual images, or was it simply that, by throwing out the rule book of the Paris Conservatoire where he studied, his music put beauty of sound above the spiritual ambitions of the German tradition from which those rules derived. Stephen Walsh's thought-provoking biography, told partly through the events of Debussy's life, and partly through a critical discussion of his music, addresses these and other questions about one of the most influential composers of the early twentieth century.
  • BRHXR
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £4.00Save 20.00%
    Schumann: The Faces and the Masks is a groundbreaking account of a major composer whose life and works have been the subject of intense controversy ever since his attempted suicide and early death in an insane asylum. Schumann was a key figure in the Romanticism which swept Europe and America in the 19th century, inspiring writers, musicians and painters, delighting their enthralled audiences, and reaching to the furthest corners of the world. All the contradictions of his age enter Schumann's works, from the fantastic disguises of his carnival masquerades and his passionate love songs to his great 'Spring' and 'Rhenish' Symphonies. He was intensely original and imaginative, but he also worshipped the past-especially Shakespeare and Byron, Raphael and Michelangelo, Beethoven and Bach. He believed in political, personal and artistic freedom but struggled with the constraints of artistic form. He turned his tumultuous life into music that speaks directly to the heart, losing none of its power with the passage of time. Drawing on hitherto unpublished archive material, Chernaik sheds new light on Schumann's life and music, his sexual escapades, his fathering of an illegitimate child, the true facts behind his courtship of his wife Clara and the opposition of her monstrous father, and the ways in which the crises of his life, his dreams and fantasies, entered his music. Schumann's troubled relations with his fellow-Romantic composers Mendelssohn and Chopin are freshly explored, and the full medical diary kept at Endenich Asylum, long withheld, enables Chernaik to solve the mystery of Schumann's final illness. Using her wide experience as a scholar of Romanticism and a novelist, Chernaik vividly brings Schumann's world and his extraordinary artistic achievement to life in all its rich complexity.
  • AZXWS
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £4.00Save 20.00%
    Glasgow has always been known for its live music, and at the heart of any music community it is the live venues and buildings that are important, and play host to local and touring acts. One of the main reasons for Glasgow's continued blossoming as a cultural capital is the infrastructure of clubs and buildings available for live performances. This book in glorious colour throughout tells the history of the city's music through Glasgow's famous landmark buildings by people best placed to tell those stories - music writers and journalists and historians. This book is a collection of memories and stories about the buildings that hosted stars such as Michael Jackson, Joan Armatrading, Joy Division, among many thousands more - ranging from the Apollo to the Pavilion, Piping Centre, Sub Club and King Tut's.
  • BTOLS
    • £15.19
    • RRP £18.99
    • Save £3.80Save 20.00%
    On 29 May 1913, at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, a new ballet by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, received its premiere. Many of the cultural big names of Paris were there, or were rumoured to have been there: Debussy, Ravel, Proust, Gertrude Stein, Picasso. When the curtain rose on a cast of frenziedly stamping dancers, a near-riot ensued, ensuring the evening would enter the folklore of modernism. While it was the dancing that triggered the mayhem, Stravinsky's score contained shocks enough, with its innovations in form, rhythm, dissonance and its sheer sonic power. The Rite of Spring would achieve recognition in its own right as a concert piece, and is now seen as one of the most influential works of the 20th century. Gillian Moore explores the cultural climate that created The Rite, tells the story of the creation of the music and the ballet and provides a guide to the music itself, showing how a scandalous novelty of 1913 became a 21st-century concert staple. As well as considering its influence on 20th-century classical composers, she probes The Rite's impact on film music (including scores for Star Wars and Jaws); its extensive influence on jazz musicians (including Charlie Parker) and by artists as diverse as Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa and The Pet Shop Boys.
  • AQHFN
    • £13.49
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £3.50Save 20.000000000000000142108547152020037174224853515625%
    Franz Schubert's Winterreise is at the same time one of the most powerful and one of the most enigmatic masterpieces in Western culture. In his new book, Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession, Ian Bostridge - one of the work's finest interpreters - focusses on the context, resonance and personal significance of a work which is possibly the greatest landmark in the history of Lieder. Drawing equally on his vast experience of performing this work (he has performed it more than a hundred times), on his musical knowledge and on his training as a scholar, Bostridge unpicks the enigmas and subtle meaning of each of the twenty-four songs to explore for us the world Schubert inhabited, bringing the work and its world alive for connoisseurs and new listeners alike. Originally intended to be sung to an intimate gathering, performances of Winterreise now pack the greatest concert halls around the world. Though not strictly a biography of Schubert, Schubert's Winter Journey succeeds in offering an unparalleled insight into the mind and work of the great composer. "Usually great singers cannot explain what they do. Ian Bostridge can. Whether or not you know Schubert's 'Winter Journey', the book is gripping because it explains, in probing, simple words, how a doomed love is transformed into art." (Richard Sennett).
  • AVXGM
    • £13.59
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £3.40Save 20.00%
    In 1805, the world of music was set on its ears by a new work from a German composer. Intellectually and emotionally, Beethoven's Third Symphony, the 'Eroica', was revolutionary music. After those first two stunning chords, Western music was never the same again. And the whiff of actual political revolution was woven into the work, for it was originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, a dangerous hero for a composer dependent on conservative royal patronage. James Hamilton-Paterson reconstructs this great moment in Western culture, the shock of the music and the symphony's long afterlife. The Landmark Library is a testament to the achievements of mankind from the late stone age to the present day. Each volume is handsomely illustrated and carries a text of 25,000 words devoted to a crucial theme in the history of civilization.
  • BQNQU
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £3.00Save 20.00%
    Carl Vine's engaging Strutt Sonata for cello and piano was premiered at the 2017 Huntington Estate Music Festival by Julian Smiles and Ian Munro. Named after John Strutt and commissioned by his wife Josephine, this single 15-minute movement includes a lyrical aria that returns in darkly mirrored form and a joyous presto finale.
  • BRYKO
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £3.00Save 20.00%
    A conductor is one of classical music's most recognizable figures. Many people who have never actually been to an orchestral concert have an image of what one looks like. But rarely does such a well-known profession attract so many questions: 'Surely orchestras can play perfectly well without you? Do you really make any difference to the performance?' This book is not intended to be an instruction manual for conductors, nor is it a history of conducting. It is for all who wonder what conductors actually do. Exploring the relationships with the musicians and music they conduct, and the public and personal responsibilities they face, leading conductor Mark Wigglesworth writes with engaging honesty about the role for any music lover curious to know whether or not the profession really matters.
  • AREKC
    • £10.39
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £2.60Save 20.00%
    The long-awaited memoir by 'the most prolific and popular of all contemporary composers' (New York Times). Rapturous in its ability to depict the creative process, Words Without Music allows readers to experience that sublime moment of creative fusion when life merges with art. Biography lovers will be inspired by the story of a precocious Baltimore boy, the son of a music-shop owner, who entered college at age fifteen, before traveling to Paris to study under the legendary Nadia Boulanger; Glass devotees will be fascinated by the stories behind Einstein on the Beach and Satyagraha, among so many other works. Whether recalling his experiences working at Bethlehem Steel, traveling in India, driving a cab in 1970s New York, or his professional collaborations with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Ravi Shankar, Robert Wilson, Doris Lessing, and Martin Scorsese, Words Without Music affirms the power of music to change the world. Martin Scorsese on Words Without Music: 'I came to Philip Glass' music very simply, without any critical prodding or guidance. I listened and I was transfixed. The music was dynamic and colorful and mysterious all at once, and it put me in mind of the Zen exercise of sitting before a blank wall and contemplating the question, "What is this?" It's music that seems to go beyond music. It doesn't just stay with you, it infuses and energizes and haunts you, and carries a sense of being alive, a perception of existence itself, the rhythm of living this life. Philip's music has come to mean more and more to me as the years have gone by. I was excited to work with Philip on Kundun, and he exceeded my wildest expectations by giving us a score that was genuinely transcendent. He's exceeded my expectations again with this rich and beautifully written memoir. Who knew that he was as good a writer as he is a composer?'