Piano Notes: The World of the Pianist [EPUB]
13 January 2017, 23:17
2002 | EPUB | 2.36MB
Charles Rosen is one of the world's most talented pianists -- and one of music's most astute commentators. Known as a performer of Bach, Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Elliott Carter, he has also written highly acclaimed criticism for sophisticated students and professionals.
In Piano Notes, he writes for a broader audience about an old friend -- the piano itself. Drawing upon a lifetime of wisdom and the accumulated lore of many great performers of the past, Rosen shows why the instrument demands such a stark combination of mental and physical prowess. Readers will gather many little-known insights -- from how pianists vary their posture, to how splicings and microphone placements can ruin recordings, to how the history of composition was dominated by the piano for two centuries. Stories of many great musicians abound. Rosen reveals Nadia Boulanger's favorite way to avoid commenting on the performances of her friends ("You know what I think," spoken with utmost earnestness), why Glenn Gould's recordings suffer from "double-strike" touches, and how even Vladimir Horowitz became enamored of splicing multiple performances into a single recording. Rosen's explanation of the piano's physical pleasures, demands, and discontents will delight and instruct anyone who has ever sat at a keyboard, as well as everyone who loves to listen to the instrument.
In the end, he strikes a contemplative note. Western music was built around the piano from the classical era until recently, and for a good part of that time the instrument was an essential acquisition for every middle-class household. Music making was part of the fabric of social life. Yet those days have ended. Fewer people learn the instrument today. The rise of recorded music has homogenized performance styles and greatly reduced the frequency of public concerts. Music will undoubtedly survive, but will the supremely physical experience of playing the piano ever be the same?
The Don Giovanni Moment: Essays on the Legacy of an Opera [EPUB]
12 January 2017, 06:10
2008 | EPUB | 18.17MB
Mozart's Don Giovanni is an operatic masterpiece full of iconic and mythical tensions that still resonate today. The work redefines the terms of power, seduction, and morality, and the resulting conflict between the aesthetic and the ethical is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment and romanticism.
The Don Giovanni Moment is the first book to examine the aesthetic and moral legacy of Mozart's opera in the literature, philosophy, and culture of the nineteenth century. The prominent scholars in this collection address the opera's impact on the philosophical visions of Kierkegaard, Goethe, and Williams and its influence on the literary and dramatic works of Pushkin, Hoffmann, Mörike, Byron, Wagner, Strauss, and Shaw. Through a close and careful analysis of Don Giovanni's literary and philosophical reception and its many appropriations, rewritings, and retellings, these contributors treat the opera as a vantage point from which theory and philosophy can reconsider romanticism's central themes.
As lively and passionate as the opera itself, these essays continue the spirited debate over the meaning and character of Don Giovanni and its powerful legacy. Together they prove that Mozart's brilliant artistic achievement is as potent and relevant today as when it was first performed two centuries ago.
Thinking Together: An E-Mail Exchange and All That Jazz [EPUB]
11 January 2017, 13:45
2013 | EPUB | 2.06MB
Faulkner and Becker, sociologists and experienced musicians, wrote a book about their musical experiences—Do You Know? The Jazz Repertoire in Action—describing how musicians who didn’t know each other could perform competently and interestingly without rehearsing, or playing from written music. When they wrote it, they lived at opposite ends of the country: Faulkner in Massachusetts, Becker in San Francisco. Instead of sitting around talking about their ideas, they wrote e-mails. So every step of their thinking, false steps as well as ideas that worked, existed in written form.
When conceptual artist and poet Franck Leibovici asked them to contribute something that showed the “form of life” that supported their work, they collaborated with Dianne Hagaman to put the correspondence in order, which Liebovici exhibited and now appears as an e-book (which allows linking to available performances of the tunes they discussed).
It’s one of the most revealing records of a scientific collaboration ever made public, and an intimate picture of the creative process.
Collective creativity—making sparks of originality produce something more than a glint in someone’s eye—intrigues sociologists, people who study communication and theorists of business organization. The collective part of that process, turning an idea into a finished product, is even more complicated, and Thinking Together readers can watch the authors go through all the complications of working together to make the final result happen.