previews and reviews

new Music Books


selected reviews...


Books For UNITED KINGDOM & European orders

    Posted 3 May 2001

    Pied Piper : The Many Lives of Noah Greenberg (Lives in Music Series, No. 4.) by James Gollin   Our Price: $46.00 Publication date: March 1, 2001 Binding: Hardcover Subjects: Greenberg, Noah; Conductors (Music); New York (State) ISBN: 1576470415 More Info: ...more details here

    Returning Cycles: Contexts for the Interpretation of Schubert's Impromptus and Last Sonatas (California Studies in Nineteenth Century Music) by Charles Fisk   Our Price: $45.00 Publication date: March 12, 2001 Binding: Hardcover Subjects: Schubert, Franz,; 1797-1828; Impromptus, ISBN: 0520225643 More Info: ...more details here

    Skeptical Music : Essays on Modern Poetry by David Bromwich   Our Price: $49.00 Publication date: April 2001 Binding: Hardcover Subjects: American poetry; 20th century; History and criticism ISBN: 0226075605 More Info: ...more details here

    Skeptical Music : Essays on Modern Poetry by David Bromwich   Our Price: $16.00 Publication date: April 2001 Binding: Paperback Subjects: American poetry; 20th century; History and criticism ISBN: 0226075613 More Info: ...more details here

    Profiting from Your Music and Sound Project Studio by Jeffery Fisher, Jeffrey P. Fisher   Our Price: $15.16 -- You Save: $3.79 (20%) Publication date: April 2001 Binding: Paperback Subjects: Music; Performing Arts (Specific Aspects); Economic Aspects Of Music ISBN: 1581151004 More Info: ...more details here

    Jazz and the Germans : Essays on the Influence of 'Hot' American Idioms on 20th Century German   Music by Michael J. Budds(Editor)   Our Price: $38.00 Publication date: April 2001 Binding: Paperback Subjects: Music; History & Criticism; International ISBN: 1576470725 More Info: ...more details here

    Ladies of Soul (American Made Music Series) by David Freeland   Our Price: $46.00 Publication date: April 2001 Binding: Hardcover Subjects: Women singers; United States; Biography ISBN: 1578063302 More Info: ...more details here

    Ladies of Soul (American Made Music Series) by David Freeland   Our Price: $16.00 -- You Save: $4.00 (20%) Publication date: April 2001 Binding: Paperback Subjects: Women singers; United States; Biography ISBN: 1578063310 More Info: ...more details here

    Honky-Tonk Gospel : The Story of Sin and Salvation in Country Music by Thomas L. Wilmeth, Gene Edward, Jr. Veith   Our Price: $14.39 -- You Save: $3.60 (20%) Publication date: April 2001 Binding: Paperback Subjects: Country music; Religious aspects; Christianity ISBN: 0801063558 More Info: ...more details here

    Piano Music for Four Hands by Roger Grenier, Alice Kaplan(Translator)   Our Price: $45.00 Publication date: April 2001 Binding: Hardcover Subjects: Fiction; French (Language) Contemporary Fiction; Music ISBN: 0803221819 More Info: ...more details here

    Thomas May, Editor:

    "Give My Regards to Eighth Street: Collected Writings of Morton Feldman"
    B. H. Friedman
    ...more here.
    "Give My Regards to Eighth Street," a collection of Morton Feldman's writings, gathers numerous essays, critiques, and speeches from the maverick composer. Feldman was never one to mince words, and this anthology offers a fascinating glimpse into his philosophy on music, art, and composing. Whether he criticizes the hype surrounding Pierre Boulez or reminisces about the genius of John Cage, Feldman's sharp wit and insights are as mesmerizing as his music.

    "Heifetz As I Knew Him"
    Ayke Agus
    ...more here.
    The life of Ayke Agus, a prominent violin and piano prodigy from Indonesia, intersected with that of her personal idol, Jascha Heifetz, when she entered his master class at the University of Southern California. It was a fateful encounter that led to an often painful love-hate relationship for some 15 years, with Agus serving as the virtuoso legend's accompanist and companion. Her memoir gives a new wrinkle to the "warts and all" approach.

    "Mahler Remembered"
    Norman Lebrecht
    ...more here.
    Music journalism's favorite muckraker, Norman Lebrecht, is a virtuosic writer. His delectable talents are apparent even when culling primary sources into an anthology, as he does in this superb collection of observations by those who had personal contact with Mahler (enemies as well as advocates). Originally published in the late 1980s, "Mahler Remembered" makes a welcome--and attractively priced--comeback in Faber & Faber's series and is a must for any true Mahlerian.

    "The Wagners: The Dramas of a Musical Dynasty"
    Nike Wagner
    ...more here.
    The great-granddaughter of a very, very famous man, Nike Wagner is a music critic and culture writer based in Berlin. "The Wagners" gives her own perspective--albeit filtered through a trenchant historical and psychoanalytical intelligence--on one of the most complicated families this side of the House of Atreus. Wagner interprets the patriarch's music dramas and then turns her focus to the Festival's role in his legacy. She addresses head-on the disturbing realities of Bayreuth in the Third Reich, as well as the visionary breakthroughs of Wieland's productions, and she considers the Festival's fate as Wolfgang seeks to control the transition of power.

    "Birth of the Cool: Beat, Bebop, and the American Avant-Garde"
    Lewis MacAdams
    ...more here.
    Lewis MacAdams, a poet and film historian, explores personal and political contexts in this photo-friendly, live-wire meditation on the core concepts of cool, covering the lords of bebop, the action painters, and the blissed-out Beats. This will offer another perspective on the artistry of jazz for those intrigued by Ken Burns's recent documentary series.

    "The Cambridge Companion to Ravel (Cambridge Companions to Music)" Deborah Mawer
    ...more here.
    This recent addition to Cambridge University Press's companions to the great composers offers an often illuminating overview of the life, work, and concerns--including piano, ballet, and exoticism--of Maurice Ravel. Contributors include Robert Orledge, Mark DeVoto, and Deborah Mawer, among others; the essays focus on Ravel's aesthetic, his polymorphous musicality, and his performance styles and reception.


    Mozart Downloads
    Following her success as part of the all-out smash cast in last year's recording of the Handel opera "Alcina," French soprano Natalie Dessay turns to the music of Mozart in her latest effort. "Mozart Heroines" includes well-loved arias from "The Magic Flute," but Dessay also applies her silken vocal technique to portray characters from lesser-known works such as "Zaide" (from which you can download the exquisite "Ruhe sanft").
    ...more here.

    Go to all Opera/Vocal downloads
    ...more here.

    Go to all Instrumental downloads
    ...more here.

    COMPOSER STORES's classical music site includes specialty stores with a focus on many of the great composers, including articles and CD recommendations. Here are some examples:

    J.S. Bach
    ...more here.

    ...more here.

    ...more here.

    ...more here.

    Hello! Perhaps this is a good time to tell you about our new book, "Making Music with Your Child".
    Contact: Marcia Lee Goldberg

    "Making Music with Your Child" offers a perfect way to be involved with one’s own child in creativity and learning. Kia Portafekas and co-author Karen Marlow present an unconventional way of teaching—using color, movement, sound, and imagination to take you beyond the process of reading and playing notes.

    "Making Music with Your Child" was partially funded by NARAS, the Grammy foundation. This book is the result of a dream the authors share—that of children growing up in an environment that encourages freedom, self-expression, and individuality. It offers children and parents opportunities to relate to each other, express emotions and feelings, and share in the bond of creating something special together.

    The first part of the book describes the authors' philosophy toward music making and creativity, and outlines their approach. The second part of the book offers 100 "riffs" (exercises/activities) for parent and child.

    Producers for the two major television stations in Phoenix were so taken with the "proof" copies of this book and phone interviews with Kia, that "Arizona News" and "Good Morning Arizona" will feature Kia on statewide broadcasts in early June. Kia has been in communication with producers of two national TV talk-shows. We expect dates to be confirmed shortly presenting Kia and the book on their programs.

    Even with her teaching and concert schedule, Kia is making herself available for Keynote presentations at various music and education conferences. I know she will inspire participants with her philosophy and creative ideas.

    "Making Music with Your Child" is priced at a reasonably affordable $12.95.

    More Music Books, from Editor, Thomas May...

    "Notes from the Pianist's Bench"
    Boris Berman
    ...more here.
    There's a very short list of good books on the topic of piano pedagogy, as many a budding artist of the keyboard can attest. Fortunately, one new, up-to-date practical guide can now be added, thanks to Boris Berman's thoughtful, commonsensical "Notes from the Pianist's Bench," which covers such topics as fidelity to the score, the significance of breath, finger control, and even Stanislavskian ideas of performance.

    "The Unknown Callas: The Greek Years"
    Nicholas Petsalis-Diomidis
    ...more here.
    Nicholas Petsalis-Diomidis's intimate study was first published in Greek in 1998 and centers on a story of almost miraculous transformation, which is still compelling even in our jaded era of instant makeovers. His biography renders the early life of Maria Callas in meticulous detail, focusing on what has hitherto largely been a blank spot: the period during which Callas left New York and spent her formative years in Greece during the Second World War.

    "Singers of the Century"
    J. B. Steane
    ...more here.
    J.B. Steane's regular appearances in Gramophone continually shore up his reputation as one of today's most perceptive critics to be engaged in that particularly treacherous area of music writing: how to convey the essence of the singer's art. Steane has cultivated an extraordinary style, brilliantly lyrical yet lucid, to convey his immense, connoisseurlike experience and enthusiasm. This third volume in his "Singers of the Century" series continues Steane's delightfully polished vignettes of vocalists, from the golden age to such current superstars as Cecilia Bartoli and Renée Fleming.

    "America's Musical Life: A History"
    Richard Crawford
    ...more here.
    What exactly is American music, and what has the United States contributed to the world's musical legacy? Much of the answer, according to Richard Crawford, lies in the intersection of the fields of traditional, popular, and classical idioms. "America's Musical Life: A History" is an ambitious attempt to trace the complex identity of this art in America, ranging from Native American song and Pilgrim psalmody to the pluralistic explosion of contemporary vernaculars.

    "The Undiscovered Paul Robeson, Volume 1 (1898-1939)"
    Paul Robeson Jr.
    ...more here.
    It's a tragedy that so few today know of the legacy of Paul Robeson, a Renaissance man far ahead of his time--and one with whom his country has yet to catch up. This is the first volume of an extensive biography by Robeson's journalist son, who draws on diaries and private letters to try to assess the meaning of his father's accomplishments and to untangle the circumstances that led to their being obscured.

    "Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other Arts"
    Daniel Albright
    ...more here.
    Daniel Albright's provocative and mind-bending attempt to model a more compelling paradigm for understanding the phenomenon of modernism in art has already generated some heady responses. With an affinity for the genre-crossing richness of vision that characterized "Wittgenstein's Vienna" a generation ago, Albright considers the kinds of collaborative projects--featuring a musical component--that encode the larger aims of modernism (including the work of Stravinsky, Apollinaire, Schoenberg, and Gertrude Stein) as measured against earlier models of consonance and the "total artwork."


    Wagner's "Parsifal"
    If the Met's seasonal revival of its acclaimed "Parsifal" production under James Levine has stirred your interest, here are some links available on for further exploration of the work some believe to be Wagner's greatest music drama:

    Digital download: "Good Friday Spell"
    ...more here.

    Digital download: "Flower Maidens"
    ...more here.

    Parsifal essay
    ...more here.

    Syberberg's Parsifal
    ...more here.

    Cambridge opera handbook
    ...more here.

    Wolfram's Parzival
    ...more here.

    Get Started in Wagner
    ...more here.


    Visit our newly expanded digital download area for samples from a wide variety of operas and choral music. Here are some currently available downloads featuring the music of J.S. Bach:
    Aria from "Ich habe genug"
    ...more here.
    Aria from "Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott"
    ...more here.
    Violin Concerto in A Minor
    ...more here.
    Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor
    ...more here.
    "Sanctus" from B Minor Mass
    ...more here.
    "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"
    ...more here.
    More downloads
    ...more here.


    Until about 20 years ago, the only Russian operas performed in most American opera houses were Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin" and "The Queen of Spades" and Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov." But once-obscure operas, such as Tchaikovsky's "Mazeppa" and Prokofiev's "The Gambler," are now entering the permanent repertory of several American opera companies. contributor Stephen Wigler explains how the collapse of Communism made the United States ripe for a Russian operatic invasion.
    ...more here.


    The beloved operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan live on in community productions as well as on video. The most comprehensive series, from Opera World, collects 12 different shows in performances filmed for television in the 1980s, and many of them are available in English-subtitled versions that will help you keep up with Gilbert's intricate lyrics.
    ...more here.


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