Choral Masterworks from Bach to Britten: Reflections of a Conductor

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9780810859036: Choral Masterworks from Bach to Britten: Reflections of a Conductor
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Sixteen of classical music's greatest choral compositions are discussed at length in Choral Masterworks from Bach to Britten: Reflections of a Conductor. Pieces such as Bach's Mass in B Minor and St. Matthew's Passion, Schubert's Mass in G, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, Verdi's Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Britten's War Requiem are examined and analyzed in an effort to help performers, students, and listeners more fully understand and appreciate these significant works. Choral professor and conductor Robert J. Summer has combined his personal observations with shared ideas from some of the greatest choral conductors of our time, including Robert Shaw, Sir David Willcocks, Donald Neuen, Julius Herford, and Robert Page. His experiences with some of these conductors, such as his collaboration with Robert Shaw on the recording of Mahler's 8th Symphony, are captured in detail, paying homage to the conductor, the composer, and the work.

Each chapter focuses on an individual work and presents musical analysis, structure, textual symbolism, and identification of traits that endear the work to performers and listeners. Summer comments on the function and relationship of solos, recitatives, and choruses, offering suggestions and considerations for preparing the works for performance. The textual organization of many works is included in appendixes, and the book concludes with a bibliography and a selected discography. Choral Masterworks from Bach to Britten is appropriate both as a textbook for choral literature classes and as a listening guide for the general music lover.

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About the Author:

Robert J. Summer is professor of choral studies at the University of South Florida, Tampa and founding conductor of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay.

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Summer (choral studies, U. of South Florida, Tampa) discusses 15 choral compositions in depth for performers, students, and listeners. Pieces include Bach's Mass in B Minor, Handel's Messiah , Haydn's Creation , Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem , Mahler's Symphony No. 8, requiems by Duruflé and Fauré, and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms . He analyzes each piece and discusses conducting considerations, historical context, and textual elements. (Reference and Research Book News, May 2007)

Happily, the writing connects analysis with practice! It does so easily and consistently, making the writing approachable and attractive to those who practice the art of teaching and conducting choral music. (Dr. Doreen Rao, Elmer Iseler Chair in Choral Conducting, University of Toronto)

Your account of the rehearsal and the performance of Mahler Eighth was both illuminating and deeply moving. I can't tell you how much I value reading or hearing about other musicians' experiences with my father; the stories form a bridge to his memory, and through them his spirit is kept alive. (Thomas Shaw)

The book gains validity from the fact that the author has actually conducted all of these works and "lived and breathed" them from the practical standpoint of a conductor, bringing them to life in performance, and not just as an academic pouring over the scores in the privacy of the studio....The scholarship is of the finest order, referencing classic established sources side-by-side with the most current musicological publications. The author has a wonderful way in whetting the reader's appetite for further study. (Dr. Bruce Chamberlain, Director of Choral Activities, University of Arizona)

Offers insightful, handy, and readable observations about a range of commonly known and loved large works. Those who would ordinarily collect such titles will find it indispensable. (The American Organist, Vol. 41, No. 9 (September 2007))

Recommended. (CHOICE, November 2007, Vol. 45, No. 3)

Robert Summer has written a book that should be considered for every choral conductor's library....It could also serve as an ideal textbook for an undergraduate choral literature class....A practical resource written from the vantage point of a performing musician. I strongly recommend this text. (Choral Journal, November 2007)

No matter how long we have been working as teachers/conductors, we continue to need inspiration and nourishment. This volume contains precisely the nourishment we need. For anyone who wants to know choral masterworks in greater depth, here is the source you have been waiting for. (Daniel Moe, Professor Emeritus of Oberlin College, Conservatory of Music)

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Book Description Scarecrow Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book presents a series of discussions about sixteen choral masterworks, facilitating conductors, singers, and instrumentalists who regularly perform these works and wish to know them in greater detail. Celebrated compositions such as Bach's Mass in B Minor, Mahler's 8th Symphony, Verdi's Requiem, and Britten's War Requiem, are examined in terms of textual symbolism, musical structure, and identification of endearing traits of each work. Seller Inventory # AAV9780810859036

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Book Description Scarecrow Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book presents a series of discussions about sixteen choral masterworks, facilitating conductors, singers, and instrumentalists who regularly perform these works and wish to know them in greater detail. Celebrated compositions such as Bach's Mass in B Minor, Mahler's 8th Symphony, Verdi's Requiem, and Britten's War Requiem, are examined in terms of textual symbolism, musical structure, and identification of endearing traits of each work. Seller Inventory # AAV9780810859036

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