The Classical Music Experience: Discover the Music of the World's Greatest Composers

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9781570719509: The Classical Music Experience: Discover the Music of the World's Greatest Composers
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The Ultimate Listener's Guide!

There are many books about classical music, but none capture the incredible range of musical styles and sounds as accessibly or in as compelling a way as The Classical Music Experience.

The Classical Music Experience tells the stories of forty-two of the world's most celebrated composers, ranging from Bach, Handel, Mozart and Beethoven to Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin and Bernstein. It weaves five hundred years of history and music into a rich tapestry of sound and story unlike any other book of its kind.

Read about the composers' lives and works, their passions and inspirations, and then listen to excerpts of their music on the accompanying CDs. In addition to the pieces covered in the book, Dr. Julius H. Jacobson gives recommendations of further works you may wish to listen to and explore on your own.

This is a volume to cherish and to return to again and again as you build your own classical music library and venture out to the symphony hall.

"Every beginner needs a place to begin. For a music lover, what better place to discover more about music than between the pages of another music lover's book? The Classical Music Experience makes it easy by taking you through the history of classical music composer by composer."
--Adam Duritz, lead singer, Counting Crows

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About the Author:

Julius H. Jacobson II, M.D., hailed as the father of microsurgery, is now the Director Emeritus of Vascular Surgery and Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He has five degrees, two of them honorary, but alas, none of them in music, one of his greatest loves. The Classical Music Experience is born from this passion.

Narrator Kevin Kline is an Academy and Tony Award-winning actor whose films include: The Big Chill, A Fish Called Wanda, Dave, In & Out, Sophie's Choice, and most recently Life As A House. His stage performances include Pirates of Penzance, Hamlet (PBS), Richard III, Henry V, Ivanov, and The Seagull.

From Publishers Weekly:

Jacobson, a vascular surgeon who has been a fan of classical music since his teens, is concerned that interest in this music is waning, so he has written a book to introduce the uninitiated to the basic repertoire of "those compositions most often heard at orchestral or chamber music concerts." Uninhibited by his lack of training in performance or music history, he plunges into accounts of 42 major composers, from Palestrina to Leonard Bernstein, chatting about their lives, their musical styles and their best-known compositions. Interspersed are a few pertinent definitions of musical terms, as well as digressions into other topics, such as the structure of the ear, an operation he performed on the artery of a conductor and trips he made to Slovakia (prompted by his discussion of Smetana). Although his sketches of the music are short and overly simple, he often succeeds in capturing the essence of a composer's style the "physical energy" and "dance-like forward motion" of Bach's Third Brandenburg Concerto; the "fine themes, interesting rhythms, rich orchestral sonorities" in Bruckner's symphonies; and the "dark coloring, yet brilliant sound" of Tchaikovsky's orchestration. Unfortunately, his decision not to include opera (except for Wagner) means that a number of popular composers, like Verdi, Rossini and Donizetti, are omitted. The book comes with two CDs containing fragments of some of the works covered. These snippets, with short introductions by actor Kevin Kline, are too brief to provide any real insight into the music (and Kline's delivery is surprisingly dry and faux academic). More helpful are the suggestions Jacobson makes for recordings to buy. The book is elementary and anecdotal, and the doctor's enthusiasm is infectious.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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