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First Nights: Five Musical Premieres

Kelly, Thomas Forrest

ISBN 10: 0300077742 / ISBN 13: 9780300077742
Published by May 2000, New Haven, 2000
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since December 5, 1997

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

387 pages, b&w illustrations throughout. Remainder marks to top and bottom edge. Light edge wear to dust jacket. Else a very clean, tight copy. Record # 451907. Bookseller Inventory # 451907

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Bibliographic Details

Title: First Nights: Five Musical Premieres

Publisher: May 2000, New Haven

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

This lively book takes us back to the first performances of five famous musical compositions: Monteverdi's Orfeo in 1607, Handel's Messiah in 1742, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in 1824, Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique in 1830, and Stravinsky's Sacre du printemps in 1913. Thomas Forrest Kelly sets the scene for each of these premieres, describing the cities in which they took place, the concert halls, audiences, conductors, and musicians, the sound of the music when it was first performed (often with instruments now extinct), and the popular and critical responses. He explores how performance styles and conditions have changed over the centuries and what music can reveal about the societies that produce it. Kelly tells us, for example, that Handel recruited musicians he didn't know to perform Messiah in a newly built hall in Dublin; that Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was performed with a mixture of professional and amateur musicians after only three rehearsals; and that Berlioz was still buying strings for the violas and mutes for the violins on the day his symphony was first played. Kelly's narrative, which is enhanced by extracts from contemporary letters, press reports, account books, and other sources, as well as by a rich selection of illustrations, gives us a fresh appreciation of these five masterworks, encouraging us to sort out our own late twentieth-century expectations from what is inherent in the music.

Review:

"Kelly's engaging, fast-paced narrative makes music, an ineffable art, come alive for the general reader. This is a book that anyone with an interest in the arts can read and enjoy." Craig Wright, Yale University

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Monroe Street Books. Owners: Richard and Flanzy Chodkowski. Mailing address: Monroe Street Books, 70 Monroe Street, Middlebury, Vermont 05753 USA. Store Located at: 1485 Route 7 North, Middlebury, Vermont 05753 USA. Phone: 1-802-398-2200 Email: books@monroestreetbooks.com
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