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Ornette Coleman's career encompassed the glory years of jazz and the American avant-garde. Born in segregated Fort Worth, Texas, during the Great Depression, the African American composer and musician was the zeitgeist incarnate. Steeped in the Texas blues tradition, Ornette and jazz grew up together, as the brassy blare of big band swing gave way to bebop, a faster music for a faster, post-war world. At the dawn of the Space Age and New York's 1960s counterculture, his music gave voice to the moment. Lauded by some, maligned by many, he forged a breakaway art sometimes called `the new thing' or `free jazz'. Featuring previously unpublished photographs of Ornette and his contemporaries, this is the compelling story of one of America's most adventurous musicians and the sound of a changing world.
"Great Operas of Wagner" is a hardback compendium of Michael Steen's eGuides (internet guides) to all the operas composed by Richard Wagner, the great German opera composer. The book is a companion to "Great Operas of Puccini", a similar hardback being published simultaneously. The books are associated with the series of internet guides, "The Great Opera Companion" subtitled "Guides to One hundred Best Operas". This is Steen's first venture into hardback self-publication, having previously been involved in the publication of internet ebooks. Recently, he has been developing the series of internet guides, "The Great Opera Companion", (see www.greatoperas.net). (1) Original purpose. The guides were originally designed to inform the author's wife (who is not especially enthusiastic about opera generally, or about Wagner), in a quick, efficient, light and amusing way, about what it would help her to know and expect when being taken to a performance. Also, people generally find that they do not have time, and there are too many distractions, to inform themselves once they have arrived in the foyer. A broad-ranging but economical, practical, crisp, and modern guide contributes greatly to appreciation and enjoyment. (2) Structure helpful to the user. Each individual guide, or chapter, is divided into sections. A quick grasp can be obtained from BACKGROUND and the following WHO'S WHO and WHAT'S WHAT (a short summary of the opera story and the roles). In TALKING POINTS the information is expanded, and may possibly facilitate conversation during the interval. ACT by ACT enables the opera-goer to `dig deeper', to appreciate further detail about the story and aspects of the music. The guides provide a brief potted biography of the composer, or a cross reference to one. (3) Self-standing guides. Each guide is self-standing and designed to be the sole point of reference for a specific opera. In such a structure, there is an inevitable element of duplication as information is amplified or repeated. Steen has had to judge the balance between making each guide easy to follow for the user, while avoiding too many cross-references. And the self-standing guide on Wagner's "Ring", (Part Two of the book) has been structured so that the individual components may be used comfortably by both those primarily interested in the full "Ring" cycle, on the one hand, and those wanting a guide to just part of the cycle, on the other. In such a structure, it is helpful for certain of the images to be repeated. This also provides an element of unity and cohesion to the publication. (4) Non-technical. It has been assumed that the user has not necessarily been taught music but is motivated, educated and intelligent. Only in the guides on the later Wagner operas are there a small number of musical examples quoted. To help the reader, the musical notation has been simplified. The examples are necessary to elaborate on Wagner's objectives. And to give substance to various expressions, such as to Wagner's `Tristan chord' which greatly influenced subsequent music; and to his leitmotives (recurring musical themes which Wagner uses to portray a person, object or emotion etc.). (5) User-friendly: indexes, summaries glossaries The hardbacks require indexes which are not so necessary in the ebook environment. Both hardbacks include a comprehensive index, including an index to some better known items, choruses etc. in the operas (for example, The Pilgrims' Chorus, and The Ride of the Valkyries). The Wagner book provides a separate index for the Wagner family. The comprehensive index on Wagner himself provides a means of following his personal and musical development. For "The Ring", a glossary of what George Bernard Shaw called `the curious harlequinade of gods, dwarfs and giants' is provided. (6) What about productions? There is well-identified controversy today about the extent to which it should be acceptable for opera directors to change the time and/or the place of story, the story itself, perhaps sensationalising it, maybe to attract and retain an audience's attention or to make some political point. Steen describes this as `hijacking' the opera. Each Guide carries a warning that the guides cannot anticipate a particular production which does not conform to the composer's intentions. Steen's individual guides are based on the actual text and score. They act as a benchmark against which an assessment can be made, albeit subjectively, about whether the opera is indeed the `composer's opera' or is mis-described as such. This is a judgemental matter. Productions inevitably have to be changed (for there are no castratos today, as there were in baroque opera) and they should take advantage of modern technology. But arguably many directors have pushed the limits beyond recognition such that it is questionable whether a particular production should properly be described as the composer's opera at all. Opera is entertainment. However entertaining and enjoyable a great evening may have been for an audience, the performance may have strayed beyond one which is faithful to the composer's intentions. (7) What about other opera guides - the associated eguides in "The Great Opera Companion" series? As indicated above, Steen has been developing the series of internet guides, "The Great Opera Companion" subtitled "Guides to One hundred Best Operas". This was begun in 2012 with the publication, again by Icon, of the hardback compendium "Great Operas - A Guide to 25 of the World's Finest Musical Experiences". Individual internet guides (eGuides) were subsequently published singly for iPad, Kindle etc. Apart from those published by Icon, they were subsequently withdrawn when their internet publisher (not Icon) unfortunately ceased trading early in 2016. The first twenty-five (those published by Icon) were supplemented in the further ebook compendiums "More Great Operas" (ISBN 9781483569123) and "Many More Great Operas" (ISBN 9780995538511). For convenience, the latter, although subtitled "A guide to 40 more of the world's finest musical experiences", has been periodically supplemented by the addition of many appendices of individual eGuides. (The series, as it stands, actually comprises one hundred and twenty eGuides, and a few more, depending on whether one counts one-act operas as one or two.) (8) What about the other opera guides available? These guides are broader in coverage, lighter in touch and more entertaining than opera material which is generally available on the internet, or in the standard hard-copy opera guides. They are easy to read, but authoritative. They are full of insights. They enable the user to get more value out of an evening at an opera, which is often an expensive one. (9) Some hurdles encountered. The author experienced various hiccups in the development of these guides, the most memorable being in 2016 when, on a Friday night, he was notified `out of the blue' that the company publishing on the internet had ceased to trade and that the work-in-progress was lost in the ether. It took a considerable time to recover the work. Steven Weekes, the Irishman who had been handling the project, had lost his job, and his working facilities (including his email address) had been withdrawn. It took a long time to identify him, contact him, and get the `show back on the road'. These guides are the perfect accompaniment to a Wagner opera. They are also useful in education, and in teaching musical appreciation. They will be valued by old and young, seasoned and unseasoned, whether attending Wagner performances in so many of the world's leading cities in North and South America, Asia, Australasia, Africa and Europe perhaps Sydney, Tokyo, Covent Garden or the Met. Or in the UK, at the innumerable venues, such as Glyndebourne. Even deep into the countryside of the British Isles, say, at Longborough. And the local village hall close to the author's home, which is amongst the 1,000 cinemas venues to which operas, including Wagner's are streamed. ABOUT MICHAEL STEEN Steen is author of the acclaimed "The Lives and Times of the Great Composers" (Icon, 2003). He has also written "Pauline Viardot, Soprano Muse and Lover" (Icon, 2007) about the nineteenth century French prima donna, and featuring her great friends, the Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev and the composer Charles Gounod. Recently, he has been developing the series of internet guides, "The Great Opera Companion" subtitled "Guides to One hundred Best Operas". Michael Steen OBE., Hon. RCM., was born in Dublin. He studied at the Royal College of Music, and was the organ scholar at Oriel College, Oxford. Opera has been one of his great pleasures. During a successful thirty year career in the City of London with KPMG, and afterwards, he has met many who go to it, thus gaining considerable insight into the information which it helps to know in order to enhance one's appreciation and enjoyment of the opera experience. He has been the chairman of the RCM Society and of the Friends of the V&A Museum, the Treasurer of The Open University, and a trustee of Anvil Arts, The Gerald Coke Handel Foundation and of The Royal College of Organists.
I was only sixteen when I bought an electric guitar and joined a band. A year later, I formed an all-girl band called the Marine Girls and played gigs, and signed to an indie label, and started releasing records. Then, for eighteen years, between 1982 and 2000, I was one half of the group Everything But the Girl. In that time, we released nine albums and sold nine million records. We went on countless tours, had hit singles and flop singles, were reviewed and interviewed to within an inch of our lives. I've been in the charts, out of them, back in. I've seen myself described as an indie darling, a middle-of-the-road nobody and a disco diva. I haven't always fitted in, you see, and that's made me face up to the realities of a pop career - there are thrills and wonders to be experienced, yes, but also moments of doubt, mistakes, violent lifestyle changes from luxury to squalor and back again, sometimes within minutes.
Wagner initiated Romantic image of the conductor as fiery, omniscient dictator of the podium. Here are his eloquent essays on role of the conductor, musical interpretation, many other topics. Still exciting and valid for the modern reader.
Bach and Tuning is strictly concerned with the identification of a historically accurate tuning paradigm that applies to the great majority of Johann Sebastian Bach's music. Once Bach has his personal tuning aesthetic acknowledged, a new dimension of meaning is invoked in performance through the intended interplay of diverse musical intervals. This new narrative lays bare Bach's mental calculations regarding his idealized intonation. Bach, the true chromatic composer of the Baroque, was the scion of a great music family. Likewise, Andreas Werckmeister was the bright star in a neighboring musical family, only a generation earlier. Bach and Tuning connects the valuable tuning contribution made by Werckmeister to Bach's musical masterpieces.
Book & CD. John Philip Sousa was the Beatles of his day -- America's first big superstar: conductor of over 14,000 concerts, composer of a hundred hit tunes, and author of three Broadway musicalsrunning at the same time! In 1900, he was the best-known musician in the world, living among presidents, corporate giants, and movie stars. Even today, millions hear and love his music. Schools, stages, highways, statues, and events are named after him. "The Stars and Stripes Forever" is the National March of the United States of America. Yet there was also a mystery about him: although he was the first to attempt a world tour with a 65-piece band, he never spoke to his audience. Just who was John Philip Sousa? This book tells the story about what made Sousa, SOUSA -- a story that his great-grandson John Philip Sousa IV is uniquely qualified to tell. This intimate portrait brings Sousa to life -- who he was, why he was driven to succeed, his love of country -- and explores his life and times through hundreds of photos, cartoons, short stories, news clippings, quotes, sheet music covers, and magazine ads, collected in family scrapbooks, the Sousa Archive in the Library of Congress, and U.S. Marines archives. This book also includes a bonus compact disc recording featuring The March King's most beloved works performed by his successors with "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band and a rare archival track of Sousa's own voice, introducing his band and playing his beloved "The Stars and Stripes Forever". The book reveals a quintessentially American story: It is the story of being born to poor immigrant parents and through immeasurable hard work, talent, and self-motivated drive, succeeding beyond dreams. But it is also a very personal story of a man with a vision: a man who saw great music ultimately as being from the heart and who sought to bring this music -- not just his own -- to the world. This is a compelling portrait of a great American: a heartfelt story that will resonate for generations to come.
The English composer William Alwyn was not only one of the most versatile creative figures of his age, writing music for the concert hall, recital room, operatic stage and film screen; he was also a virtuoso instrumentalist and conductor, the teacher of some of the most important composers of the succeeding generation, and the founder of a number of influential music committees such as the Composers' Guild of Great Britain. Alwyn was a gifted writer, too, alive to literature and art - especially pre-Raphaelite painting, on which he was an authority - as well as to music, and Composing in Words presents his most important writings: the autobiographical essay Winged Chariot; the diary, Ariel to Miranda, in which he chronicled the composition of his Third Symphony; an extract from Early Closing, Alwyn's reminiscences of his Northampton childhood; and essays on film music, and on other composers, among them Elgar, Bax and Puccini.
Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994) was one of the most important composers of the twentieth century. His significance extends far beyond his native Poland: his classical music was premiered by internationally renowned performers like the LaSalle Quartet and Krystian Zimerman, and his symphonies, concertante, chamber, instrumental and vocal music are produced by the leading labels of the recording industry. Lutoslawski's vita is just as captivating as his compositionally path-breaking music. He lived through the Second World War and brutal German oppression of Poland, negotiated the challenges of Soviet influence and fluctuating local politics during Poland's post-war transition to communism, and finally strove for a new voice in the post-Stalin Thaw of the mid-1950s. Lutoslawski's Worlds is a landmark volume which looks at the multi-faceted spheres that informed the composer's life and works and represents a new departure in the study of his music. Throughout his life, he steered musicologists away from the connections between his extraordinary biography and concert music. He also sought to minimize scholarly attention to the many other spheres of creative activity - popular music, theatre music, film scoring, propaganda music, and educational music - that occupied him. In this volume, for the first time, the world's leading Lutoslawski scholars consider the full range of his musical output and the biographical, cultural and historical contexts in which those musics were created. It contends that all of Lutoslawski's worlds are equally worthy of study, because each represents an opportunity better to understand the life and music of a figure of paramount importance to the critical and cultural history of twentieth-century music. LISA JAKELSKI is Associate Professor of Musicology at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. NICHOLAS REYLAND is Head of Undergraduate Programmes at the Royal Northern College of Music. Contributors: STANISLAW BEDKOWSKI, ANDREA F. BOHLMAN, DANUTA GWIZDALANKA, LISA JAKELSKI, MICHAEL L. KLEIN, IWONA LINDSTEDT, WIOLETA MURAS, KATARZYNA NALIWAJEK-MAZUREK, NICHOLAS REYLAND, ZBIGNIEW SKOWRON, STEVEN STUCKY, ADRIAN THOMAS, DAVID TOMPKINS, LISA COOPER VEST
'Idiosyncratic, humorous, enlightening and written by one of the finest conductors alive ... This is the book to buy if you are going to see Wagner or listen to him at home' LITERARY REVIEW Over a distinguished career conducting some of the world's finest orchestras, Christian Thielemann has earned a reputation as the leading modern interpreter of Richard Wagner. MY LIFE WITH WAGNER chronicles his ardent personal and professional engagement with the composer whose work has shaped his thinking and feeling from early childhood. Thielemann retraces his journey with Wagner - from Berlin to Bayreuth via Venice, Hamburg and Chicago. Next he takes each opera in turn, his appraisal illuminated by a deep affinity for the music, an intimate knowledge of the scores and the inside perspective of an outstanding practitioner. And yet for all the adulation Wagner's art inspires in him, Thielemann does not shy away from unpalatable truths about the man himself, explaining why today he is venerated and reviled in equal measure. The result is a richly rewarding read for admirers of a composer who continues to fascinate long after his death.
Billie Eilish - The Essential Fan Guide tells the story of one of the most unique and exciting pop stars on the planet. Follow the rise and rise of Billie – and her producer brother Finneas O'Connell – from bedroom singer to festival headliner with the No. 1 album in the world, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and the huge singles 'Bad Guy', 'Everything I Wanted' and the James Bond movie song 'No Time to Die'.
Filled with quotes from Billie and her closest collaborators, discussing fame, fashion, fans and more, Billie Eilish - The Essential Fan Guide takes you onstage, in the studio and behind the scenes with the most hyped artist of her generation.
Rick Buckler talks us through the formation of The Jam and their early days - being signed by Polydor, their first No 1 record, the video shoots, tours and beyond. Buckler also picks the 50 greatest Jam tracks and tells us how they were written, recorded and the stories behind every one of these classic songs. This book also critiques every Jam studio album as well as listing every Jam tour, The Jam on TV, Awards, video locations and more. This book was previously The Dead Straight Guide To The Jam.
The paperback edition of the bestselling biography. The Kinks are the quintessential British sixties band, revered for an incredible series of classic songs ('You Really Got Me', 'Waterloo Sunset' and 'Lola' to name but a few) and critically acclaimed albums (The Village Green Preservation Society). Featuring original interviews with key band members Ray Davies, his brother Dave and Mick Avory, as well as Chrissie Hynde and many others close to the group, every stage of their career is covered in fascinating detail: the hits, the American successes of the 1970s and the legendary band in-fighting. Nearly 50 years after they formed, The Kinks influence is still being felt today as strongly as ever.
In 1962 Mick Jagger was a bright, well-scrubbed boy (planning a career in the civil service), while Keith Richards was learning how to smoke and to swivel a six-shooter. Add the mercurial Brian Jones (who'd been effectively run out of Cheltenham for theft, multiple impregnations and playing blues guitar) and the wryly opinionated Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, and the potential was obvious. During the 1960s and 70s the Rolling Stones were the polarising figures in Britain, admired in some quarters for their flamboyance, creativity and salacious lifestyles, and reviled elsewhere for the same reasons. Confidently expected never to reach 30 they are now approaching their seventies and, in 2012, will have been together for 50 years. In The Rolling Stones, Christopher Sandford tells thehuman drama at the centre of the Rolling Stones story. Sandford has carried out interviews with those close to the Stones, family members (including Mick's parents), the group's fans and contemporaries - even examined their previously unreleased FBI files. Like no other book before The Rolling Stoneswill make sense of the rich brew of clever invention and opportunism, of talent, good fortune, insecurity, self-destructiveness, and of drugs, sex and other excess, that made the Stones who they are.
One hundred years after the singer's birth, Peggy Lee: A Century of Song brings to life the eventful career of an iconic performer whose contributions to the Great American Songbook, jazz, popular music, and film music remained unparalleled. Lee stood out among her peers as an exquisite singer possessing a cool vocal style, a songwriter frequently collaborating with leading composers of American jazz and film music, and a globally-loved entertainer with star quality. Tish Oney sheds new light upon this Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner's impressive musical talents while guiding the reader through the best of Lee's fifty-plus albums, radio and TV performances, creative contributions to the film industry, and over half a century of finely-polished live performances. Oney focuses on the evolution of Peggy Lee's recorded music, vocal development, artistic achievements, and contributions to American music while interviews with Lee's family, friends, and music colleagues reveal new insights and memories of this musical icon. Peggy Lee enables readers to discover a brilliant artist's inimitable legacy in the history of American popular music.
In this intimate and revealing memoir, Lou Reed s first wife finally tells the full story of her five-year relationship with the legendary New York singer and songwriter. Bettye met Lou in 1968 as a nineteen-year-old Columbia University student; they were married, briefly, in 1973. Their relationship spanned some of the most pivotal years of his life and career, from the demise of The Velvet Underground to the writing and recording of his seminal solo masterpieces Transformer, for which Lou wrote 'Perfect Day about an afternoon they spent together in the park, and Berlin, which draws on tales from Bettye s childhood. Here, Bettye looks back on their initially idyllic life together on the Upper East Side; Lou s struggle to launch a solo career after leaving perhaps the most influential rock band of all time; his work and friendships with fellow stars David Bowie and Iggy Pop; and his descent into drink and drug abuse following the success of Transformer, which sent him spinning out from gentle soul to rock n roll animal and brought a swift and calamitous end to their relationship. A powerful and poignant meditation on love, loss, and music, Perfect Day offers a fascinating new perspective on the life and legend of one of rock n roll s finest sons.
Hans Pfitzner's musical legend' Palestrina is considered in the German-speaking countries to be one of the supreme masterpieces of music, and yet it is all but unknown elsewhere. The opera, first performed in 1917, tells the story of the composer Palestrina, his struggle to compose following the death of his wife and in the face of anti-musical decrees from the Church, and his eventual composition of the Missa Papae Marcelli, which, it is said, was dictated to him by angles and reconciled the Church to contrapuntal music. The story, set against the historical background of the Council of Trent, is an allegory of the individual artist in society, as well as a statement of Pfitzner's own beliefs about the musical climate of his time. Toller discusses the music and the dramatic structure, and presents a comprehensive introduction to the background material in the many diverse fields encompassed by the opera. OWEN TOLLER is Head of Mathematics at Merchant Taylor's School; he is a member of the London Symphony Chorus and sings with a number of other groups. His interest in Pfitzner began when he sang in the first British performance of Palestrina, a semi-professional production by Abbey Opera in London in 1979.
The Sex Pistols have defined the look, sound, and feel of the punk movement since they formed in London in 1975. Together for less than three years a short run that included just four singles and one studio album before they broke up in 1978 their impact on the musical and cultural landscape of the last forty years is nothing short of remarkable. The Sex Pistols Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Paul Cook, and Glen Matlock (later to be replaced by Sid Vicious) were brought together by the cultural impresario Malcolm McLaren. Between the cultivated attitude of the players themselves, the aggressive management of McLaren, and the tremendous success of their era-defining album Never Mind the Bollocks Here s the Sex Pistols, the band embodied the punk spirit and coloured the worlds of music, fashion, youth culture, and design forever. Published to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of the band s formation, Johan Kugelberg and Jon Savage draw on an unprecedented wealth of mate- rial from McLaren s handwritten letters to never- before-seen photographs of the band, Jamie Reid s iconic album artwork, and a range of ephemera from concert tickets to fanzines to produce the most comprehensive visual history of the band ever produced and a bible of popular culture for years to come.
Quintessentially British, Genesis spearheaded progressive rock in the 1970s, evolving into a chart-topping success through the end of the millennium. Influencing rock groups such as Radiohead, Phish, and Pink Floyd, the experimental format of Genesis' songs provided new avenues for music to explore. From the 23-minute masterpiece "Supper's Ready," via the sublime beauty of "Ripples" and the bold experimentation of "Mama", to hits such as "Invisible Touch" and "I Can't Dance," their material was inventive and unique. This book is the chronological history of the band, with critical analysis and key details of each of the 204 songs Genesis recorded and released.
Beethoven's piano sonatas are a cornerstone of the piano repertoire and favourites of both the concert hall and recording studio. The sonatas have been the subject of much scholarship, but no single study gives an adequate account of the processes by which these sonatas were composed and published. With source materials such as sketches and correspondence increasingly available, the time is ripe for a close study of the history of these works. Barry Cooper, who in 2007 produced a new edition of all 35 sonatas, including three that are often overlooked, examines each sonata in turn, addressing questions such as: Why were they written? Why did they turn out as they did? How did they come into being and how did they reach their final form? Drawing on the composer's sketches, autograph scores and early printed editions, as well as contextual material such as correspondence, Cooper explores the links between the notes and symbols found in the musical texts of the sonatas, and the environment that brought them about. The result is a biography not of the composer, but of the works themselves.
How has a group conceived as a short-lived commodity outlived many more 'real' bands by nearly fifty years? Why are The Monkees still important, and what does this tell us about their music, their TV show, and our understanding of popular culture today? Despite being built in Hollywood, and not necessarily to last, that is precisely what their music, TV, and cinematic output has done. They in many ways unique-as the first 'made for TV' band, their success introduced methods of marketing pop that have since become standard industry practice; their 'big screen' use of film and images in live performance is likewise now a firmly established principle of concert staging; and in the way they changed the rules of the game, taking control over their own affairs at the height of the success, risking magnificent failure by doing so. The Monkees invented a new kind of TV, gave a new model to the music industry, and left behind one of the most enigmatic movies of the modern era, Head. This book is about all that and more. Beginning by exploring the origins and personalities of the four Monkees before looking in depth at their work together on screen, on stage, and on record, this is the first serious study of the band and the first to fully acknowledge their importance to the development of pop as we now know it.
The Beatles as Musicians is a comprehensive, chronologically ordered study of every aspect of the group's musical life--composition, performance, recording and reception histories--in its transcendent late period, from 1966 to 1970. Richly authoritative interpretations are interwoven through a documentary study of many thousands of audio and other sources.
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