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Vladimir de Pachmann was perhaps history’s most notorious pianist. In this book, the first biography ever of this remarkable figure, the authors explore the life of this master pianist, surveying his achievements within the context of contemporary critical opinion and preserving his legacy as one of the last great Romantic pianists of his time.
A Dictionary for the Modern Pianist combines nearly four hundred entries covering classical and popular pianists, noted teachers, terminology germane to the piano’s construction, and major manufacturers—both familiar firms and outstanding, independent builders who have risen to the forefront in recent years. Speaking to the needs of the modern performer, it also includes entries on jazz and pop artists, digital pianos, and period instruments. As a resource for professionals and students, A Dictionary for the Modern Pianist is also accessible to more general readers, as all of its topics are presented in clear, readable expositions. Drawing on the most recent research of numerous specialists, author Stephen Siek emphasizes the piano's uniquely rich heritage, giving pianists a renewed appreciation for the famous artists and teachers who have shaped their art. Transcending simple alphabetical definitions, the dictionary’s careful attention both to legacy and detail make it an invaluable addition to any pianist’s library. Titles in the Dictionaries for the Modern Musician series offer novice and advanced musicians key information on the field of study and performance of a major instrument or instrument class. Unlike other encyclopedic works, contributions to this series focus primarily on the knowledge required by the contemporary musical student or performer. From quick definitions of confusing terms to in-depth overviews of history and tradition, the dictionaries are ideal references for students, professionals, and music lovers of all kinds.
The first history of keyboard improvisation in European music in the postclassical and romantic periods, Fantasies of Improvisation: Free Playing in Nineteenth-Century Music documents practices of improvisation on the piano and the organ, with a particular emphasis on free fantasies and other forms of free playing. Case studies of performers such as Abbé Vogler, J. N. Hummel, Ignaz Moscheles, Robert Schumann, Carl Loewe, and Franz Liszt describe in detail the motives, intentions, and musical styles of the nineteenth century's leading improvisers. Grounded in primary sources, the book further discusses the reception and valuation of improvisational performances by colleagues, audiences, and critics, which prompted many keyboardists to stop improvising. Author Dana Gooley argues that amidst the decline of improvisational practices in the first half of the nineteenth century there emerged a strong and influential "idea" of improvisation as an ideal or perfect performance. This idea, spawned and nourished by romanticism, preserved the aesthetic, social, and ethical values associated with improvisation, calling into question the supposed triumph of the "work."
Surveys the careers and personalities of the great pianists from Clementi and Mozart to the present day
In this engaging and eye-opening read, forager-journalist Becky Lerner sets out on a quest to find her inner hunter-gatherer in the city of Portland, Oregon. After a disheartening week trying to live off wild plants from the streets and parks near her home, she learns the ways of the first people who lived there and, along with a quirky cast of characters, discovers an array of useful wild plants hiding in plain sight. As she harvests them for food, medicine, and just-in-case apocalypse insurance, Lerner delves into anthropology, urban ecology and sustainability, and finds herself looking at Nature in a very different way. Humorous, philosophical, and informative, Dandelion Hunter has something for everyone, from the curious neophyte to the seasoned forager.
Cynthia Verba's book explores the story of music's role in the French Enlightenment, focusing on dramatic expression in the musical tragedies of the composer-theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau. She reveals how his music achieves its highly moving effects through an interplay between rational design, especially tonal design, and the portrayal of feeling and how this results in a more nuanced portrayal of the heroine. Offering a new approach to understanding Rameau's role in the Enlightenment, Verba illuminates important aspects of the theory-practice relationship and shows how his music embraced Enlightenment values. At the heart of the study are three scene types that occur in all of Rameau's tragedies: confession of forbidden love, intense conflict and conflict resolution. In tracing changes in Rameau's treatment of these, Verba finds that while he maintained an allegiance to the traditional French operatic model, he constantly adapted it to accommodate his more enlightened views on musical expression.

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