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am 21. April 2000
Wilder really tore apart some of my favorite songs and he loves songs that I think were mediocre. He is very vicious towards Gershwin and he LOVES Harold Arlen. A lot of his explanations for why he likes or doesnt like a song were short and weak. However, it is a lot of fun to sift through the book and agree or, in my case, disagree with this guy.
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am 14. Juni 2000
I have had this book since it was originally published in 1972. I keep it because it is an insightful commentary on some of America's greatest composers, Rodgers, Kern, Gershwin, etc. I would have to agree with Mr. Wilder that Richard Rodgers' music represents "the highest degree of consistent excellence, inventiveness, and sophistication." And since Mr. Wilder is himself a fine composer, he should know. He supports his opinions with intelligent, knowledgeable analysis.
People seem to have a knee jerk reaction whenever the name "Gershwin" is mentioned, but I agree with Mr. Wilder's assessment that RICHARD RODGERS' music was the most CONSISTENTLY masterful in the history of musical theater. Rodgers' range was incredible from the playful jazziness of "Manhattan" and "Lady is a Tramp" to the sophistication of "If I Loved You" and the lesser known, "Do I Hear A Waltz". Rodgers was an astonishing talent. Rodgers even wrote the lyrics and music to the lovely musical "No Strings". I get so tired of only hearing about Gershwin's greatness. Rodgers was every bit as good, if not better than Gershwin. I think Rodgers gets penalized at times because not only was his music great, but it was very accessible and popular with everyday audiences. A part of Gershwin's music strikes me as somewhat pretentions as are some of the tunes in "Porgy and Bess" and "An American In Paris". Rodgers seems to touch a familiar cord with audiences young and old, from generation to generation. As I video store owner, I know that people were willing to pay $50 or more for an out of print edition of the video "Sound of Music". None of my other videos could fetch such a good price.
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am 14. Juni 2000
I agree with Mr. Wilder about Gershwin. While Gershwin undoubtedly wrote many great songs I find that he can also be very overrated. "Porgy and Bess" and "An American in Paris" have several pieces which I think are grandiose and pretentious. I cannot stand listening to those two musicals. The music seems to not quite be "pop" and not quite "operatic". The music in those two works also sound as if Gershwin is straining to sound important but somehow sounds artificial and shallow. I much prefer the gentler and timeless music written by Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern. I also like Arlen whose music is always hip.
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am 5. Februar 1999
Alec Wilder's brilliant book contains insightful commentary and musical examples of the songs of Kern,Gershwin,Rogers,Berlin,Porter,Arlen,and just about every other significant American songwriter and lyricist...except for Alec Wilder himself. This book is an excellent resource for all teachers,students and music lovers alike.
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am 23. April 1999
This book is an invaluable source of matrial for both the casual reader and the dedicated student of popular music. Alec Wilder is a very knowledgeable authority on this subject, having contributed a number of fine songs of his own to the music of Tin Pan Alley!
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am 23. Februar 1999
Wilder's book is invaluable to a serious student or fan of our greatest pop music. If you're really into the subject, you'll need both Wilder and Forte.
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