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Chopin : the Man and His Music (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

James Huneker
4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)

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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Synopsis

Chopin, "subtle-souled psychologist," is more kin to Keats than Shelley, he is a greater artist than a thinker. His philosophy is of the beautiful, as was Keats', and while he lingers by the river's edge to catch the song of the reeds, his gaze is oftener fixed on the quiring planets. He is nature's most exquisite sounding-board and vibrates to her with intensity, color and vivacity that have no parallel. Stained with melancholy, his joy is never that of the strong man rejoicing in his muscles. -from "Poet and Psychologist" James Huneker describes Chopin's mazurkas as the music in which "the Pole suffers in song the joy of his sorrow." Such distinctive literary lyricism fills this classic 1900 life of the 19th-century French-Polish pianist and composer. After exploring the storied artistic circles in which Frederic Chopin moved in Paris and his tempestuous relationship with the novelist George Sand, Huneker delves into the artistic psychology of his music, with in-depth analyses of Chopin's studies, many of which Huneker finds "poetic"; his preludes, which Huneker deems "moods in miniature"; and the "melancholy mysteries" of Chopin's nocturnes. A striking portrait of genius, Huneker captures an artist who was "pleasant" and "persuasive" in public and "a neurotic being" in private, and finds a composer whose music aches with "the pathos of spiritual distance." American arts critic JAMES HUNEKER (1860-1921) also wrote Iconoclasts: A Book of Dramatists (1905), Egoists: A Book of Supermen (1909), Franz Liszt: Illustrated (1911), and The Pathos of Distance (1912).

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4.5 von 5 Sternen
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Format:Taschenbuch
Huneker was an aspiring concert pianist (as well as a brilliant writer), and his analysis of Chopin's music and poetry are simply amazing. Like Chopin, Huneker expresses from the heart and hears the music at a whole new level. His interpretation is raw and as full in energy as the music itself (especially for etude op.25 no.11 and the ballade no.1).
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
5.0 von 5 Sternen Chopin bible 15. Juni 2000
Format:Taschenbuch
Who can count themselves learned in Chopin who has not read Huneker's wonderful, purple-prosy, unabashedly romantic examination of the Polish Master's music? If the musicology is a tad dated, the enthusiasm, the sheer love of music present on every page, are more evident than ever. This is absolutely essential reading for the Chopin lover.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 von 5 Sternen  17 Rezensionen
20 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining, but only mildly informative 9. September 2002
Von "b0120" - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This book (originally published in 1900) is split in two sections. In the first 100 pages, the life of Chopin is discussed by Huneker in a very colorful and poetic style, although unfortunately very few biographical facts are revealed. When I finished this section I felt I had hardly learned anything new about Chopin.

The next 150 pages deal with Chopin's music, in which Huneker comments briefly on every one of Chopin's compositions (with the exception of several pieces unknown to Huneker), categorized by type (Ballades, Preludes, etc.). This section, like the first, is amusing but not very helpful. The author never really goes into great depth about any single piece. Instead he simply says a word or two on mood or style, often quoting authorities such as Kullak and Niecks, and compares several major editions of the work. I would recommend this to someone very interested in editorial details... anyone else could probably do without most of this section.

People familiar with Chopin should find Huneker's writing somewhat enlightening, though far from substantial. Those looking for an introduction to Chopin may find the first section very helpful, if they can tolerate the author's verbosity.
26 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen A waste of time 18. Februar 2001
Von M. Dynarski - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This book does not present much information about Chopin the man, and stumbles around endlessly about Chopin's music. The prose is laughably dated. Who can not help laughing at sentences like "Chopin distrusted Jews, but that's the way Poles are." The French, English, Germans, and Hungarians: Huneker comes up with some interesting stereotypes for them too. Many of the facts are incorrect, as the editor supplies the corrected facts in the footnotes on nearly every page of the text. And the music discussions have the spirit of "What a powerful melody! However, I believe the third note of the 14th measure of Etude 12 op. 10 should be an F sharp, though it's written differently in some scores." What a snore. I suggest looking elsewhere for real information about Chopin and his music. This book offers no insights though some occasional unintended laughs.
14 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Chopin bible 15. Juni 2000
Von Gordon R Cameron - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Who can count themselves learned in Chopin who has not read Huneker's wonderful, purple-prosy, unabashedly romantic examination of the Polish Master's music? If the musicology is a tad dated, the enthusiasm, the sheer love of music present on every page, are more evident than ever. This is absolutely essential reading for the Chopin lover.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Almost a Waste of Time 6. Februar 2007
Von Michael J. Cashen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
The biography is very disappointing, the musical descriptions are poetic but don't get into much detail. If you want a general feel for Chopin's music but don't want intricate musical detail, the descriptions of the pieces may suit your need. That's the only reason I didn't give this book the lowest possible rating.

For biographical info, "Chopin in Paris" by Tad Szulc is much more informative and accurate. Huneker's biography, besides being relatively short, takes off on gossipy tangents that often jump around in time making it hard to get a good feeling for Chopin's progression thru life.

My problem with the musical descriptions (the book is divided into 76 pages of biography and 141 pages of music "analysis", divided into sections on preludes, mazurkas, etc.) is again the gossipy nature. For example, the chapter on the preludes is 13 pages long. The first four pages are strictly about who claimed when and where they were written.

I recently played Prelude No. 4 in E Minor at Peabody in Baltimore. Prior to the recital, I was deluged with coaching at college master-class play-ins, etc. The discussions centered on things like why the downbeat beginning each measure is played weaker than usual, contributing to the feeling of hopelessness in the piece.

Huneker's descriptions are: "The melody seems literally to wail..", "This tiny prelude contains wonderful music", "The whole is like some canvas by Rembrant.."

In the relatively few times Huneker does go into musical detail there may be some insight, but just as frequently a few bars of music are shown accompanied by an explanation like, "Volcanic mutterings these!" -when the music shown is a pianissimo (played very softly) passage!

For anyone looking for insights on actually playing the pieces, Walker's "The Chopin Companion.." which can be found "used" at Amazon, is a much better choice.
19 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Best book on the music of Chopin that I have ever read. 11. Oktober 1998
Von Miguel Lee (leemm@uci.edu) - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Huneker was an aspiring concert pianist (as well as a brilliant writer), and his analysis of Chopin's music and poetry are simply amazing. Like Chopin, Huneker expresses from the heart and hears the music at a whole new level. His interpretation is raw and as full in energy as the music itself (especially for etude op.25 no.11 and the ballade no.1).
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