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Brahms S Vocal Duets and Quartets with Piano: A Guide with Full Texts and Translations
Brahms S Vocal Duets and Quartets with Piano: A Guide with Full Texts and Translations
von Lucien Stark
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 26,10

3.0 von 5 Sternen Missing quotations limit the value, 20. Juli 2000
The vocal duets and quartets by Brahms are performed very rarely these days, but their number includes some works that can stand with the composer's finest efforts and are thus deserving of more frequent hearings. In this book, Lucien Stark analyzes the 25 duets (including the five numbers of Opus 75, which were written for one or two voices but are almost always done as solos) and 61 quartets that comprise this body of work.
For each song, Stark provides the German text, along with an English translation. He does not attempt to maintain the rhyme or meter in the translation, which lets him reflect accurately the meaning of the German. He then gives the range employed for each voice in the work, the approximate timing for a performance, and the form. This information is followed by a brief descriptive analysis of the work. Stark's analyses are not so detailed or exhaustively researched as those by Eric Sams in his just-published volume on Brahms's solo works.
The major deficiency of this book is the absence of musical quotations. In his introduction, the author admits that "much of the analysis assumes that a score will be accessible to the reader." Scores for many of these works are available only as individual sheets -- and for a few, not in print at all -- which makes it difficult to get full value from much of Stark's otherwise commendable writing. A 158-page book that sells for $35 should have been expanded with quotations of key musical material.


The Songs of Johannes Brahms
The Songs of Johannes Brahms
von Eric Sams
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 36,32

4.0 von 5 Sternen Superb analyses, 19. Juli 2000
If you're a devotee of the solo Gesänge und Lieder of Johannes Brahms, you will find this book very valuable indeed.
The author analyzes 212 of Brahms's songs - all 196 that Brahms published in opus-numbered sets, the eight resettings of Op. 103 Zieguenerlieder quartets for solo voice, and eight works without opus numbers. Not included are any of the many Deutsche Volkslieder set by Brahms.
For each song, the author provides the German text and a prose English translation. The translations are especially well done; by doing them in prose, the author is able to more faithfully render the meaning of the German than would be the case were the translation to be restricted by the requirements of English rhyme and meter.
Each translation is followed by a non-technical discussion of the song, generally in one or two paragraphs but occasionally longer. These describe the musical structure of the song and the methods that Brahms used to convey his meaning; occasionally there is also a brief bit of background on the circumstances of the song's composition.
For each song, there then follow a more technical notes section, in which the author identifies the source of the text, identifies recurring motifs that Brahms used in his songs (an introductory chapter describes these motifs), references other settings of the same text by other composers, and sometimes describes early reactions to the song by Brahms's friends or fellow musicians.
The analyses illustrate the author's deep understanding of this marvelous literature and have greatly enhanced both my knowledge and appreciation of this superb body of work. The principal omission, and the reason I rate the book only four stars, is the complete absence of musical quotations - except for a few in the introductory "Motifs" chapter - in spite of the fact that in his analyses, the author often refers to specific measures by number. To fully appreciate the author's insights, therefore, you will need access to scores. (Fortunately, Dover publishes a very affordable four-volume set of the complete Brahms songs, available from Amazon.)


The Compleat Brahms: A Guide to the Musical Works of Johannes Brahms
The Compleat Brahms: A Guide to the Musical Works of Johannes Brahms
von Leon Botstein
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 39,10

3.0 von 5 Sternen Uneven, 24. Juni 2000
The unevenness cited by a previous reviewer is this book's great weakness. Those works covered by writers other than the editor get reasonably detailed treatment. Those written by the editor get very short shrift. These are all solo lieder, vocal duets and quartets, and smaller-scale choral works, especially the earlier works in these genres. Some of the individual numbers in these sets get no more discussion than their names and key signatures.
Even the longer essays are not by any means detailed musical analyses. They are the equivalent of what you might expect from a well-done set of notes included with a recording.
The title "Compleat" is something of a misnomer. The book barely mentions most of the WoO and posthumous works and discusses almost none of the many alternate arrangements done by Brahms -- including some significant ones, such as the transcriptions of Op. 120 for viola and piano.
Even with its deficiencies, if you're a serious Brahmsian, this book will be a valuable addition to your library.


HarperCollins College Outline Music Theory (HarperCollins College Outlines S)
HarperCollins College Outline Music Theory (HarperCollins College Outlines S)
von George T. Jones
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,56

1.0 von 5 Sternen Bad, 2. Juni 2000
Very badly done. The author uses technical terms many pages before explaining what they mean. He includes numerous examples, but often does not explain the examples adequately. He blows past complex concepts with scant regard for the confused reader. The explanation of figured bass is completely incomprehensible. Some of these problems can be explained by the brevity of the outline format, but for others there is no explanation other that the author's cluelessness on how to teach.


Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy (Blue Ribbon Book)
Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy (Blue Ribbon Book)
von Kate Waters
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 5,18

5.0 von 5 Sternen Values for today from a tale of 1627, 1. Juni 2000
This is a wonderful, wonderful book. It will help you teach your children about hard work, perseverance, and family. My children want it read to them again and again.
Young Samuel Eaton (a historical character) is looking forward to his first chance to help his father bring in the crops. He finds the work incredibly hard, and the coarse grain raises bad blisters on his hands. But he perseveres, and at the end of the day when his father tells him "you did a man's work today, Samuel," we feel his pride.
Masterfully written, beautifully photographed, this is a gem in every way.


Johannes Brahms: A Biography (Vintage)
Johannes Brahms: A Biography (Vintage)
von Jan Swafford
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 14,95

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brilliant life of Brahms, 1. Juni 2000
This is a brilliant biography. It is well-written and engaging from first to last. It gives a well-rounded picture of a complex and difficult subject -- difficult because the secretive Brahms systematically destroyed a great deal of the evidence that biographers might otherwise have used to tell the story of his life.
Swafford can perhaps be taken to task for his failure to acknowledge the recent research that casts doubt upon Brahms' alleged employment in brothels as a very young man. Swafford uncritically accepts the account of Max Kalbeck, an early biographer who knew Brahms. Kalbeck's source, so he said, was Brahms himself. Kalbeck cannot and should not be taken at face value -- nor was Brahms himself incapable of embellishing a good story. The recent research to which the previous reviewer refers casts doubt Kalbeck's account, but to say "that Brahms could not have played the piano in brothels as a boy" is overstating the case, going well beyond the available evidence (as Avins does also in her book). We simply do not know the truth, and probably never will.
The previous reviewer also errs when he says that Swafford "takes off from this picture of a pitiful childhood as a central principle in Brahms's life, relationships, etc." Swafford does not paint Brahms' childhood as "pitiful." He makes clear the love and affection that both of his parents lavished on him and details the educational opportunities that they provided him, in spite of the fact that they were working class people. Brahms' affection for both his parents lasted until their deaths, as Swafford makes clear. Swafford does use the supposed early brothel experiences to explain (in part) Brahms' inability to form a lasting romantic relationship, and in this analysis he may be relying upon events that did not occur.
Swafford makes at least one minor error in his musical analysis. In his discussion of the First Symphony's finale, he says that the trombones make their initial entrance when they blare forth the chorale theme (i.e., at measure 47). They actually enter earlier, as part of the accompaniment to the first statement of the alphorn theme, at measure 30.
These are nits that do not detract from a fine work. If you have any interest at all in Brahms or in his music, you will enjoy this book.


Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II
Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II
von George Weigel
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen Changed my mind about the Pope, 26. Mai 2000
I came to this book with an interest in John Paul and the changes he has effected, but with little regard for him, primarily because of his conservative religious views. I came away with a profound respect for this man, gained through Weigel's penetrating analysis of Karol Wojytla's life and soul. I now understand why the Pope holds his positions, and I have changed the adverb modifying "disagree" from "scornfully" to "respectfully" when describing how I feel about them.
On top of that, it's a very well-written and interesting book about this man whose giant shadow has been cast over the last 20+ years.


Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
von Howard Schultz
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,95

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Worthwhile hagiography, 26. Mai 2000
Written by (or, more probably, for) the founder and CEO of Starbucks, this is, of course, corporate hagiography. But it's nevertheless a fascinating story of how the entrepreneurial spirit can thrive even outside the high-tech arena. It's also a good read. It will also change the way you think about coffee. Recommended.


The Works of Anne Bradstreet (John Harvard Library)
The Works of Anne Bradstreet (John Harvard Library)
von Jeannine Hensley
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen America's first great poet, 26. Mai 2000
How many people know that America's first great poet was a woman? Reading this collection of her works leaves one in little doubt about her greatness. The consummate artistry with which she expresses her inmost feelings pulls her to us, across the divide of three and a half centuries. Bradstreet's poetry shows that those Puritans, with their funny clothes, intolerant religion, and witch hunts experienced love, longing, and loss with much the same emotions that we do. Very highly recommended.


The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies 1760-1785
The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies 1760-1785
von Don Cook
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 12,69

5.0 von 5 Sternen Institutional stupidity revealed!, 26. Mai 2000
If you've ever wondered how the British could have been so continually and incredibly stupid as to lose their American colonies, this book will answer your questions! It provides a view of the Revolution not often encountered by Americans. Your view of the American Revolution is not complete without this view. Highly recommended.


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