Author Topic: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers  (Read 18963 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44416
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2014, 07:39:58 AM »
Regarding Stravinsky, this is currently on my side table:



Joseph N. Straus is an excellent writer on contemporary music, his books are well researched and sourced, and not dull reading (at least not for me).  His book on American Serialists is excellent.  I will probably get his book on Post Tonal Theory at some point.

Mm, I must seek that one out.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Online ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4139
  • Set design for Le Tricorne (Pablo Picasso)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2014, 07:52:36 AM »
That book on late Stravinsky certainly looks interesting. Is it accessible to the mere aficionado?

On the other hand, the précis of Maconie's book (..."Stravinsky lived much of his life in Hollywood"..."his work subtly espoused deeply held political views"...etc.) doesn't really generate much enthusiasm in me, I must confess.  ::)

Does anyone know this book? It better be fantastic, because at almost $100,  it's not really cheap, is it?  >:( :


Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
« Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
   Luxe, calme et volupté ».

Offline San Antonio

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5215
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2014, 08:02:40 AM »
That book on late Stravinsky certainly looks interesting. Is it accessible to the mere aficionado?

Does anyone know this book? It better be fantastic, because at almost $100,  it's not really cheap, is it?  >:( :



You need to be able to read music in order and be familiar with the standard vocabulary of 12-tone composition in order to appreciate much of the analysis of the music.  That book on Darmstadt is one I've thought about getting, but the price has held me off from purchasing a book that appears to somewhat redundant of another book I already own, on the European Serialists which encompasses much of the Darmstadt period.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44416
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2014, 08:24:59 AM »
On the other hand, the précis of Maconie's book (..."Stravinsky lived much of his life in Hollywood"..."his work subtly espoused deeply held political views"...etc.) doesn't really generate much enthusiasm in me, I must confess.  ::)

Oof. Personally, I despise that sort of book  ;)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Online ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4139
  • Set design for Le Tricorne (Pablo Picasso)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2014, 08:47:32 AM »
Thanks James, Karlhenning and Sanantonio for your comments! :)

I do read music, but cannot, for example, quote sections of Schoenberg's Harmonielehre (if that is the kind of knowledge that is required  ;) )

My personal library includes almost everything that has been published by or on Boulez, several tomes on Stockhausen, Elliott Carter, Stravinsky, etc. , but I am not a professional musician by any means... Some of the books are very accessible to me, and some way beyond my reach  :-[. In any case, I'm more interested in the historical aspects of this music, than in the  theoretical and technical side of things (a stance that reflects my limited--but not complete absence of--musical training).

My objection with the (apparent) tone of the Maconie book is what could appear to be (always based on the abstract and reviews) a banalization of Stravinsky's art. I really can't understand why our dear Igor Feodorovich would be a better (or worse) composer, or a more interesting figure, because, e.g. he "did work closely with Disney on Fantasia and spent years in Hollywood".
Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
« Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
   Luxe, calme et volupté ».

Offline San Antonio

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5215
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2014, 08:50:36 AM »
Thanks James, Karlhenning and Sanantonio for your comments! :)

I do read music, but cannot, for example, quote sections of Schoenberg's Harmonielehre (if that is the kind of knowledge that is required  ;) )

My personal library includes almost everything that has been published by or on Boulez, several tomes on Stockhausen, Elliott Carter, Stravinsky, etc. , but I am not a professional musician by any means... Some of the books are very accessible to me, and some way beyond my reach  :-[. In any case, I'm more interested in the historical aspects of this music, than in the  theoretical and technical side of things (a stance that reflects my limited--but not complete absence of--musical training).

My objection with the (apparent) tone of the Maconie book is what could appear to be (always based on the abstract and reviews) a banalization of Stravinsky's art. I really can't understand why our dear Igor Feodorovich would be a better (or worse) composer, or a more interesting figure, because, e.g. he "did work closely with Disney on Fantasia and spent years in Hollywood".

If you don't already have the Stephen Walsh book on Stravinsky, I'd say it is one to consider.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44416
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2014, 08:52:49 AM »
If you don't already have the Stephen Walsh book on Stravinsky, I'd say it is one to consider.

+ 1
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Online ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4139
  • Set design for Le Tricorne (Pablo Picasso)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2014, 08:59:27 AM »
If you don't already have the Stephen Walsh book on Stravinsky, I'd say it is one to consider.
I've read volume 2 "Second Exile", after buying it here in a bookstore in Madrid. I found it a fascinating read...  :)

I really should make a point of reading the first volume asap...
Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
« Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
   Luxe, calme et volupté ».

Online ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4139
  • Set design for Le Tricorne (Pablo Picasso)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2014, 09:05:32 AM »
I've read volume 2 "Second Exile", after buying it here in a bookstore in Madrid. I found it a fascinating read...  :)

I really should make a point of reading the first volume asap...

Ooops...your link is to another book by Walsh  :-[. I thought you meant the biography in two volumes:





Well, now I know there's TWO Walsh books I need to explore...  ;)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 09:11:22 AM by ritter »
Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
« Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
   Luxe, calme et volupté ».

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44416
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2014, 09:20:05 AM »
Ooops...your link is to another book by Walsh  :-[. I thought you meant the biography in two volumes:

That's what I thought when plus-oned . . . I have not wished to mathematically cancel it out, though ;)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Online ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4139
  • Set design for Le Tricorne (Pablo Picasso)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2014, 09:26:19 AM »
ritter ..

Maconie's Stravinsky book is great for general listeners, it is right up your alley & fun.
Get this book and the integral 22CD Sony Box and go on an odyssey that will only enrich.

The 2 go hand-in-hand.

The 22-CD set has been in my collection for years...not only that, I still have the original vinyl centennial edition (a present from my mother, received more than 30 years ago  :-X )... One of the very few LP sets I still own... :)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 09:43:31 AM by ritter »
Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
« Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
   Luxe, calme et volupté ».

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44416
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2014, 09:43:28 AM »
This is the Stravinsky survey I should suggest to the general listener (although, now, supplemented by the two-volume Walsh biography):



Oh, good heavens -- if Maconie writes that Stravinsky did work closely with Disney on Fantasia, he's indulging in pure fantasist drivel.

To cut to the chase:

Quote from: Stephen Walsh
Stravinsky was consulted on none of these changes, of course, and they came as a complete surprise to him when he saw the finished film eighteen months or so later.

--from p. 90, Stravinsky, The Second Exile: France and America, 1934-1971

All that I am seeing about Maconie's book in this thread, indicates that it is laughably inaccurate and wilfully tendentious.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44416
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2014, 09:56:32 AM »
Has anyone read this one?

Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44416
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2014, 09:58:33 AM »
I find a bad reputation of Lebrecht here and there. Is it because of his scandalous books about conductors, singers, classical music business, etc.? And/or his musical assessments are unreliable/biased?

He's the world's first tabloid musicologist ;)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Online North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 15902
  • Location: Kuopio, Finland
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2014, 10:19:50 AM »
He's the world's first tabloid musicologist ;)
Pioneers deserve respect... of course, some are also killed by bears. One can always hope, I suppose.
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44416
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2014, 10:21:45 AM »
I'd feel sorry for the bear, truly.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline torut

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 997
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2014, 11:46:45 AM »
He's the world's first tabloid musicologist ;)
I admit I enjoyed his books (Maestro Myth, Life and Death of Classical Music) with interest that is not so noble.   ;D

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44416
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2014, 11:55:14 AM »
I respect your confession ;)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline torut

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 997
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2014, 11:59:28 AM »
Thank you for many suggestions. I would like to check the books about individual composers.
Regarding overview-type books, has anyone read this?

Music in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Joseph Auner



There is an accompanying book Anthology for Music in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries with this description.
Quote
Twenty-six carefully chosen works—including music by Claude Debussy, Kurt Weill, William Grant Still, Pauline Oliveros, and Chen Yi—offer representative examples of genres and composers of the period.
These names are unfamiliar for me, except the first two.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44416
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Books about 20th/21st Century Composers
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2014, 12:04:29 PM »
William Grant Still is often referred to as "the Dean" of African-American composers.  Pauline Oliveros may still be active in NYC.  The last name is unknown to me.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK