An informative survey of classical music history, from the medieval period to the present day, discusses the great composers and their works, musical instruments, and performance history, and provides a listing of suggested musical recordings. 30,000 first printing.
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: More and more people are listening to classical music today, yet to many it still seems a closed and inaccessible world. This guide is designed to demystify this seemingly complex world - making everything from Gregorian chants to Beethoven symphonies to Philip Glass operas accessible to laymen. It is an informative guide to the musical moods and talents of 800 years of classical music. After a foreword by conductor Sir Georg Solti, the work takes a broad look at the times that inspired the music, a closer look at the lives of individual composers, then focuses on the compositions themselves, and recommends recordings - selected by Gramophone magazine, for the key works of every composer. As well as telling the stories of the great and the famous, such as Beethoven, Bach and Mozart, it introduces a number of other talented composers - such as Franz Berwald, John Field, and Hugo Wolf - whose music is less widely known and deserves to be discovered. Informative text on the history of musical performance, the development of musical instruments, and the evolution of the orchestra, presents readers with a background to classical music.