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Brahms: His Life And Work (Da Capo Paperback) [Kindle Edition]

Karl Geiringer
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Karl Geiringer's biography of Brahms is generally regarded as the finest study of the composer ever published in any language. It is based upon the great body of material in the archives of the Viennese Society of Friends, for which Dr. Geiringer was curator from 1930–1938, and which contains more than a thousand letters written by and to Brahms. These letters, exchanged with family and with his famous contemporaries, reveal his loneliness, grim humor, loyalty, painful shyness, and enthusiasm for the music of Beethoven and Schubert—moods that the self-effacing composer did not publicly display. Divided into sections on Brahms's solitary, scholarly existence and his fruitful composing career—including examinations of rare first drafts—the biography relates how crises in Brahms's personal life were translated into his music, and how he often managed to ignore or suppress them. Supplemented with a new appendix on "Brahms as a Reader and Collector," this third edition of a classic biography is both a literary and musicological event.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karl Geiringer was born in Vienna in 1899 and studied at the University of Berlin and the University of Vienna where he received his Ph.D. An American citizen since 1945, he has taught at Hamilton College, Boston Univeristy, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is the author of several books including The Bach Family and Music of the Bach Family.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6003 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 3 edition (November 30, 1935)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0028QHK8E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,190 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A+ July 28, 2001
I don't read a lot of biographies because I often find the amount of detail to be excruciatingly excessive, and often the writer, even if he knows the person he is writing about personally, often tends to descend into sharp criticism of his subject, as if that were the norm in our age of gossip and entertainment. Perhaps the necessary detachment in this case comes from the fact that Brahms died just over a hundred years ago, for his was not a perfect character!
I have always liked Brahms' compositions quite a bit, especially his chamber music, which is among the best. Yet I have never bothered to read a biography of the composer. I only read this one because a relative of mine is handling the estate of one of the author's wives (not Irene, the collaborator), and while visiting this relative I was offered the book. Fortunately, from the outset I thoroughly enjoyed reading Prof. Geiringer's biography.
Geiringer acknowledges that there have been many other fine biographies of Brahms, and he decided to write one only because he was given access to about a thousand letters of correspondence Brahms received from well-know artists like the Schumann's, the violinist Joachim, and many others. Geiringer combines a vast knowledge of Brahms' life and music with these letters to produce a highly readable and entertaining work, w/o a hint of sensationalism.
In order to leave enough room for a discussion of Brahms' extensive output, the author limits his discussion of the composer's life to about 200 pages, yet it is quite thorough.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brahms: His Life and Work (Third Edition) June 26, 2000
By A Customer
Wonderfully written book! I borrowed it from a friend and I love it so much I am going to buy it! This book is conveniently divided into three sections (Brahm's life, work, and letters). There are many references to his actual letters throughout the book. Brahm's certainly had an interesting life (definitely more interesting than what I had learned in music classes!) This book explains the relation between his music and life experiences very effectively. Quite a joy to read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book may be old, but it is well researched and well-written. It was easy to read. I love Brahms' music and had in the past read unfavorable comments about his personality. This book brings out the very good in Brahms' character, and we are all a coin of two sides, so it was nice to read something more balanced about the man and composer. Also, some biographies are too long and seem to ramble on and on; this one does not. It is just the right length.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historic Biography May 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a historic biography so it doesn't reflect some of the recent research of Brahms' life and work. It is well-written and carefully annotated. For a Kindle read, it works great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Above expectation April 8, 2013
By Visa
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderful to read and learn about such people . When additional,i.e., personal information is conveyed the reading is spiced and fascination with an individual fills in the blank spaces one questions when listening to a composer's music. The question which is never answered how does a title tell the emotional,psychological reasons for its having been composed.
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