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Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide Hardcover – December 10, 2010


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Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide + Guide to Chamber Music (Dover Books on Music)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (December 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195382536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195382532
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.6 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Even after a career spent immersed in chamber music, I gained new and fascinating insights from James Keller's essays. This is a book that enlightens professionals as well as general music-lovers. I am happy we have it!" -- Menahem Pressler, Beaux Arts Trio


"Chamber music is beloved by all musicians, and a reference such as this is welcome and needed. James Keller has given us a beautifully written guide that in a single volume targets appropriate repertoire for musicians and music-lovers. He clearly adores chamber music and, in his writing, conveys that love with passion and authority in a way that will enrich any listener or performer." -- Renée Fleming


"James Keller's engaging essays do exactly what great program notes should: they transport us inside classical music's fascinating scenarios of creation. Choosing intelligently from myriad possible details, Keller weaves a story about each work that has the feeling of a suspense novel, where the thrilling final chapter will be our listening experience. When describing music he is the ideal tour guide, leading us on musical journeys with enthusiasm and authority. This will be a hard-to-put-down book for anyone, from the newly-curious to the seasoned expert. Keller has provided an essential volume that will take its rightful place among music's most authoritative sources." -- David Finckel and Wu Han, Artistic Directors, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center


"A solid representation of musicians from a wide range of genres, time periods, and countries...Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide offers something to tempt even the most discriminating and academic individual." --New York Journal of Books


"The brief overviews of the standard repertoire are excellent and will certainly serve the intended audience...Essential." --Choice


"Writing a good programme note is a difficult and delicate art, and this collection of short programme-note length essays shows James Keller has it down to a T...The book is a treasure trove of learning, which Keller deploys with a wonderful lightness of touch." --BBC Music Magazine ("Five Stars Book Choice")


"The mantle of America's leading program-note writer would appear to have passed to James Keller...The tone is always inviting, enthusiastic, sincere, and enlivened with touches of humor...Keller succeeds admirably in the often elusive aim of every good program-note writer of satisfying the needs of both the novice and the expert...The book might well serve as the impetus for a yearlong project to become familiar with the entire repertoire he covers. This is recommendation enough to award Keller's work a standing ovation." --Fanfare


"You can trust Keller...In the end, reading Keller's engaging notes makes you want to hear the piece - a sure sign of good, descriptive music writing." --Music Media Monthly


"The essays are mostly historical, well written, and quite informative. Each composition is described in terms of its emotional content, with a minimal amount of technical jargon. This excellent guide is highly recommended for all lovers of chamber music." --Library Journal Review


"It's a valuable, friendly companion, whether you're onstage or in the audience...Keller provides authoritative historical backgrounds and absorbing analytical reports for each work...This is a book to desire." --Strings


About the Author


James Keller, longtime Program Annotator of the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, was awarded the prestigious ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for feature writing about music in Chamber Music magazine, where he has been Contributing Editor for more than a decade.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Kyla Thompson on March 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The title "A Listener's Guide" is perfect since I am not educated in Chamber Music, but I dearly love it. I have heard James Keller speak in Santa Fe for years and his ability to fix you in the period of a piece and enhance the experience of listening is what brought my husband and I back time and time again. His impeccable history and even sense of humor in describing the works help make the composers and music real, and break down an elitist attitude. After all, it's all about pure enjoyement of this music. We will give this as gifts to many of our music loving friends.
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By Karl G. on December 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Useful, well-written introductions to the compositions chosen for inclusion.
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