Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
  • List Price: $41.95
  • Save: $9.62 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.00
Learn More
Sell It Now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

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

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$21.43 $16.83

There is a newer edition of this item:

Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Frequently Bought Together

Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide + Guide to Chamber Music (Dover Books on Music)
Price for both: $46.87

Buy the selected items together

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

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


"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.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Karl G. on December 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Useful, well-written introductions to the compositions chosen for inclusion.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?