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Classical Music Top 40: Learn How To Listen To And Appreciate The 40 Most Popular And Important Pieces I Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671794957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671794958
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,765,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anthony Rudel has spent his professional life in radio, including ten years on the air, as well as stints as vice president of programming for WQXR in New York and SW Radio Networks. The author of the novel Imagining Don Giovanni and Hello, Everybody!: The Dawn of American Radio, he now consults for radio stations across the country and lives in Chappaqua, New York.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dean Campbell on March 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have been a classical music lover for some years but I knew there was more that I could learn. I was familiar with the general history of the subject and had read a CD collecting guide. However, I wanted to know more about individual pieces of music and how to listen to them instead of just hear them. Then I found this book and it "hit the spot." The author gives the reader/listener a guided tour through forty pieces of classical music. Whether they are actually the "most popular and important" pieces is questionable, especially as to Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, but they are all wonderful works. Most are instrumental, but the book includes Handel's Messiah and Orff's Carmina Burana. They also have the benefit of spanning the spectrum of styles from baroque to modern. The pieces are arranged alphabetically, but I suggest starting with the programmatic pieces such as Smetana's Moldau, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, and moving toward the more abstract stuff such as Beethoven's Fifth, Brahm's First and Mahler's First. In order to follow the action as closely as possible you will need to have a watch you can reset, or to sit next to the CD player with the machine set to show time elapsed. The book provided two revelations. First, the music is full of subtleties of which I was unaware. Second, there are big differences in performances of the same piece. The most obvious difference is in whether repeats are observed or omitted. Highly recommended, and I hope Mr. Rudel will write another covering the next most popular forty.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Let me begin by explining that I have limited musical experience or training. However I do enjoy classical/syphonic music. This book greatly aided in my appreciation of the 40 pieces of music the author explains. His explanations are thorough and written in plain english. However, he does say to listen for certain instruments that most untrained people would not know. Although limited, I do know something about music so that fact that did not effect me. All in all a good book for those sick of the radio and wanting to expand their music collection. Also, gives great cocktail party knowledge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By happy reader on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love, love, love this book!!! I have been a music lover all my life, and I do know my instruments and technical terms. So I didn't have any trouble understanding the text and descriptions. But I have so much enjoyed following along as I listen to each piece again and again. Even I, who understands it, learned so much more from having read the descriptions. I have purchased all of the recordings that he recommends and have put them on my iPod, and I have enjoyed them immensely. Thank you so much for this excellent book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Muzaffer Muctehitzade on November 2, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Did not meet my expectations. I was hoping some technical and artistic explanations in judging the musical piece but all I perceived was a verbal description of the music that you could explain to someone how the symphony was performed. Violins followed by clavier than picolos etc,etc. So at the end I did not know any more than listening the actual piece and confirming the authors arguments that indeed clavier follows violins. Why is it so good, I still do not know.
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