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For The Love of Music: Invitations to Listening Paperback – December 24, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (December 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195370201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195370201
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.8 x 5.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,294,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his chapter on Sibelius and Mahler, Rothe asks how music might have progressed if these giants had composed more, noting "such speculation might be more suited to the late hours of a cocktail party." Rothe thus captures the flavor of this entire volume, in which he and Steinberg expound on subjects ranging from their burgeoning interest in music to George Perle's life and work to poor audience behavior. These are not analytical pieces on specific works, but broader essays, most of which originally appeared in San Francisco Symphony programs. Steinberg's essays are the stand-outs here, including his informative and inspiring "Salute" to conductor and impresario Theodore Thomas and his recommendations on acquainting oneself with Robert Schumann's music. Rothe is less consistent: his "Vienna Trilogy" begins as a colorful tourist's guide but devolves into a silly postulation of a dinner shared by Mahler, Schoenberg and Freud, and his essay about Mahler and Sibelius contrasts Sibelius's "profound logic" with Mahler's "all-embracing" grandiosity, neglecting the profound inner logic of Mahler's works. The writing is engaging and easy to read, but dates for each essay would have established helpful contexts.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Written for the classical-music listener, these essays, separately written by Steinberg and Rothe, cover three eras of composers, music "missionaries," affairs to remember, and concert audiences. More than biographical, they coax listener-readers to delve into music through analysis of style, influences of contemporary culture, comparisons of different composers' music, and descriptions of composers' motivations and techniques. They also contain the personal observations of veteran music-writers Steinberg, program annotator for orchestras in Boston, Minnesota, New York, and San Francisco, whose style is mostly analytical and direct; and Rothe, publications editor for the San Francisco Symphony, who adopts a mostly philosophical approach. Bracketed by introductions by each author on how they were introduced to classical music and a postlude covering audience approbation, the essays stimulate readers to respond to all the nuances of the classical music they hear in concert and at home and to appreciate what went into its creation.^B They afford a rewarding exploration of many facets of music that are rarely illuminated. Alan Hirsch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Kudos to Larry Rothe and long live Michael Steinberg!
K.J. McGilp
The authors are music professionals, yet their pleasure in music, and their engagement with music, is as clear in these essays as their knowledge of their subjects.
A. A. Stewart
I speak for those who listen to classical music without the benefit of an education in the history or theory of music.
Mary B. Vandezande

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. A. Stewart on January 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
For the Love of Music is a wonderfully accessible look at the world of classical music: the composers, the performers, the music, and the emotions all three manage to produce in listeners. The authors are music professionals, yet their pleasure in music, and their engagement with music, is as clear in these essays as their knowledge of their subjects. The volume contains essays on the greats--Bach, Mozart, Mahler--but also covers some modern and contemporary composers whose work is less known, and less appreciated, by non-specialist listeners. There are also some unexpected notes; in his essay on film music, author Larry Rothe suggests that Beethoven might have been a great film composer, and reminds us that Dino de Laurentiis approached Stravinsky about scoring his epic The Bible! A fascinating book for both the musically literate and those who would like to know more about the music they love.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mary B. Vandezande on January 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
For those of us in the world who have not yielded entirely to the mass apppeal of pop music in whatever form it takes this book is a gift. I speak for those who listen to classical music without the benefit of an education in the history or theory of music. Rothe and Steinberg bring us a window into the passions and thoughts of composers whose work has endured over decades and centuries. They do so with a robust appreciation for their subjects and amusing insights into their encounters with the work they describe. I cherish the crisp,candid style and knowlegeable background information that fills the pages. It will stay on my shelf as a reference book as well as a re-read for those times when only music will do.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Margot Goldsmith on January 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Once you've sampled one of the warm and witty essays in this book, you'll want to devour the rest at a single sitting. Rothe and Steinberg provide vivid and evocative accounts of their falling in love--or not--with various musical works. At the same time, they offer fascinating details about the all-too-human composers of those pieces. The passion that the authors bring to their descriptions of music and its creators will make readers eager to encounter the works themselves. Just as Steinberg mentions that he has learned that "music repays repeated listening," I believe this book will amply repay repeated reading.
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