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Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers Paperback – March 19, 1996
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
Patrick Kavanaugh, executive director of the Christian Performing Artists' Fellowship, holds a doctorate in music composition. A conductor and performer, he is the author of Spiritual Moments with the Great Composers, Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers, and Raising Musical Kids.
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Top Customer Reviews
Noted Christian composer Patrick Kavanaugh has done a good job in presenting his thesis; namely that many, if not most, of the great composers over the last 400 years, were men of spirituality -- even if not always completely orthodox in their expressions of that spirituality. As far as that goes, the point is quite valid.
However, at times, Kavanaugh seems to be stretching his thesis to include less obvious examples (Schubert, for instance) when more obvious examples could have been used. (However, he does do the musical world a good service by rehabilitating Wagner and demonstrating that while he was a man with many faults, he cannot and should not be held responsible for the actions of Hitler!)
Also frustrating was Kavanaugh's habit of ascribing specific internal motives to several of the featured composers. In addition, there is a strong anti-Catholic bias in the book which I found distasteful. Those composers with Protestant backgrounds had their Protestantism emphasized, while those with Catholic backgrounds had their Catholicism minimized and even ridiculed. For me, this was unnecessary and intellectually dishonest.
This being said, I would still like to see another volume. Many, many other composers come to mind which could fill such a book. And hopefully, some of the anti-Catholic bias could be filtered out.
However, trying to really understand the inner life and faith of a person - any person then or now - is a tricky proposition.Read more ›
I found that Mozart was not quite the consummate party animal he is portrayed as in `Amadeus', the movie, at least not for his whole life. The author, Patrick Kavannaugh, asks us how each of us would like to have our lives put into biographies for public consumption. I know I would have to pass on that. I found that Haydn was happy and friendly, just like his music. Bruckner was a little hard too know, but well worth the effort to do so, just like his music. Folks like Beethoven, Wagner, and Liszt were very spiritual, though you don't hear much about that, and would not suspect so.
It was also surprising to me that most of them were Catholic, but I guess that makes sense since the Catholic Church has always been a great patron of the arts. Certainly, Mozart's Requiem and Beethoven's Mass are two of the greatest choral pieces ever written.
The book was a little gem for those of us who like classical music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. We learned a lot about the great composers. Their music was great for a reason and many of them considered it a privilege to glorify God by sharing their talents. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Andersen
If you are , musician , this book will inspire you, if you are a worshiper or band leader for church, it would be a treasure, no matter denomination , this is all about God , and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by orlando rafael alvarado
Awesome insight into the lives of our most treasured classical musicians. My children really appreciate learning about the deep Christian devotion of these composers. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kindness
This book was inspiring and encouraging, as I often hear about the lack of faith in some composers, but appreciate the quotes throughout this book proving the deeply held faith of... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Sara Takeuchi
I was given this book as a gift and have given several to other friends. It helped me to appreciate the music as I came to understand the spiritual backgrounds each of these... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer