Buy Used
$0.96
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by -Daily Deals-
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This Book is in Good Condition. Clean Copy With Light Amount of Wear. 100% Guaranteed.
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 all 2 images

The Compleat Brahms: A Guide to the Musical Works of Johannes Brahms Hardcover – March 1, 1999


See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$34.99 $0.96
Take%20an%20Extra%2030%25%20Off%20Any%20Book

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
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.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393047083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393047080
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,412,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Monumental is the first word that occurs to you when you begin exploring what has been put together by Leon Botstein and his 29 collaborators--and it's appropriate. Seen from a distance (and how else can we see him more than a century after his death?) there is also something monumental--almost forbidding--about the figure of Brahms himself. He was the great musical conservative in the creative ferment of the late 19th century. Haunted by the figure of Beethoven, he destroyed much of his own work--carefully tailoring his posthumous image--in fear of negative comparisons. At the same time, he preserved almost single-handedly the great classical tradition embodied in Beethoven's work, particularly the tradition of the symphony and other abstract works using sonata form, which was nearly engulfed in Brahms's lifetime by Lisztian tone poems, Wagnerian "music of the future," the rise of musical nationalism, and even the first stirrings of impressionism. In this context, Brahms becomes a lonely figure but a vital one.

Virtually every piece composed by Brahms and not sacrificed to his uncompromising critical standards is discussed in this compendium, lucidly, readably, in biographical and cultural context, and in fine detail. The writers are all scholars or professional performers--often both--but they have worked hard to make their discussions and analyses accessible to the interested general reader, and in their diversity of approaches they have made the book a compendium of the varied techniques for writing readably about music. You may not agree with every word (a fine seasoning of opinion has been allowed to flavor the masses of fact), and it is not the sort of book that anyone but a fanatic will gallop through from cover to cover. But you will find Brahms here in all his complexity, still monumental but more approachable than ever. --Joe McLellan

From Publishers Weekly

Botstein, president of Bard College and director of the American Symphony Orchestra, presents this helpful and user-friendly compendium as the "first and only annotated catalog of Brahms' music in English." Essays by such scholars as Walter Frisch and Michael Musgrave (whose Cambridge Companion to Brahms is forthcoming) are gathered into chapters on Orchestral Music, Chamber Music, Solo Piano Music, Solo Lieder and Vocal and Choral Music. Botstein himself, who writes on many vocal works, has a welcome tendency toward brevity, and never goes on too long about minor works or even major ones. All the essays are anchored in the composer's life, revealing such matters as his relations with Robert and Clara Schumann as well as other still-debated details of his love life. Some of the more outstanding essays in this vein are by Jan Swafford, author of Johannes Brahms: A Biography, who introduces the "Alto Rhapsody" in a way guaranteed to appeal even to those who consider Brahms to be merely "Gloomy Joe," as the EMI record producer Walter Legge used to sarcastically refer to him, adding: "The main problem with Brahms is that he never got syphilis." By contrast, the book's writers' are all Brahms enthusiasts, and their excitement is infectious, in good part because the essays are not permitted to go on to Brahmsian lengths. Botstein has compiled a valuable, welcome addition to the bibliography.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Bloom on June 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The unevenness cited by a previous reviewer is this book's great weakness. Those works covered by writers other than the editor get reasonably detailed treatment. Those written by the editor get very short shrift. These are all solo lieder, vocal duets and quartets, and smaller-scale choral works, especially the earlier works in these genres. Some of the individual numbers in these sets get no more discussion than their names and key signatures.
Even the longer essays are not by any means detailed musical analyses. They are the equivalent of what you might expect from a well-done set of notes included with a recording.
The title "Compleat" is something of a misnomer. The book barely mentions most of the WoO and posthumous works and discusses almost none of the many alternate arrangements done by Brahms -- including some significant ones, such as the transcriptions of Op. 120 for viola and piano.
Even with its deficiencies, if you're a serious Brahmsian, this book will be a valuable addition to your library.
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
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sen Peng Eu on April 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains introduction of EVERY Brahms' work. I use it accompanying with DG's Brahms complete edition, and the result is very informative and I totally enjoy it. The greatest merit,and at the same time the crucial flaw, of this book is that this is a collaboration. Yes, good enough, we can find different perspectives and different writing styles and different standard among these articles. But even in the same category pages seem not being equally distributed. For example, there are 4.5 enthusiastic pages dedicated to op.43,four lieder, with every lied in detail. But there are only 3 paragraphs for op.46, four lieder. (It seems rather "unfair",isn't it? for op.46 is no less distinct then the former.) I love this book, if regardless of this.
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
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Bloom on May 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The description says "Virtually every piece composed by Brahms and not sacrificed to his uncompromising critical standards is discussed in this compendium, lucidly, readably, in biographical and cultural context, and in fine detail." The claim "in fine detail" is blatantly untrue. The detail is about what you'd get on a typical CD insert booklet, nothing more. The C minor symphony gets a scant five pages; the E minor, just three; the four concertos get a total of 13 pages.
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
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My hope for this book was to provide insight to the works of Brahms I knew quite well, and to open the door for others I had neglected or had yet to listen to. Botstein, in his introduction, is perhaps a bit too optimistic that his cadre of writers and editing style can achieve a great many things. Some essays work quite well, but others read like bad liner notes. The essays for his chamber music are fairly uninformative; that is a real shame because much of that music provided the framework for his late-romantic-era contemporaries.

For musicians, I don't believe I could recommend this book. If you are brand new to Brahms then I might do so. Botstein has chosen not to include any printed musical examples. I can understand this approach, especially because many of the details would be difficult to explain to a layman. It is, however, disappointing that there is basically no technical talk. We are sort of shied away from the mechanics of the music, where exactness could have made it all the more illuminated. Voice music and symphonic works can be presented with a fair degree of abstraction in analysis, but chamber music seems to need at least somewhat of a technical focus. This is a great book for a music lover, and an okay book for a musician.
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
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Brunsvold on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Everything went smoothly. Got a good quality book, and it arrived on time in good shape. i would definitely order from this company again.
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?