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Twentieth-Century Piano Music (Studies in Musical Genres and Repertories) Hardcover – February, 1991

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Musical Genres and Repertories
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Schirmer Books; 2nd prt. edition (February 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028703219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028703213
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,479,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


David Burge is one of our finest concert pianists, and his playing of twentieth-century music is always splendid. His new book will be an indispensable guide. (David Dubal, Professor of piano, The Juilliard School, New York)

[Burge] succeeds in describing hundreds of pieces in a manner that gives each a unique identity, no small achievement...Twentieth-Century Piano Music fills a gap in the available literature on the subject and should be required reading for advanced pianists of all ages. (Kendall Feeney Clavier)

It is the fact that Burge has known so many composers personally, including especially Crumb, Berio, and Krenek, that makes his insights so very valuable to the reader. (Thomas Warburton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Sonneck Society Bulletin)

This important volume, reissued last year by Scarecrow Press, commends itself for many reasons, not the least of which is the easy authority brought to the subject by its author, pianist, and composer David Burge. His advocacy of much of the music he writes about is underpinned by his having performed or recorded many of the works discussed. This lends his comments considerable weight, endorsed by the CD enclosed with the book....There is much of great value in this book... (Piano Professional)

How refreshing to read a book that does not claim to be definitive or complete, that has a mere five pages of notes, and that is unashamedly biased in what it chooses to discuss. Indeed, the author, American pianist and composer David Burge, hopes that readers will find that some of his omissions and opinions infuriate....a largely enjoyable introduction to last century's wealth of piano music. (Classical Music)

...Burge gets the combination of historical context, artistic suggestion and level of detail just right....a must have book for anyone studying the piano. (Muso) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

David Burge is a performer, composer, recording artist, and writer. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
A few years ago, EMI issued a large retrospective series of CDs titled "Great Pianists of the 20th Century" featuring outstanding recordings by masters of the keyboard in our recently-concluded century. In listening to several recordings in the compilation, I thought that a similar effort was needed systematically to introduce music lovers, myself particularly, to 20th Century piano music. I am unaware of a series of recordings devoted to this purpose, but David Burge's book, "Twentieth Century Piano Music" (1990) gives a good scholarly overview of the variety and complexity of the music the year 2000 left behind. David Burge is professor of piano at the Eastman School of Music and a noted performer.

Professor Burge's book is divided into four parts, in which he describes the literature for solo piano in, respectively, 1. the turn of the century to the end of WW I, 2. the period between the two World Wars, 3. the Postwar Period, and 4. the 1970s and 1980s. The book also includes a chronological list of major piano works, and a short discography or recent works.

Each part of the study includes includes a discussion of the piano compositions of major composers of the era, in the context of a brief biographical and historical setting and a musical analysis. The course of the book is set in the first part in which Professor Burge focuses upon the music of Debussy, Ravel, Ives, and Schoenberg. Throughout the book, Professor Burge's emphasis is on the growth of atonal music, and his discussion of Schoenberg, and to a lesser extent of Debussy, helped me understand how Schoenberg's atonal compositions were an outgrowth of late 19th Century romanticism by a composer determined to find his own voice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By 88Keys on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I would highly recommend this book for any serious musician who wishes to delve into the relatively unknown realm of twentieth-century piano music. David Burge provides a thorough and interesting read full of fascinating bits of information and historical context. The accompanying cd is a special bonus. Occasionally the writing turns very opinionated or biased, however this is a small distraction in an otherwise excellent resource.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom Furgas on January 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Burge is, of course, THE master of 20th Century piano music, and it is very gratifying that he has written this overview of the music he has helped to put on the map. Illustrated with many examples of the notated music, this survey gives us a concise and very expert review of all the major and many minor masterpieces that make 20th Century piano music so absorbing and rewarding to study, play, and listen to. While I don't agree with all of Burge's assessments (some of which are purely a matter of taste) that's a very minor quibble for a volume of such depth and intelligence. Not only is this volume a superlative guide to the music, but it will help anyone unfamiliar with the music to appreciate and even grow to love this area of the pianist's repertoire.
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