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Chopin - A Listener's Guide to the Master of the Piano: Unlocking the Masters Series Paperback – October 1, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
$16.67 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Product Details

  • Series: Unlocking the Masters (Book 11)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Amadeus Press; PAP/COM edition (October 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574671480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574671483
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #873,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amadeus Press has filled a underserved niche in the classical music literature with these marvelous little guides to the great composers and their greatest compositions. They fill the gap between the highly detailed, scholarly volumes of the lives of the great composers ... and the too-superficial tiny guides that offer too little program notes on the music or the composer. It gives you a compelling "play-by-play" description of each composition without venturing into musicology that would lose a beginner. The entire series is extremely well written and make a great guides to new discoveries. It should appeal to beginners as well as classical veterans alike. This Chopin volume is proving to be a valuable guide as I explore in depth Chopin's music and the great performances on disc.

Every major category is covered in satisfying depth to give you solid understanding of what is behind each work - and what in particular is historically and musically significant in them. ALl major works are covered: the lilting Waltzes .. the pensive and sometimes turbulent Nocturnes ... the weighty Sonatas, Scherzos and Ballades ... the delicate miniatures ... the amazing early piano concertos ... the showpieces, Etudes, Preludes and even the few chamber pieces of Chopin are explored to reveal many curious historic details.

This volume on Chopin makes for compelling reading and is one of the only modern volumes of program notes on the piano music of Chopin I could find. The number of works covered is large and satisfying with enough detail to give you a deep appreciation of the significance, musical structures and impact of each work. In a way, it reads much like program notes in a CD, but covering the entire range of Chopin's life and works. Other reviews below outline the range covered.
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Format: Paperback
These small books from Amadeus concentrate on one composer, one of the masters. In these books a brief biography (25 or so pages) set the tone for a discussion of the man's music. In the case of Chopin, this can be summed up as a case of being considered a musical genius at a very early age, followed by increasing fame as a composer even as he was spending years dying from tuberculosis.

In the sections on the music, an expert author describes what the best consensus of our time is saying about the works. In the case of Chopin these are broken down into the types of works: Etudes and Preludes, Music for Piano and orchestra, The Waltzes, The Nocturnes, The Sonatas, Patriotism and Tragedy: The Polonaises, Individual works, The Impromptus and Scherzos, The Mazurkas, and The Ballades.

A CD included with the book contains fifteen complete compositions of Chopin's works. Having the CD with the book means that the author can refer to the music in his writing knowing that you will have exactly the music he is discussing. This is a great concept that adds imeasurably to the book.
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Format: Paperback
Pair a full-length classical cd from the classical music publisher Naxos with a book surveying Chopin's biography and influences and you have the perfect introduction to Chopin - and a pick recommended not just for public library holdings, but for schools seeking to introduce students to Chopin. Descriptions of his works, styles, and diversity come from a New York-based critical music writer whose addition to the 'Unlocking the Masters' series provides newcomers with a most accessible way of understanding Chopin's music.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really helped me understand and appreciate a Chopin Prelude I am learning. His music goes so deep, is so rich, that learning about the man and his music, from his contemporaries and his history is extremely helpful in guiding my playing of his music.
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