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The Classical Music Experience With Web Site, Second Edition: Discover the Music of the World's Greatest Composers Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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About the Author
Dr. Julius H. Jacobson II is an internationally known vascular surgeon. He is widely regarded as the father of microsurgery for his pioneering work in the reconstruction of small blood vessels. This has directly led to coronary bypass surgery and the re-implantation of limbs and digits. About half of all neurosurgical operations employ the technique.
;Dr. Jacobson is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and trained at the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. He is now Director Emeritus of Vascular Surgery and Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He has five degrees, two of them honorary, but alas, none of them in music, one of his greatest loves.
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The writing is light and lively, often humorous with good and interesting historical facts. I actually used Youtube to listen to the recommended examples for each composer so that I could see and hear some variations and interpretations of a particular performance . I would have liked to have seen some more in depth explanations of some elements in the music, something not too technical, but a little more "look how the composer does this with these techniques and notes."
Overall, I would highly recommend this book for any layman and student of classic music.
I think the main selling point of this book is the down-to-earth style of its author. He is often discursive, relating fascinating medical, romantic or gossipy facts, say, in the composer's lives. It's a little bit like having a favorite uncle who loves to teach and who knows how to keep one's interest.
I would heartily recommend this to anyone wanting to start learning about classical music.
For each composer the author gives information on their history, most important pieces, and an analysis of their work as well as several examples on the CD. Each time they are discussing a track on the CD it is clearly identified as such in the text and the specific CD and track listed so you can easily find it and listen while reading that section.
This is as fine of an introduction to the world as classical music as you are likely to find anywhere. A thoroughly enjoyable education in classical music,
The Classical Music Experience is highly recommended.