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Music for Book Lovers

Import

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 2, 2007
$16.15
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Editorial Reviews

Music for Book Lovers
Gentle classics for reading

Gentle music makes a perfect accompaniment to reading. This selection has been chosen with the reader in mind. Many of the tracks began life with a literary theme or programme, taken from old legends, from Shakespeare s tales or from famous books. These works are interspersed with other characterful pieces which reflect a quiet mood or a scene from nature.

Music is the exaltation of poetry. Both of them may excel apart, but surely they are most excellent when they are joyn d, because nothing is then wanting to either of their proportions; for thus they appear like wit and beauty in the same person.
Henry Purcell

Mendelssohn and Berlioz were both inspired by literature, particularly the works of Shakespeare. Both were part of a new awakening in Europe to the powers of the Bard, a trend fuelled both by new translations and by the increasing interest in and reverence for the past which characterised many forms of artistic endeavour in the early decades of the nineteenth century. For Grieg and Tchaikovsky, as part of a younger generation which saw much political upheaval and an increasing pace of technological change, that cultural awareness of the past was charged with the extra elements of nationalism and patriotism. They turned to legends and historic figures from their own countries and wove their stories and themes into their music. It has always been possible to see music, particularly opera, as an expression of a political or sociological system, but for the composers of the mid-nineteenth century it became a more potent means of personal and political, even subversive, expression than ever before. Franz Liszt became embroiled in revolutionary fervour and in the rapidly changing times and he was one of the first musicians to travel on concert tours by train, a far cry from the risky and uncomfortable carriage and four of the young Mozart and his father! Liszt focused his attention on the wealthy aristocrats of all Europe, but Franz Schubert stayed firmly at home in his native city of Vienna, where he entertained his friends and a select group of patrons on a much smaller scale. His more public efforts, such as Rosamunde were ever doomed to financial failure, despite the breathtaking beauty of his melodic style. Edward Macdowell may also have been at his happiest with his musical miniatures, composed for similar society gatherings in Boston and New York at the turn of the twentieth century.

This programme also includes music from a much under-represented genre, British light music. Martin, Hanmer and Coates were involved in the less serious side of music-making, and their careers ran in parallel to those of composers such as Elgar and Vaughan Williams and conductors like Sir Henry Wood and Sir Thomas Beecham. Their work was considered populist and ephemeral (and may well have been composed in this spirit), but in recent times these striking compositions have been rediscovered and a new respect has grown for their technical skill, musical charm and considerable sophistication.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. A Midsummer Nights Dream Nocturne, Felix Mendelssohn
  2. Peer Gynt Suite Solveig s Song, Edvard Grieg
  3. Romeo and Juliet Scherzo, Hector Berlioz
  4. Evensong, Easthope Martin
  5. Rosamunde Entr acte No.3, Franz Schubert
  6. Symphony No.2 (Hymn of Praise) - Adagio religioso, Felix Mendelssohn
  7. Faust Menuet of wandering lights, Hector Berlioz
  8. Harmonies du soir in D flat, Franz Liszt
  9. Pastorale, Ronald Hanmer
  10. To a wild rose, Edward Macdowell
  11. Eugene Onegin Introduction, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  12. By the sleepy lagoon , Eric Coates


Product details

  • Conductor: Various
  • Composer: Felix Mendelssohn, Edvard Grieg, Hector Berlioz, Franz Schubert, Easthope Martin, et al.
  • Audio CD (March 2, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: The Gift Of Music
  • ASIN: B00116W05A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,403 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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October 16, 2014
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June 25, 2012
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September 7, 2014
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December 28, 2015
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