Choral Masterworks from Bach to Britten: Reflections of a Conductor / Edition 1

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Overview

Sixteen of classical music's greatest choral compositions are discussed at length in Choral Masterworks from Bach to Britten: Reflections of a Conductor. Pieces such as Bach's Mass in B Minor and St. Matthew's Passion, Schubert's Mass in G, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, Verdi's Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Britten's War Requiem are examined and analyzed in an effort to help performers, students, and listeners more fully understand and appreciate these significant works. Choral professor and conductor Robert J. Summer has combined his personal observations with shared ideas from some of the greatest choral conductors of our time, including Robert Shaw, Sir David Willcocks, Donald Neuen, Julius Herford, and Robert Page. His experiences with some of these conductors, such as his collaboration with Robert Shaw on the recording of Mahler's 8th Symphony, are captured in detail, paying homage to the conductor, the composer, and the work. Each chapter focuses on an individual work and presents musical analysis, structure, textual symbolism, and identification of traits that endear the work to performers and listeners. Summer comments on the function and relationship of solos, recitatives, and choruses, offering suggestions and considerations for preparing the works for performance. The textual organization of many works is included in appendixes, and the book concludes with a bibliography and a selected discography. Choral Masterworks from Bach to Britten is appropriate both as a textbook for choral literature classes and as a listening guide for the general music lover.

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Editorial Reviews

May 2007 Reference and Research Book News
Summer (choral studies, U. of South Florida, Tampa) discusses 15 choral compositions in depth for performers, students, and listeners. Pieces include Bach's Mass in B Minor, Handel's Messiah , Haydn's Creation , Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem , Mahler's Symphony No. 8, requiems by Duruflé and Fauré, and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms . He analyzes each piece and discusses conducting considerations, historical context, and textual elements.
Dr. Doreen Rao
Happily, the writing connects analysis with practice! It does so easily and consistently, making the writing approachable and attractive to those who practice the art of teaching and conducting choral music.
Thomas Shaw
Your account of the rehearsal and the performance of Mahler Eighth was both illuminating and deeply moving. I can't tell you how much I value reading or hearing about other musicians' experiences with my father; the stories form a bridge to his memory, and through them his spirit is kept alive.
Dr. Bruce Chamberlain
The book gains validity from the fact that the author has actually conducted all of these works and "lived and breathed" them from the practical standpoint of a conductor, bringing them to life in performance, and not just as an academic pouring over the scores in the privacy of the studio....The scholarship is of the finest order, referencing classic established sources side-by-side with the most current musicological publications. The author has a wonderful way in whetting the reader's appetite for further study.
CHOICE
Recommended.
November 2007 Choral Journal
Robert Summer has written a book that should be considered for every choral conductor's library....It could also serve as an ideal textbook for an undergraduate choral literature class....A practical resource written from the vantage point of a performing musician. I strongly recommend this text.
Daniel Moe
No matter how long we have been working as teachers/conductors, we continue to need inspiration and nourishment. This volume contains precisely the nourishment we need. For anyone who wants to know choral masterworks in greater depth, here is the source you have been waiting for.
The American Organist
Offers insightful, handy, and readable observations about a range of commonly known and loved large works. Those who would ordinarily collect such titles will find it indispensable.
Choice
Recommended.
Choral Journal
Robert Summer has written a book that should be considered for every choral conductor's library....It could also serve as an ideal textbook for an undergraduate choral literature class....A practical resource written from the vantage point of a performing musician. I strongly recommend this text.
Reference and Research Book News
Summer (choral studies, U. of South Florida, Tampa) discusses 15 choral compositions in depth for performers, students, and listeners. Pieces include Bach's Mass in B Minor, Handel's Messiah , Haydn's Creation , Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem , Mahler's Symphony No. 8, requiems by Duruflé and Fauré, and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms . He analyzes each piece and discusses conducting considerations, historical context, and textual elements.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810859036
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/23/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 10.07 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert J. Summer is professor of choral studies at the University of South Florida, Tampa and founding conductor of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 List of Figures Part 2 List of Musical Examples Part 3 Foreword by Daniel Moe Part 4 Preface Part 5 Acknowledgments Part 6 1. Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 Part 7 2. George Frideric Handel: Messiah Part 8 3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem in D Minor, K. 626 Part 9 4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Vesperae solennes de confessore, K. 339 Part 10 5 Franz Joseph Haydn: The Creation Part 11 6. Ludwig van Beethoven: Missa Solemnis, Op. 123 Part 12 7. Franz Schubert: Mass in G Major, D. 167 Part 13 8. Felix Mendelssohn: Suggestions for Abridged Versions of Elijah Part 14 9. Johannes Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 Part 15 10. Giuseppe Verdi: Manzoni Requiem Part 16 11a. Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 8 ("Symphony of a Thousand") Part 17 11b. Recording the Mahler Eighth with Robert Shaw Part 18 12. Gabriel Fauré: Requiem, Op. 48 Part 19 13. Maurice Daruflé: Requiem, Op. 9 Part 20 14. Igor Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms Part 21 15. Benjamin Britten: Relationships of the Latin Requiem Mass to Wilfred Owen's Poetry in the Britten War Requiem Part 22 Appendix A: Text Organizational Chart for Handel's Messiah Part 23 Appendix B: Text Organizational Chart for Mendelssohn's Elijah Part 24 Appendix C: The Textual Organization of Johann Sebastian Bach's The Passion according to St. Matthew Part 25 Appendix D: Translation of the Text of the Ordinary of the Mass Part 26 Appendix E: Translation of the Text of the Requiem Mass Part 27 Selected Discography of CD Recordings Part 28 Selected Bibliography Part 29 Index of Names Part 30 About the Author

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