For The Love of Music: Invitations to Listening

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The power of music, the way it works on the mind and heart, remains an enticing mystery. Now two noted writers on classical music, Michael Steinberg and Larry Rothe, explore the allure of this melodious art—not in the clinical terms of social scientists—but through stories drawn from their own experience. In For the Love of Music, Steinberg and Rothe draw on a lifetime of listening to, living with, and writing about music, sharing the delights and revelatory encounters they have had with Mozart, Brahms, Stravinsky, and a host of other great (and almost-great) composers. At once highly personal and immediately accessible, their writings shed light on those who make music and those who listen to it—drawing readers into the beautiful and dangerous terrain that has meant so much to the authors. In recounting how they themselves came to love music, Steinberg and Rothe offer keys for listening. You will meet the man who created the sound of Hollywood's Golden Age and you will learn how composers have addressed issues as contemporary as AIDS and the terrorist attacks of September 11.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Excellent.... Steinberg and Rothe...write persuasively and elegantly about Western classical music in accessible, welcoming language intended for an educated general audience.... All music lovers will find this a stimulating, enriching read. Engagingly personal, witty, and jargon-free."—Library Journal (starred review)
Library Journal
Most of the essays in this excellent collection originally appeared in program books for the San Francisco Symphony. Music writers Steinberg (Choral Masterworks) and Rothe (Symphony magazine), who have been affiliated with the orchestra since 1979 and 1984, respectively, write persuasively and elegantly about Western classical music in accessible, welcoming language intended for an educated general audience. Their 31 short essays are divided into six sections. In the first, "Beginnings," each author explains the origins of his own love affair with music. "Creators" contains short studies of individual composers, mostly from the 19th and early 20th centuries. "Missionaries" introduces readers to four tireless classical music advocates. And "Postlude," appropriately, contains Steinberg's thoughts on when and when not to applaud during a concert. All music lovers will find this a stimulating, enriching read. Engagingly personal, witty, and jargon-free, it compares at times with David Blum's Quintet: Five Journals Toward Musical Fulfillment. Highly recommended for general collections.-Larry Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195370201
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/24/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,034,552
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Steinberg was music critic of The Boston Globe, has contributed to numerous periodicals, and served as program annotator for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Larry Rothe has been publications editor of the San Francisco Symphony since 1984. His articles have appeared in Symphony magazine, Playbill, and Stagebill, and he is co-editor of American Mavericks: Visionaries, Pioneers, Iconoclasts. He lives in Berkeley, California.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

I Beginnings

How I Fell in Love with Music (MS) 3

Preliminary: The Professor's Legacy (LR) 11

II Creators

Another Word for Mozart (MS) 19

Thinking of Robert Schumann (MS) 25

The Sacred, the Profane, and the Gritty Affirmations of Music (LR) 33

Franz Schubert, "A Rich Possession" (MS) 39

Encountering Brahms (LR) 47

Schoenberg, Brahms, and The Great Tradition (MS) 57

First-Rate Second-Class Composer (LR) 63

Sibelius and Mahler: What More Could There Be? (LR) 69

Remembering Rachmaninoff (MS) 77

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: A Meditation (LR) 83

Tchaikovsky's Mozart (and Others') (MS) 93

On the Trail of W. A. Mozart (LR) 99

What They Saw (LR) 107

A Short Life of J. S. Bach (LR) 117

Stravinsky's Ear-stretching, Joy-giving Legacy (MS) 127

III The Recent Scene

A Visit with Lou Harrison (MS) 137

George Perle: Composing a Way of Life (LR) 143

A Quinter for American Music (MS) 151

Three American Composers in Pursuit of the White Whale (LR) 159

A Century Set to Music (MS) 169

IV Missionaries

Making America Musical: A Salute to Theodore Thomas (MS) 179

Sigmund Spaeth, Someone You Should Know (LR) 187

Isaac Stern-On Music and Life (MS) 199

B. H. Haggin the Contrarian (MS) 205

V Affairs to Remember

Loving Memories of Movie Music (LR) 217

Vienna Trilogy: Vignettes from the City of Music (LR) 223

Music, True or False (LR) 231

Why We Are Here (MS) 237

VI Postlude

The Sounds We Make (MS) 245

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