The Great Pianists: From Mozart to the Present

The Great Pianists: From Mozart to the Present

by Harold C. Schonberg

Paperback(Simon & Schuster)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671638375
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 06/15/1987
Edition description: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 333,158
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.30(d)

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Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
datrappert on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Another indispensable work by Schonberg. Really gives you some idea of how the great pianists of the past (and a few of the present) approached their work and what the pre-recording era ones probably sounded like. This was especially interesting to me since my daughter is studying the piano, and though not a musician myself, I was fascinated by Schonberg's narrative, which includes lots of memorable anecdotes. Doesn't require a music degree to appreciate, and anyone with a hankering for some fine writing needs to discover Schonberg.
ChocolateMuse on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I found this book fascinating. It doesn't concentrate on biographical details of the great pianists, but rather on their personalities, idiosyncracies and their piano playing style as described by those who heard (and saw) them. There's some delightful titbits in there, such as the fact that Liszt was a handsome man with long hair, who would throw his hands around, and toss his hair over his face, make dramatic gestures and fierce grimaces while playing. Ladies would swoon and scream and throw their jewellery on the stage while he played. The first rock star? As well as anecdotes like that, the book is also a history of piano playing, from the piano's invention in Bach's day, until the time of writing, which was the 1980s. It gives a clear picture of the changes from baroque to classical to romantic to modernist. As a piano player, I found some fascinating insights there too, such as that it's a relatively new idea that the performer should slavishly adhere to what's written on the score - it was the norm for over a century to embellish and enforce one's own personality onto the music.My only complaint is that the book finishes too soon - reading it now, I feel like I'm missing out on the rest of the story - it was written squarely in the modernist period, which I'm sure is over now. What are we at now? Post-modernist? Neo-romantic? Eclectic? I'd love someone to tell me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an excellent overview of the great pianists whose brilliant playing has thrilled the world. I first discovered this book while in high school and was so fascinated by it that I always spent my study hall hour pouring over its pages when I should have been studying. It's just a wonderful book, and if you like piano music and admire pianists, you will certainly enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.