The NPR Listener's Encyclopedia of Classical Music

The NPR Listener's Encyclopedia of Classical Music

by Ted Libbey, Theodore Libbey
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The NPR Listener's Encyclopedia of Classical Music by Ted Libbey, Theodore Libbey

A jam-packed, 11-year undertaking of 928 pages, 1,500 entries, and over 1,000 recommended recordings, The NPR Listener's Encyclopedia is an everything-you-need-to-know bible for the classical music lover. Written with infectious enthusiasm by Ted Libbey, author of The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection, with 174,000 copies in print, this is an encyclopedia with wit and verve, covering those terms, works, composers, and performers that NPR listeners and concertgoers are most likely to encounter. In addition, buyers of the book will receive a password that opens the door to an interactive Web site, created in a partnership with the classical music powerhouse, Naxos, that allows them to listen to 600 examples of works, techniques, and performers discussed and cross-referenced in the book. This is the first interactive encyclopedia of music!

Libbey, a spirited, selective guide, writes “lyrically and lucidly about music and music makers” (Chicago Tribune) and knows how to ground abstract ideas in the real. How does it work? Look up barcarolle, and he not only defines the term vividly (“the melody is a gentle, rocking rhythm suggestive of the swaying of a boat”) but suggests three exemplary pieces of music to listen to—Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words, and Chopin’s Barcarolle. Then go to the Web site and hear what he’s writing about.

What is the tonic? Why is there such a satisfying psychological impact at the end of a sonata? Who is Thomas Tallis? What is the idea behind Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, andwas there ever an ill-tempered clavier? For the music lover, impossible to put down.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761136422
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 04/10/2006
Pages: 928
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 2.13(d)

About the Author

Ted Libbey is one of America's most highly regarded music critics. A former music critic for The New York Times, he is known to millions of NPR listeners as curator of the Basic Radio Library on "Performance Today." Mr. Libbey is now Director of Media Arts of the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Rockville, Maryland.

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The NPR Listener's Encyclopedia of Classical Music 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
GaryinDC More than 1 year ago
I started piano lessons as an adult about a year and a half ago. I also started listening seriously to classical music and there is SO much to learn. I think this is a fantastic resource for people starting to learn about classical music. I literally read it cover to cover. It is well written and interesting. My brother often jokes that my scale for rating things only goes up to 7, because there are very few things I would give a high rating. But I would give this a 9.5 plus. That said, I think a little editing would be in order. It's a bit heavy on performers who either passed away or stopped performing decades ago. There are no entries for some German Baroque composers that I love -- Johann Hasse and David Heinichen Cleofide, the only opera that it is certain that J.S. Bach saw, does not have an entry. Nor are there entries for more recently famous pianists, such as my current favorite pianist, Angela Hewitt But overall this is a fantastic resource and a fantastic value. Buy it!
BWWoods More than 1 year ago
After browsing this book at a friend's home, I purchased it for my high school age nephew. He is studying classical violin and is a classical music fan. This volume, along with its recorded samples of important pieces, is proving to be a good source of reference and inspiration for him. I really need to buy a copy for my own edification and browsing pleasure.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is written for the lay person. It has entries on performers, conductors, specific music works (such as 'Appalachian Spring'), music theory, and music history. It also has recommended recordings. Its most useful feature is that it allows the reader-listener, through a Naxos web site, to hear examples of what's discussed in the text. A good way to learn about classical music.