What Makes It Great: Short Masterpieces, Great Composers

What Makes It Great: Short Masterpieces, Great Composers

by Rob Kapilow

Hardcover(First Edition)

$25.74 $26.95 Save 4% Current price is $25.74, Original price is $26.95. You Save 4%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Wednesday, October 24?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.
    Same Day shipping in Manhattan. 
    See Details


What Makes It Great: Short Masterpieces, Great Composers by Rob Kapilow

A fresh guide to classical music from the acclaimed creator of NPR's "What Makes It Great"™

Rob Kapilow has been helping audiences hear more in great music for two decades with his What Makes It Great? series on NPR's Performance Today, at Lincoln Center, and in concert halls throughout the US and Canada. In this book, he focuses on short masterpieces by major composers to help you understand the essence of each composer's genius and how each piece—which can be heard on the book's web site—transformed the musical language of its time. Kapilow's down-to-earth approach makes music history easy to grasp no matter what your musical background.

  • Explores the musical styles and genius of great classical composers, including Vivaldi, Handel, J.S. Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Chopin, Puccini, Wagner, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, and Debussy
  • Features an accompanying web site where you can see, hear, and download each short masterpiece and all of the book's musical examples
  • Introduces you in depth to popular pieces from the classical repertoire, including "Spring" from the Four Seasons (Vivaldi), "Dove Sono" from The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart), the Prelude to Tristan and Isolde (Wagner), and "Trepak" from The Nutcracker Suite (Tchaikovsky)
  • Written by acclaimed composer, conductor, and pianist Rob Kapilow: "You could practically see the light bulbs going on above people's heads" ( The Philadelphia Inquirer ); "Rob Kapilow is awfully good at what he does" ( The Boston Globe ); "A wonderful guy who brings music alive!" (Katie Couric)

This book, along with the music on the companion web site, is an ideal starting point for anyone interested in classical music, whether first-time listener, experienced concertgoer or performing musician, offering an entree into the world of eighteen great composers and a collection of individual masterpieces spanning almost two hundred years.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470550922
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,272,942
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Rob Kapilow is a composer, conductor, pianist, author, and music commentator. His What Makes It Great? programs, which began on NPR, have been developed into full-length concert evenings that are a mainstay of Lincoln Center's Great Performers series and are also presented on a recurring basis in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Kansas City, in California at Cerritos, and in Canada at the Toronto Symphony. They have also been turned into CD recordings and video podcasts. He appears regularly throughout the United States and Canada, both with What Makes It Great? and FamilyMusik, and has been featured in print and on television, including on NBC's Today show and Live from Lincoln Center on PBS. In 2008, his first book, All You Have to Do Is Listen, was selected as the Best Book in Music & the Performing Arts by the Association of American Publishers. In 2009, he was the subject of Summer Sun Winter Moon, a PBS documentary about his Lewis and Clark symphony in collaboration with a Blackfoot poet.

Table of Contents




“To Know One Thing Well” 1

1 Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741) 5

“Spring” (Movement 1) from The Four Seasons

2 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) 26

Invention No.1 from the Two-part Inventions

3 George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) 39

“Hallelujah Chorus” from Messiah

4 Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) 59

String Quartet, Op.76, No. 1, Movement 3

5 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) 73

“Dove Sono” from The Marriage of Figaro

6 Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) 89

Waldstein Sonata, Movement 1

7 Franz Schubert (1797–1828) 117


8 Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849) 140

A-Minor Mazurka, Op.17, No.4

9 Robert Schumann (1810–1856) 156

“Träumerei” from Kinderszenen

10 Franz Liszt (1811–1886) 166

Transcendental Étude in A Minor

11 Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) 182

Scherzo from the String Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20

12 Richard Wagner (1813–1883) 206

Prelude to Tristan and Isolde

13 Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) 223

“De’ Miei Bollenti Spiriti” from La Traviata

14 Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) 237

“Un Bel Di” from Madama Butterfly

15 Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) 249

A-Major Intermezzo, Op.118, No.2

16 Antonín Dvorˇák (1841–1904) 264

Slavonic Dance, Op.46, No.8

17 Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) 283

“Trepak” from The Nutcracker Suite

18 Claude Debussy (1862–1918) 296

“Des Pas sur la Neige” from Preludes, Book I



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

What Makes It Great: Short Masterpieces, Great Composers 1.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago