Download e-book for kindle: Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide by James M. Keller

By James M. Keller

ISBN-10: 0195382536

ISBN-13: 9780195382532

Oxford's hugely profitable listener's guides--The Symphony, The Concerto, and Choral Masterworks--have been broadly praised for his or her mix of beautiful biography, crystal transparent musical research, and pleasant humor. Now James Keller follows those drastically favourite volumes with Chamber song. coming near near the culture of chamber track with wisdom and keenness, Keller the following serves because the often-opinionated yet constantly genial advisor to 192 crucial works by way of fifty six composers, delivering illuminating essays on what makes every piece special and admirable. Keller spans the background of this intimate style of song, from key works of the Baroque in the course of the emotionally stirring "golden age" of the Classical and Romantic composers, to trendy masterpieces wealthy in political, mental, and occasionally comical overtones. for every piece, from Bach via to modern figures like George Crumb and Steve Reich, the writer comprises an astute musical research that informal track fanatics can simply relish but that more matured listeners will locate enriching. Keller stocks the colourful, frequently mind-blowing tales at the back of the compositions whereas revealing the delights of an paintings shape as soon as defined by means of Goethe because the musical similar of "thoughtful humans conversing."

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By James M. Keller

ISBN-10: 0195382536

ISBN-13: 9780195382532

Oxford's hugely profitable listener's guides--The Symphony, The Concerto, and Choral Masterworks--have been broadly praised for his or her mix of beautiful biography, crystal transparent musical research, and pleasant humor. Now James Keller follows those drastically favourite volumes with Chamber song. coming near near the culture of chamber track with wisdom and keenness, Keller the following serves because the often-opinionated yet constantly genial advisor to 192 crucial works by way of fifty six composers, delivering illuminating essays on what makes every piece special and admirable. Keller spans the background of this intimate style of song, from key works of the Baroque in the course of the emotionally stirring "golden age" of the Classical and Romantic composers, to trendy masterpieces wealthy in political, mental, and occasionally comical overtones. for every piece, from Bach via to modern figures like George Crumb and Steve Reich, the writer comprises an astute musical research that informal track fanatics can simply relish but that more matured listeners will locate enriching. Keller stocks the colourful, frequently mind-blowing tales at the back of the compositions whereas revealing the delights of an paintings shape as soon as defined by means of Goethe because the musical similar of "thoughtful humans conversing."

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Extra info for Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide

Example text

The first movement, titled Verbunkos (at the tempo Moderato, ben ritmato), is based on a dance employed by recruiting officers in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Hungary who hoped that their proud footwork would ensnare a few good men. All three instruments are shown off here with considerable flair before the clarinet takes off in a cadenza filled with roulades and folkloric scale fragments. Pihenö (Relaxation, marked Lento) was the late addition, and one can only marvel at how Contrasts benefits—indeed, earns its title—from the contrast this movement provides.

Notwithstanding the musicological complications, the G-major Trio Sonata is easy to love, with its melodic lines tracing contrapuntal coils above Bach’s elegantly plotted bass. The sonata’s four-movement form is typical of the Italian Baroque “church sonatas,” with their characteristic succession of slow-fast-slow-fast. But within this structure, the work’s procedure shows some distinctive aspects. In the broad opening Largo, derived from an initial upward scale motif, the composer writes out what would normally be notated as a literal repeat of both halves in order to create a variation on the material the second time around; in other words, instead of a simple A-A-B-B structure, the material is here massaged considerably into A-A'-B-B'.

Adorno concluded his article with an insightful observation about the essential sound of this piece: 22 CHAMBER MUSIC: A LISTENER’S GUIDE He has wrested from neo-classicism, which he has left behind, the thing one would least have expected: new color. . The counterpoint has unloosed all its colors and injected the wealth of nuances into the tension between black and white that had otherwise dictated Bartók’s sound. The remote possibilities of the instruments bend willingly to his hand, as do the broad spans of multivocal chords.

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