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Music > Individual Composers and Musicians

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Results 71-80 of 146

Joel-Francois Durand in the Mirror Land Cover

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Joel-Francois Durand in the Mirror Land

edited by Jonathan W. Bernard

This collection of texts by and about French composer Joël-François Durand features a wide-ranging self-interview, in which he speaks candidly and engagingly about how and why he became a composer. Other essays by Durand focus on his use of melody and on his Piano Concerto. The book also includes contributions by Christian Asplund, Eric Flesher, Ryan Hare, and Jonathan W. Bernard.

Johanna Beyer Cover

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Johanna Beyer

Amy C. Beal

Composer Johanna Beyer's fascinating body of music and enigmatic life story constitute an important chapter in American music history. As a hard-working German émigré piano teacher and accompanist living in and around New York City during the New Deal era, she composed plentiful music for piano, percussion ensemble, chamber groups, choir, band, and orchestra. A one-time student of Ruth Crawford, Charles Seeger, and Henry Cowell, Beyer was an ultramodernist, and an active member of a community that included now-better-known composers and musicians. Only one of her works was published and only one recorded during her lifetime. But contemporary musicians who play Beyer's compositions are intrigued by her originality. Amy C. Beal chronicles Beyer's life from her early participation in New York's contemporary music scene through her performances at the Federal Music Project's Composers' Forum-Laboratory concerts to her unfortunate early death in 1944. This book is a portrait of a passionate and creative woman underestimated by her music community even as she tirelessly applied her gifts with compositional rigor. The first book-length study of the composer's life and music, Johanna Beyer reclaims a uniquely innovative artist and body of work for a new generation.

John Williams's Film Music Cover

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John Williams's Film Music

Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Return of the Classical Hollywood Music Style

Emilio Audissino

John Williams is one of the most renowned film composers in history. He has penned unforgettable scores for Star Wars, the Indiana Jones series, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Superman, and countless other films. Fans flock to his many concerts, and with forty-nine Academy Award nominations as of 2014, he is the second-most Oscar-nominated person after Walt Disney. Yet despite such critical acclaim and prestige, this is the first book in English on Williams’s work and career.
            Combining accessible writing with thorough scholarship, and rigorous historical accounts with insightful readings, John Williams’s Film Music explores why Williams is so important to the history of film music. Beginning with an overview of music from Hollywood’s Golden Age (1933–58), Emilio Audissino traces the turning points of Williams’s career and articulates how he revived the classical Hollywood musical style. This book charts each landmark of this musical restoration, with special attention to the scores for Jaws and Star Wars, Williams’s work as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, and a full film/music analysis of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The result is a precise, enlightening definition of Williams’s “neoclassicism” and a grounded demonstration of his lasting importance, for both his compositions and his historical role in restoring part of the Hollywood tradition.

Johnny Cash and the Paradox of American Identity Cover

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Johnny Cash and the Paradox of American Identity

Leigh H. Edwards

Throughout his career, Johnny Cash has been depicted -- and has depicted himself -- as a walking contradiction: social protestor and establishment patriot, drugged wildman and devout Christian crusader, rebel outlaw hillbilly thug and elder statesman. Leigh H. Edwards explores the allure of this paradoxical image and its cultural significance. She argues that Cash embodies irresolvable contradictions of American identity that reflect foundational issues in the American experience, such as the tensions between freedom and patriotism, individual rights and nationalism, the sacred and the profane. She illustrates how this model of ambivalence is a vital paradigm for American popular music, and for American identity in general. Making use of sources such as Cash's autobiographies, lyrics, music, liner notes, and interviews, Edwards pays equal attention to depictions of Cash by others, such as Vivian Cash's publication of his letters to her, documentaries and music journalism about him, Walk the Line, and fan club materials found in the archives at the Country Music Foundation in Nashville, to create a full portrait of Cash and his significance as a cultural icon.

Josquin des Prez and His Musical Legacy Cover

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Josquin des Prez and His Musical Legacy

An Introductory Guide

Willem Elders

Josquin des Prez and His Musical Legacy is the most up-to-date contribution to the research on one of the most important and internationally famous composers of the Renaissance. This monograph offers factual information on the composer as well as insights into his 16th-century and modern reception, a survey of the sources of his music, and a discussion of the thorny issue of authorship. Willem Elders, one of the most distinguished scholars of Josquin's music, also discusses the influence of Gregorian chant as a source of inspiration and explains the various aspects of Josquin's symbolic language. Each individual work (including some of those in the old Josquin edition now considered inauthentic) receives a short discussion of relevant contextual aspects and interesting musical features. Ranges and lengths are given for each work. The style is adapted to the professional musicologist as well as to the 'music lover' and performer. Includes 45 figures and 90 musical examples

Juan Bautista Plaza and Musical Nationalism in Venezuela Cover

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Juan Bautista Plaza and Musical Nationalism in Venezuela

Marie Elizabeth Labonville

Juan Bautista Plaza (1898-1965) was one of the most important musicians in the history of Venezuela. In addition to composing in a variety of genres and styles, he was the leading figure in Venezuelan music education and musicology at a time when his compatriots were seeking to solidify their cultural identity. Plaza's compositions in the emerging nationalist style and his efforts to improve musical institutions in his home country parallel the work of contemporaneous Latin American musicians including Carlos Chávez of Mexico, Amadeo Roldán of Cuba, and Camargo Guarnieri of Brazil.

Plaza's life and music are little studied, and Labonville's ambitious book is the first in English to be based on his extensive writings and compositions. As these and other documents show, Plaza filled numerous roles in Venezuela's musical infrastructure including researcher, performer, teacher, composer, promoter, critic, chapel master, and director of national culture. Labonville examines Plaza's many roles in an attempt to assess how the nationalist spirit affected art music culture in Venezuela, and what changes it brought to Venezuela's musical landscape.

Kaija Saariaho Cover

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Kaija Saariaho

Pirkko Moisala

This book is the first comprehensive study of the music and career of contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho. Born in Finland in 1952, Saariaho received her early musical training at the Sibelius Academy, where her close circle included composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has since become internationally known and recognized for her operas L'amour de loin and Adriana Mater and other works that involve electronic music. Her influences include the spectral analysis of timbre, especially string sounds, micropolyphonic techniques, the visual and literary arts, and sounds in the natural world. Pirkko Moisala approaches the unique characteristics of Saariaho's music through composition sketches, scores, critical reviews, and interviews with the composer and her trusted musicians.

Last Stop, Carnegie Hall Cover

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Last Stop, Carnegie Hall

New York Philharmonic Trumpeter William Vacchiano

Brian A. Shook

William Vacchiano (1912–2005) was principal trumpet with the New York Philharmonic from 1942 to 1973, and taught at Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music, the Mannes College of Music, Queens College, and Columbia Teachers College. While at the Philharmonic, Vacchiano performed under the batons of Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Dimitri Mitropoulos, and Leonard Bernstein and played in the world premieres of almost 200 pieces by such composers as Vaughan Williams, Copland, and Barber. Vacchiano was important not only for his performances, but also for his teaching. His students have held the principal chairs of many major orchestras and are prominent teachers themselves, and they have enriched non-classical music as well. Two of his better known students are Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis. Last Stop, Carnegie Hall features an overview of the life of this very private artist, based on several personal interviews conducted by Brian A. Shook and Vacchiano’s notes for his own unpublished memoir. Shook also interviewed many of his students and colleagues and includes a chapter containing their recollections. Other important topics include analyses of Vacchiano’s pedagogical methods and his interpretations of important trumpet pieces, his “rules of orchestral performance,” and his equipment. A discography, a bibliography of Vacchiano’s own works, and lists of his students and the conductors and players with whom he performed round out this richly illustrated examination of one of the most influential trumpet players and teachers of the twentieth century.

The Life and Music of James Wilson Cover

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The Life and Music of James Wilson

by Mark Fitzgerald

This book is the first study of the Irish composer James Wilson (1922–2005). A founding member of Aosdana in the 1950s and 60s, Wilson was a key figure in the Music Associatoon of Ireland and played an important role in developing the structures that support composers and musicians in Ireland today.

Life and Times of a Cameroonian Icon: Tribute to Lapiro De Mbanga Ngata Man, The Cover

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Life and Times of a Cameroonian Icon: Tribute to Lapiro De Mbanga Ngata Man, The

This book is the celebration of one man's vendetta against a cancerous regime that thrives on the rape of democracy and human rights abuses. Lapiro de Mbanga, born Lambo Sandjo Pierre Roger on April 7, 1957 was a conduit for social change. He fought for change in his homeland and died fighting for change in Cameroon. Lapiro believed in the innate goodness of man but also had the conviction that absolute power corrupts absolutely. He was noted for contending that "power creates monsters." His entire musical career was devoted to fighting the cause of the downtrodden in Cameroon. He composed satirical songs on the socio-economic dysphonia in his beleaguered country. In his songs, he articulated the daily travails of the man in the street and the government-orchestrated injustices he witnessed. As a songwriter, Lapiro de Mbanga distinguished himself from his peers through bravado, valiance and the courage to say overtly what many a Cameroonian musician would only mumble in the privacy of their homes. Lapiro's anti-establishment music led to his arrest and imprisonment in September 2009 for three years. Released from prison on April 8, 2011 he was later given political asylum by the USA. On September 2, 2012 Lapiro relocated with some members of his family to Buffalo in New York where he died on March 16, 2014 after an illness. His revolutionary music and fighting spirit live on.

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