Cover image for Classical music 101 : a complete guide to learning and loving classical music
Title:
Classical music 101 : a complete guide to learning and loving classical music
Author:
Plotkin, Fred.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
ix, 673 pages ; 21 cm
Language:
English
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9780786886272
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The author who has taught tens of thousands of people to love opera now introduces readers to the rich and soul-stirring world of classical music.

For anyone who is aching to discover classical music, this comprehensive and accessible book is the ideal teacher. Writing in the clear and highly entertaining prose that made Opera 101 the standard text in its field, Fred Plotkin--music expert, teacher, lecturer, and famous author--presents classical music in a way that respects both the reader and the art form. In Classical Music 101:

The reader will discover how to become an expert listener, which is essential for learning to love classical music. A thousand years of music are explored, with emphasis on great works in all styles. Significant composers will be profiled in depth, including Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and many more. Important musicians, such as pianist Emanuel Ax, singer Marilyn Horne, and conductor James Levine, speak about their art in interviews. Classical Music 101, the newest addition to a highly successful series intended for readers who don't consider themselves dummies or idiots, will help the person drawn to the finer things in life (and readers who don't know how to approach them) discover the glories of music.


Author Notes

Fred Plotkin is the author of the bestselling and acclaimed Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera, which is the standard text in North American for discovering the glories of opera. He writes for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Opera News, Das Opernglas, and Gourmet. He lectures on music for leading institutions, including Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and the Smithsonian. Plotkin is a popular guest on the intermission features of the Chevron Texaco-Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, and many shows on National Public Radio. An expert on Italy, he has written five definitive books on Italian food and wine.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The latest of many introductory books on Western classical music, Plotkin's is a fine addition to the genre, though some may prefer Robert Sherman and Philip Seldon's more traditionally organized Complete Idiot's Guide to Classical Music or Michael Walsh's hilarious and opinionated Who's Afraid of Classical Music? While most such books are at least partially chronological, Plotkin's revolves almost entirely around the orchestra's instruments and the listening experience. He presents material as coursework, and his strictures about really listening (as opposed to mere "hearing") are well taken and certainly apply to all kinds of music. A valuable feature are the interviews with classical musicians interspersed throughout. One weakness is that opera is not significantly treated, perhaps because Plotkin covered that ground in an earlier book, Opera 101: A Guide to Learning and Loving Opera. The discography is organized by chapter rather than composer (which makes it a bit awkward to use as a stand-alone source), but it is superior to the one in the Idiot's Guide. Recommended for libraries desiring an up-to-date and informative general introduction to classical music. Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. XI
1. First Hearing: Developing Your Listening Skillsp. 1
2. Making Musicp. 11
3. Some Thoughts on the Recordings Used in Classical Music 101p. 33
4. The Voices of the Orchestrap. 45
5. Colors and Pictures: More Thoughts About Listeningp. 109
6. Second Hearing: Beethoven's Seventh Symphonyp. 145
7. Theory, and Practicep. 161
8. The Symphonyp. 181
A Conversation with James Levinep. 191
9. Attending a Live Performancep. 243
10. The Pianop. 281
A Conversation with Emanuel Axp. 310
11. The Violinp. 337
A Conversation with Joshua Bellp. 344
12. Stringing Along: Music for Viola, Cello, and Double Bassp. 367
13. The Woodwindsp. 379
14. The Brass Familyp. 391
15. The Percussion: Bells, Whistles, Thunder, and a Beating Heartp. 399
16. Early Music: From These Rootsp. 409
17. The Singer's Art: Lieder and Vocal Musicp. 421
A Conversation with Marilyn Hornep. 452
18. Lift Every Voice: Music with Chorusp. 477
19. Feeling Music: Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2p. 507
20. Mount Olympus and Elysian Fields: Beethoven's Ninth Symphonyp. 519
21. Coda: Some Final Notesp. 529
Discography for Classical Music 101p. 541
Resources for the Classical Music Loverp. 563
Traveling to Hear Classical Music: Concert Halls and Theaters Around the Worldp. 569
Indexp. 647