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Books About Music


Tchaikovsky | Thomson | Toscanini | Turina

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky Life & Works
Tchaikovsky: Life & Works. Roland John Wiley. Oxford University Press. 2009. ISBN 0195368924 (paperback).
A giant in the pantheon of 19th century composers, Tchaikovsky continues to enthrall audiences today. From the Nutcracker – arguably the most popular ballet currently on the boards – Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty, to Eugene Onegin and Pique Dame, to the Symphony Pathetique and the always rousing, canon-blasting 1812 Overture – this prolific and beloved composer's works are perennial favorites. Now, John Wiley, a renowned Tchaikovsky scholar, provides a fresh biography aimed in classic Master Musicians style at the student and music lover. Wiley deftly draws on documents from imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet era sources, providing a more balanced look at recent controversies surrounding the marriage, death, and sexuality of the composer. The author dovetails the biographical material with separate chapters that treat the music thoroughly and fully, work-by-work, with more substantial explorations of Tchaikovsky's most familiar compositions. These analyses present new, even iconoclastic perspectives on the music and the composer's intent and expression. Several informative appendices, in the Master Musicians format, include an exhaustive list of works and bibliography. Read the Classical Net Review of this book.

Tchaikovsky Day by Day (Russian Music Studies), Aleksandra Anatol Evna Orlova, Florence Jonas (Editor). Indiana University Press. 1995. ISBN 0253342651 (paperback).

Tchaikovsky: The Crisis Years, 1874-1878. David Brown. W.W. Norton & Company. 1983. ISBN 0393017079 (paperback).

The New Grove Russian Masters, I. David Brown, et al. W.W. Norton & Company. 1997. ISBN 0393315851 (paperback).
Comprehensive biographical articles taken from the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians. Included are: Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Borodin, Mili Alexeyevich Balakirev, Modest Musorgsky, and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man. Alexander Poznansky. Schirmer Books. 1993. ISBN 0028718860 (paperback).

Tchaikovsky's Last Days: A Documentary Study. Alexander Poznansky. Oxford University Press. 1996. ISBN 019816596X (hardcover).

To My Best Friend: Correspondence Between Tchaikovsky and Nadezhda Von Meck 1876-1878. Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, et al. Clarendon Press. 1993. ISBN 0198161581 (hardcover).
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Virgil Thomson

The Virgil Thomson Reader: Selected Writings 1924-1984
The Virgil Thomson Reader: Selected Writings 1924-1984. Richard Kostelanetz. Routledge. 2002. ISBN 0415937957 (hardcover).
Virgil Thomson is universally recognized as one of the dominant music critics whose unique sensibility was informed by his groundbreaking work as a composer of the mid twentieth-century. Whether writing for a daily newspaper or an academic journal, Thomson brought wit and erudition to a literary form that is often staid. Not suffering fools gladly, unwilling to kowtow to the powers that be, Thomson and his writing remain remarkably relevant and entertaining today. This essential reader includes his essays on making a living as a musician; his articles on classic composers; his relation to his contemporaries; his articles on newcomers in the music world, including John Cage and Pierre Boulez; his autobiographical writings and commentary on his own works.

Virgil Thomson: Composer on the Aisle. Anthony Tommasini. W.W. Norton & Company. 1997. ISBN 0393040062 (hardcover).
This recent biography of the American composer and critic has been receiving excellent reviews.

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Michael Tippett

Tippett: The Composer and His Music. Ian Kemp. Da Capo Press. 1984. ISBN 0903873230 (hardcover), 0306903873 (paperback).
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Arturo Toscanini

Arturo Toscanini: Contemporary Recollections of the Maestro. Thomas Hathaway, et al. Da Capo Press. 1989. ISBN 0306803569 (paperback).

Understanding Toscanini: How He Became an American Culture-God and Helped Create a New Audience for Old Music. Joseph Horowitz. Alfred A. Knopf. 1987. ISBN 0394529189 (paperback).
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Joaquín Turina

Joaquín Turina and His Writings (Joaquín Turina a Traves De Sus Escritos). Alfredo Moran. Generico. 2006. ISBN 8420685747 (paperback).
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