An unprecedented book about one of the greatest of all composers, by his greatest modern interpreter. Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most famously unfathomable composers in the history of music. How can such sublime work have been produced by a man who (when we can discern his personality at all) seems so ordinary, so opaque - and occasionally so intemperate? John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every morning and evening on the stairs of his parents' house, where it hung for safety during the Second World War. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer's greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime's immersion are now distilled in this remarkable book, which explains in wonderful detail how Bach worked, how his music is constructed, how it achieves its effects - and what it can tell us about Bach the man. It is grounded in all the most recent Bach scholarship but moves far beyond it, and takes us as deeply into Bach's works and mind as perhaps words can. This is a unique book about one of the greatest of all creative artists.
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A friend whose opinion I value on matters of literature told me the writing in Morrissey's bio is wonderful. The rave is that he may well have a burgeoning career as a novelist. So I broke into my wallet with a sponge and a rusty spanner and grabbed my copy before they all disappear. Craig
Autobiography covers Morrissey's life from his birth until the present day and with typical pretension, Morrissey's first book has been published as a Penguin Classic. It justifies such presentation with a beautifully measured prose style that combines a lilting, poetic turn of phrase and acute quality of observation, revelling in a kind of morbid glee at life's injustice with arch, understated humour.
Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades. Achieving eleven Top 10 albums (plus nine with the Smiths), his songs have been recorded by David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Thelma Houston, My Chemical Romance and Christy Moore, amongst others.
An animal protectionist, in 2006 Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British icon by viewers of the BBC, losing out to Sir David Attenborough. In 2007 Morrissey was voted the greatest northern male, past or present, in a nationwide newspaper poll. In 2012, Morrissey was awarded the Keys to the City of Tel-Aviv. It has been said 'Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.'
What is so refreshing about Morrissey's Autobiography is its very messiness, its deliriously florid, overblown prose style, its unwillingness to kowtow to a culture of literary formula and commercial pigeon-holing.
It is recognisably the voice of the most distinctive British pop lyricist of his era. Neil McCormick, Daily Telegraph
In the ways that matter, Autobiography reads like a work of genuine literary class. Alex Niven, Independent
Sharply written, rich, clever, rancorous, puffed-up, tender, catty, windy, poetic, and frequently very, very funny. Welcome back, Morrissey. Michael Bonner, Uncut Magazine
Rancorous, rhapsodic, schizophrenic: Autobiography delivers a man in full'. Andrew Male, Mojo
Morrissey's Autobiography is brilliant and relentless. Genius, really. Douglas Coupland
Carried along on quite extraordinary prose. Time Out
The Best Music Biog Ever ...In the world of rock autobiographies, Morrissey's is nigh-on perfect. NME
This accompanies BBC2's major new TV series and The Story of Music in 50 Pieces on Radio 3. In his dynamic tour through 40,000 years of music, from prehistoric instruments to modern-day pop, Howard Goodall leads us through the story of music as it happened, idea by idea, so that each musical innovation - harmony, notation, sung theatre, the orchestra, dance music, recording, broadcasting - strikes us with its original force. He focuses on what changed when and why, picking out the discoveries that revolutionised man-made sound and bringing to life musical visionaries from the little-known Perotin to the colossus of Wagner. Along the way, he also gives refreshingly clear descriptions of what music is and how it works: what scales are all about, why some chords sound discordant and what all post-war pop songs have in common.
The definitive New York Times bestselling guide to the movies Now that online streaming has become a reality, more and more Americans are opting to watch movies at home. And with Netflix and Hulu delivering literally thousands of options at the touch of a button, the only question is: What should I watch? For decades, Leonard Maltin has been America's most trusted film critic and whether you're in the mood for Hollywood hit or a little-known gem, his bestselling guide can help you make a satisfying choice. Listed alphabetically, each movie entry includes:
In this triumphant work David Thomson, one of film's greatest living experts and author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, tells the enthralling story of the movies and how they have shaped us. Sunday Times, New Statesman, The Times, Guardian, Observer and Independent books of the year. Taking us around the globe, through time and across multiple media, Thomson tracks the ways in which we were initially enchanted by this mesmerizing imitation of life and let movies - the stories, the stars, the look - show us how to live. But at the same time he shows us how movies, offering a seductive escape from the everyday reality and its responsibilities, have made it possible for us to evade life altogether. The entranced audience has become a model for powerless citizens trying to pursue happiness by sitting quietly in a dark room. Does the big screen take us out into the world, or merely mesmerize us? That is Thomson's question in this great adventure of a book. A passionate feat of storytelling that is vital to anyone trying to make sense of the age of screens - the age that, more than ever, we are living in.
Behind the Scenes: Contemporary Set Design is a visually rich survey of contemporary set design for the theater, opera and contemporary performance-based work. International in scope, Behind the Scenes presents the imaginative and innovative work of a broad range of designers, including Peter Brooks, Ming Cho Lee, Alison Chitty, Es Devlin, Robert Wilson, Robert Lepage, Romeo Castellucci and Chloe Lamford; and organizations such as Hotel Pro Forma, Ex Machina, Station House Opera and Punch Drunk. Featuring initial sketches, diagrams and photographs, this book provides an understanding of theater design and its methods, that--in contrast with the number of specific 'how-to' set design books on the market--appeals to beginners and enthusiasts, alongside students and theater professionals alike. Behind the Scenes: Contemporary Set Design covers a myriad of innovations, from traditional set designs, to those that push boundaries using immersive sets, or pop-up theaters in derelict locations; alongside organizations that use set design to social advantage--for example Cardboard Citizens. The lavishly illustrated work presented throughout the book is punctuated by a number of essays by noteworthy personalities, covering subjects such as the history of set design, technical processes from design to production, and new emerging trends. International in scope Behind the Scenes includes examples from the Prague Quadrennial, BAM in Brooklyn, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House in London. Featuring artists whose work has crossed over into the theater--such as, David Hockney, whose imaginative designs have been brought to life in a variety of productions from the Magic Flute to Tristan und Isolde ; Behind the Scenes: Contemporary Set Design positions set design within a larger context of visual art, design and culture.
From America's cultural gatekeeper comes a profile of the man who defines the nation's soul. David Remnick, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and editor of 'The New Yorker', applies his unique journalistic voice to paint a portrait of rock legend and working-class poet Bruce Springsteen. The result is what 'Rolling Stone' called 'one of the most thorough profiles of Springsteen ever published'. Remnick shadows Springsteen from his recent Wrecking Ball world tour, the whole way back to the beginning, back to Asbury Park, to childhood rock'n'roll fantasies. Details of Springsteen's strained relationship with his father, his battle with mental illness, his marriage, and the joys and anguish of friendships forged and lost with ephemeral E Street Band members, are all delicately woven through a career that spans over four decades as America's working-class hero. We Are Alive'' not only tells the story of a living legend, but also produces an insight into the heart of America, the drive of self-transformation and renewal. Remnick has created an important text on the history of music.
Published to co-incide with what would have been the 70th anniversary of George Harrison's birth. Explores Harrison's work both within and without the Beatles and at the same time examining in detail his private and public passions, from Eastern spiritualism to horticulture, from comedy to film-making, from fast cars to working with UNICEF. His career renaissance in the 80s with the Travelling Wilburys. His last few years which were scarred by two bouts of cancer and a knife attack which almost killed him. His legacy, including his final album and memorial concert.
The biography of the legendary musician and songwriter Lou Reed.
Rock 'n' roll was Lou Reed's life. From recording one of the most critically acclaimed albums of all time with THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO (1967), to heavy drug abuse and performing in front of the Pope, Lou Reed's story is one of great peaks and deep lows. Forever dedicated to his art, he became one of modern music's most legendary and seismic figures.
Although a controversial, outspoken and undoubtedly misunderstood musician, Lou Reed's influence on popular culture cannot be overstated. He brought avant-garde to the mainstream with the Velvet Underground and his solo work was pronounced a revelation. Hit albums such as TRANSFORMER, SALLY CAN'T DANCE and BERLIN have cemented his name in the rock pantheon.
A testament to his strength of character and true spirit, he was a creative and performer until the end, playing benefit gigs, featuring on the new releases and, most poignantly, declaring that he was looking forward to being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future. A true icon of rock 'n' roll - his legacy will live on in this book.
Ethnomusicologists believe that all humans, not just those we call musicians, are musical, and that musicality is one of the essential touchstones of the human experience. This insight raises big questions about the nature of music and the nature of humankind, and ethnomusicologists argue that to properly address these questions, we must study music in all its geographical and historical diversity. In this Very Short Introduction, one of the foremost ethnomusicologists, Timothy Rice, offers a compact and illuminating account of this growing discipline, showing how modern researchers go about studying music from around the world, looking for insights into both music and humanity. The reader discovers that ethnomusicologists today not only examine traditional forms of music-such as Japanese gagaku, Bulgarian folk music, Javanese gamelan, or Native American drumming and singing-but also explore more contemporary musical forms, from rap and reggae to Tex-Mex, Serbian turbofolk, and even the piped-in music at the Mall of America. To investigate these diverse musical forms, Rice shows, ethnomusicologists typically live in a community, participate in and observe and record musical events, interview the musicians, their patrons, and the audience, and learn to sing, play, and dance. It's important to establish rapport with musicians and community members, and obtain the permission of those they will work with closely over the course of many months and years. We see how the researcher analyzes the data to understand how a particular musical tradition works, what is distinctive about it, and how it bears the personal, social, and cultural meanings attributed to it. Rice also discusses how researchers may apply theories from anthropology and other social sciences, to shed further light on the nature of music as a human behavior and cultural practice. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects-from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative-yet always balanced and complete-discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
It all started when Beatle George Harrison stepped in to fund Life of Brian when Monty Python's original backers pulled out. His company, HandMade films, went on to make some of the best British films of the 80s (Withnail and I, Time Bandits and Mona Lisa among them), but then things started to go wrong...This is the incredible and often hilarious insiders' story of what happened...
Hollywood was not always a bastion of liberalism. Following World War II, an informal alliance of movie stars, studio moguls and Southern California business interests formed to revitalize a factionalized Republican Party. Coming together were stars such as John Wayne, Robert Taylor, George Murphy and many others, who joined studio heads Cecil B. DeMille, Louis B. Mayer, Walt Disney and Jack Warner to rebuild the Republican Party. They found support among a large group of business leaders who poured money and skills into this effort, which paid off with the election of George Murphy to the US Senate and of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to the highest office in the nation. This is an exciting story based on extensive new research that will forever change how we think of Hollywood politics.
1970s Hollywood often brings to mind directors such as Scorsese, Spielberg and Coppola. But the decade was also horror's 'golden age', producing classics like Rosemary's Baby, Carrie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween by directors who would achieve massive success. Since then, horror has been a prominent part of popular culture. Shock Value describes how horror was re-created, ridding itself of supernatural cliches and instead portraying serial killers, baseless violence, and fear found in everyday suburbia. Jason Zinoman explores how an often overlooked, but highly influential, golden age in American film began.