Mozart's music has enthralled listeners for centuries. Liszt once said that Mozart composed more bars than a trained copyist could write in a lifetime.
One of the world's most enduringly popular classical musicians, Mozart had a profound influence on Western music and on his contemporaries such as Beethoven and Haydn. Johnson focuses on the importance of Mozart's music, uncovering his wondrous output of composition and his gift and skill with instruments. For example, no sooner had the clarinet been invented and introduced than Mozart began playing and composing for it.
In this brilliant biography, acclaimed historian Paul Johnson conjures Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life and times in rich detail, focusing particularly on his extraordinary compositional output. Johnson charts Mozart's development from age three to his childhood as a touring prodigy to his post as an official court musician to his later years, when he penned two of his most magnificent operas, The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni.
Along the way, Johnson challenges some of the popular myths surrounding Mozart: his tempestuous personal relationships, his rivalry with Salieri, and his financial straits. Armed with expert knowledge of the era as well as with Mozart's own private letters, Johnson reveals a fresh, invigorating portrait of this dazzling talent.
All music is a synthesis of intellectual design and bodily urge. The human soul cannot make do with dancing alone – it will inevitably seek more fantastic musical designs, more complex patterns, more rarefied sounds. Equally, when the intellect dominates for too long, we listen out for music we can tap our feet to, something we can go home humming . . .
Minimalism, savagery, the raw and the cooked, the primal and the pre-verbal, Elvis’s hips, The Rite of Spring... Earth Dances is an original investigation of how music and primitivism intersect – a dazzling journey through music and culture.
With alternating chapters of criticism and interviews, including with Liza Lim and Brian Eno, author and broadcaster Andrew Ford explores the relationship between primal forms of music and the most refined examples of the art – between passion and control. He looks at the voice, the drum, the drone and the dance, at ‘music that is in touch with something fundamental in our existence’.
Born just outside London in 1942, Glyn Johns was sixteen years old at the dawn of rock and roll. His big break as a producer came on the Steve Miller Band's debut album, Children of the Future, and he went on to engineer or produce iconic albums for the best in the business: Abbey Road with the Beatles, Led Zeppelin's and the Eagles' debuts, Who's Next by the Who, and many others. Even more impressive, Johns was perhaps the only person on a given day in the studio who was entirely sober, and so he is one of the most reliable and clear-eyed insiders to tell these stories today.
In this entertaining and observant memoir, Johns takes us on a tour of his world during the heady years of the sixties, with beguiling stories that will delight music fans the world over: he remembers helping to get the Steve Miller Band released from jail shortly after their arrival in London, he recalls his impressions of John and Yoko during the Let It Be sessions, and he recounts running into Bob Dylan at JFK and being asked to work on a collaborative album with him, the Stones, and the Beatles, which never came to pass. Johns was there during some of the most iconic moments in rock history, including the Stones' first European tour, Jimi Hendrix's appearance at Albert Hall in London, and the Beatles' final performance on the roof of their Savile Row recording studio.
Johns's career has been long and prolific, and he's still at it - over the last two decades he has worked with Crosby, Stills & Nash; Emmylou Harris; Linda Ronstadt; Band of Horses; and, most recently, Ryan Adams. Sound Man provides a firsthand glimpse into the art of making music and reveals how the industry - like musicians themselves - has changed since those freewheeling first years of rock and roll.
For decades Altman fascinated, challenged and perplexed critics and audiences alike with films - among them M*A*S*H, Nashville, Short Cuts, and Gosford Park - that pioneered the use of zoom lenses, overlapping dialogue, multi-track recording, improvisation, multiple storylines and mixing documentary with fiction. Yet, for all his technical innovations, Altman infused each of his works with a trademark sense of subversive, caustic, satirical humour, as well as an empassioned social and political engagement.
A visual history of this important artist and his oeuvre, this book brims with photographs, writings and memorabilia culled from Altman's own archive, as well as from dozens of personal scrapbooks belonging to his wife Kathryn, who contributes personal recollections of life with Altman.
Also included are contributions from some of the best-known filmmakers, critics, writers and performers with whom Altman worked or whom Altman inspired, including Martin Scorsese, E. L. Doctorow and Jules Feiffer, among others.
Australian audiences have an unquenchable thirst to musical theatre. It is big showbusiness. But as another revival of Les Mis or Wicked flows back to the originators and investors abroad, the local, indigenous musical is virtually extinct. Here we have no shortage of start-ups, and composers and performers of world calibre; but rarely are they given the opportunity to develop a large-scale work. What we need is a proactive, sustainable national funding and development program that will support that talent right through to 'commercial market readiness'. With that backing, writes John Senczuk, we could conquer the world.
Franz Schubert's Winterreise is at the same time one of the most powerful and one of the most enigmatic masterpieces in Western culture. In his new book, Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession, Ian Bostridge - one of the work's finest interpreters - focusses on the context, resonance and personal significance of a work which is possibly the greatest landmark in the history of Lieder. Drawing equally on his vast experience of performing this work (he has performed it more than a hundred times), on his musical knowledge and on his training as a scholar, Bostridge unpicks the enigmas and subtle meaning of each of the twenty-four songs to explore for us the world Schubert inhabited, bringing the work and its world alive for connoisseurs and new listeners alike. Originally intended to be sung to an intimate gathering, performances ofWinterreise now pack the greatest concert halls around the world. Though not strictly a biography of Schubert, Schubert's Winter Journey succeeds in offering an unparalleled insight into the mind and work of the great composer. Usually great singers cannot explain what they do. Ian Bostridge can. Whether or not you know Schubert's 'Winter Journey', the book is gripping because it explains, in probing, simple words, how a doomed love is transformed into art. (Richard Sennett).
Recent years have seen not just a revival, but a rebirth of the analogue record. More than merely a nostalgic craze, vinyl has become a cultural icon. As music consumption migrated to digital and online, this seemingly obsolete medium became the fastest-growing format in music sales. Whilst vinyl never ceased to be the favorite amongst many music lovers and DJs, from the late 1980s the recording industry regarded it as an outdated relic, consigned to dusty domestic corners and obscure record shops. So why is vinyl now experiencing a 'rebirth of its cool'? Dominik Bartmanski and Ian Woodward explore this question by combining a cultural sociological approach with insights from material culture studies. Presenting vinyl as a multifaceted cultural object, they investigate the reasons behind its persistence within our technologically accelerated culture. Informed by media analysis, urban ethnography and the authors' interviews with musicians, DJs, sound engineers, record store owners, collectors and cutting-edge label chiefs from a range of metropolitan centres renowned for thriving music scenes including London, New York, Tokyo, Melbourne, and especially Berlin, what emerges is a story of a modern icon.
For five decades, Jack Nicholson has been part of film history. With twelve Oscar nominations to his credit and legendary roles in films like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Terms of Endearment, The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Nicholson creates original, memorable characters like no other actor of his generation. And his personal life has been no less of an adventure - Nicholson has always been at the center of the Hollywood elite and has courted some of the most famous and beautiful women in the world. Relying on years of extensive research and interviews with insiders who know Nicholson best, acclaimed biographer Marc Eliot sheds new light on Nicholson's life on and off the screen. From Nicholson's working class childhood in New Jersey, where family secrets threatened to tear his family apart, to raucous nights on the town with Warren Beatty and tumultuous relationships with starlets like Michelle Phillips, Anjelica Huston, and Lara Flynn Boyle, to movie sets working with such legendary directors and costars as Dennis Hopper, Stanley Kubrick, Meryl Streep, and Roman Polanski, Eliot paints a sweeping picture of the breadth of Nicholson's fifty-year career in film, as well as an intimate portrait of his personal life. Equally at home on the bookshelves of serious film historians and fans of compulsively readable Hollywood biographies, Nicholson is both a comprehensive tribute to a film legend and an entertaining look at a truly remarkable life.
Art directors and production designers are the cinema's 'architects of illusion'. Their overall purpose is to produce the overall pictorial vision for a film and their skills encompass set design, storyboarding, painting, decoration, construction, budgeting, colour and special effects. This book examines the crafts of art direction and production design. It traces their contribution from Thomas Edison's primitive studio, the Black Maria, to the growth of the Hollywood 'studio system', to the effect of sound and colour, and on to the computer-generated imagery of contemporary Hollywood. It does so with reference to many major productions, including Gone with the Wind, McCabe and Mrs Miller and Batman, demonstrating the real significance of the contribution of the art director and production designer to filmmaking and its history.
How do you prepare for your first day on the set? Why might a bad audition lead to a good job offer? How should you research? What's the effect of a long tour on your love-life? Can you have a glass of wine before a matinee? What's the difference between transitive and intransitive corpsing? What is stage fright? In Michael Pennington's highly personal guide and memoir there are sections on rehearsals, on television then and now, on who does what on a film set, on the disciplines and rewards of musical theatre, and five directors discuss why the scenery is better on radio. Disability and racial bias in the theatre are discussed and we sometimes hear from other, younger voices who are following parallel paths. Infectiously enthusiastic, both conversational and profound, Let Me Play the Lion Too draws on the author's fifty years of experience to celebrate the deadly serious, sometimes hilarious, often misunderstood but infinitely enriching life of a professional actor.