During his lifetime, the sounds of Handel's music reached from court to theatre, echoed in cathedrals and filled crowded taverns. But the man himself is a mystery.
Though he took meticulous care of his musical manuscripts and provided for their preservation in his will, very little of an intimate nature survives. In search of the private man behind the public persona, Ellen T. Harris has tracked down the letters, diaries, financial accounts, court cases and other documents connected with the composer's closest friends.
The result is a tightly woven tapestry of London life in the first half of the eighteenth century, one that weaves together vibrant descriptions of Handel's music with stories of loyalty, cunning and betrayal. With this new approach, Harris reveals an ambitious, shrewd, generous, brilliant and flawed man.
Jan Swafford's biographies of Charles Ives and Johannes Brahms have established him as a revered music historian, capable of bringing his subjects vibrantly to life. His magnificent new biography of Ludwig van Beethoven peels away layers of legend to get to the living, breathing human being who composed some of the world's most iconic music.
Swafford mines sources never before used in English-language biographies to reanimate the revolutionary ferment of Enlightenment-era Bonn, where Beethoven grew up and imbibed the ideas that would shape all of his future work. Swafford then tracks his subject to Vienna, capital of European music, where Beethoven built his career in the face of critical incomprehension, crippling ill health, romantic rejection, and 'fate's hammer', his ever-encroaching deafness. At the time of his death he was so widely celebrated that over ten thousand people attended his funeral.
This book is a biography of Beethoven the man and musician, not the myth, and throughout, Swafford - himself a composer - offers insightful readings of Beethoven's key works. More than a decade in the making, this will be the standard Beethoven biography for years to come.
Throughout Les McCann's incredible career as a jazz musician, he photographed many of the musicians he found himself touring with - unwittingly creating a vital musical document. Between 1960 and 1980 he captured many of the world's greatest musicians at various stages of their respective careers, including Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sammy Davis Jr., John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Tina Turner, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and many, many more.
A comprehensive biography of one of Australia's most loved classic rock bands. No Secrets: The Untold Story Of Doc Neeson And The Angels is the ultimate tale of the band that helped shape Australia's legendary, wild and wicked hard rock music scene, and in the process, influenced untold other bands, singers and songwriters. Using interviews conducted over three decades by the author Darryl Mason with past and present members, The Angels own tour diaries and exclusive access to the band's extensive files and archive, No Secrets takes you inside the public and private lives of Doc Neeson and core band members, and songwriters, Rick and John Brewster, and manager/drummer Brent Eccles. Darryl Mason watched the band record, party and tour, and witnessed the painful departure of Doc Neeson from the band and the successful introduction of new lead singer Dave Gleeson. From inside the studios for the recordings of some of their greatest albums and out on the roads and highways of Australia where The Angels clocked up millions of miles and more than 3500 shows, No Secrets will take readers into the heartbeat, headspace and heartland of the most consistently successful and innovative Australian rock band in history. This is not your normal rock memoir, or band biography. The Angels weren't your standard hard rocking sex, drugs and rock n roll band. They were highly educated, classically trained musicians and master songwriters, born of the legendary Alberts Music stable, where they cut their debut record while sharing studio space with AC/DC. The most diehard Angels fans think they know the story of Doc Neeson and The Angels, but they don't know it all. And the rest of Australia knows only the headlines and controversies, and some of the music that made them famous. But there's so much more. The full story of The Angels, from their first shows in Adelaide in the early 1970s, through their years of hit albums and chart-storming singles, the struggles to break America, the pain and trauma of relationship breakdowns and reunions, right through to the death of Doc Neeson in June, 2014, and ending with the rebirth of the band on their 40th anniversary, has never told been told before in a book. Not until now.
In today s digital landscape, we have the luxury of experiencing music anytime, anywhere. But before this instant accessibility and dizzying array of formats before CDs, the eight-track tape, the radio, and the turntable there was only one recording technology: music notation. It allowed singers and soloists to travel across great distances and perform their work with stunning fidelity, a feat that we now very much take for granted. Thomas Forrest Kelly transports us to the lively and complex world of monks and monasteries, of a dove singing holy chants into the ear of a saint, and of bustling activity in the Cathedral of Notre Dame an era when the only way to share even the simplest song was to learn it by rote, church to church and person to person. With clarity and a sense of wonder, Kelly tells a story that spans five hundred years, leading us on a journey through medieval Europe and showing how we learned to keep track of rhythm, melody, and precise pitch with a degree of accuracy previously unimagined. Kelly reveals the technological advances that led us to the system of notation we use today, placing each step of its evolution in its cultural and intellectual context. Companion recordings by the renowned Blue Heron ensemble are paired with vibrant illuminated manuscripts, bringing the art to life and allowing readers to experience something of the marvel that medieval writers must have felt when they figured out how to capture music for all time.
From the hoodoo-inspired sounds of Elvis Presley to the Eastern odysseys of George Harrison, from the dark dalliances of Led Zeppelin to the Masonic imagery of today's hip-hop scene, the occult has long breathed life into rock and hip-hop—and, indeed, esoteric and supernatural traditions are a key ingredient behind the emergence and development of rock and roll.
With vivid storytelling and laser-sharp analysis, writer and critic Peter Bebergal illuminates this web of influences to produce the definitive work on how the occult shaped—and saved—popular music.
As Bebergal explains, occult and mystical ideals gave rock and roll its heart and purpose, making rock into more than just backbeat music, but into a cultural revolution of political, spiritual, sexual, and social liberation.
Purple Rain is a song, an album, and a film-each one a commercial success and cultural milestone. How did this semi-autobiographical musical masterpiece that blurred R&B, pop, dance, and rock sounds come to alter the recording landscape and become an enduring touchstone for successive generations of fans? Purple Rain is widely considered to be among the most important albums in music history and often named the best soundtrack of all time. It sold over a million copies in its first week and blasted to #1 on the charts, where it would remain for a full six months and eventually sell over 20 million copies worldwide. It spun off three huge hit singles, won Grammys and an Oscar, and took Prince from pop star to legend. Coinciding with the thirtieth anniversary year of Purple Rain's release, acclaimed music journalist Alan Light takes a timely look at the making and incredible popularizing of this once seemingly impossible project. With impeccable research and in-depth interviews with people who witnessed Prince's audacious vision becoming a reality, Light reveals how a rising but not yet established artist from the Midwest was able not only to get Purple Rain made, but deliver on his promise to conquer the world.
Documents the wildly successful Leonard Cohen World Tour through the eyes of his friend and long-time collaborator, Sharon Robinson. In 2004 Cohen's manager stole his life savings, forcing him out of planned retirement into what has now become a legendary six-year sojourn. Sharon Robinson has been associated with Cohen since the Field Commander Cohen tour of 1979-80, first as a singer and subsequently as his co-writer and producer. She has been at his side for 400 shows and captured her experience behind the scenes with complete freedom.
Lyrical visionary, enduring style icon and one indispensable fifth of post-Peter Green megaband Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks is one of the most recognisable figures in rock 'n' roll history - very much Fleetwood Mac's 'Queen Bee', as Mick Fleetwood himself describes her. While she once made headlines with her hedonistic lifestyle, part of Nicks' irresistible appeal is her youthful vulnerability and mystical aura, making her an artist with whom fans have an unbreakable emotional connection. Crowned 'The Reigning Queen Of Rock And Roll' by Rolling Stone, and with gold and quadruple platinum solo albums under her beaded belt, Stevie Nicks has enjoyed the ultimate in rock 'n' roll success in her life as a recording artist - but this charmed life has come as a result of hard graft, self-belief and a devotion to creativity above all; hers has been a journey of intense highs and lows. This book, a celebration of the Stevie Nicks phenomenon, takes us on her journey from peripatetic mid-West childhood to her explosion onto the music scene as chiffon-swathed rock goddess, right up to present day. Including exclusive interviews with some of Stevie's associates and collaborators from over the years, author Zoe Howe explores the mystique while retaining the magic of this modern-day musical sorceress and wise woman of rock.
After forty-six years of being on the road, now is the right time to look back in a way I've never done before: now and then. I'm looking forward to sharing it with you. Mick Fleetwood has been part of one of the world's most successful and adored bands for over four decades. Here he tells the full and candid story of that life, and what it is to be part of the ever evolving Fleetwood Mac. His all-access autobiography spans the career of one of classic rock's greatest drummers and band leaders, the co-founder of the deeply loved super group that bears his name. In this intimate portrait of a life lived in music, Fleetwood vividly recalls his upbringing in Cornwall, Egypt and Norway tapping along to whatever song was playing on the radio; his experiences as a musician in Sixties London; the early days of the band featuring Peter Green, and his close friendship with George Harrison and seemingly all of music royalty. Play On sheds new light on Fleetwood Mac's raucous history describing the highs and lows of being part of a band that he often single-handedly kept together. His love affair with Stevie Nicks, the creation of landmark albums like Rumours and Tusk, and the many incredible and outrageous moments of recording, touring, fighting, and loving with Fleetwood Mac: all are here. He describes his life's moments with the honesty and immediacy that his fans expect, taking us to the very heart of this multi layered life. It's been a tumultuous journey with the excesses of the band's huge success at times threatening to destroy what they strived so hard to create. But through it all it's been the drive to play on that has won out. Now, then, and always, it's Fleetwood Mac.
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.
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is Sophia Loren's definitive autobiography, revealing her personal journey from the hardship of her childhood in Naples to her life as a screen legend, sharing stories of work, love, and family. Each chapter begins with a letter, a document, a photograph, or object that prompts her reminiscences. In her own words, these memoirs originated as, Unpublished memories, curious anecdotes, tiny secrets told, all of which spring from a box found by chance, a precious treasure trove filled with emotions, experiences, adventures. In her incredible life story, Loren vividly recounts her difficult childhood in Naples during World War II, remembers her parents and their tempestuous relationship, and reveals the pain of growing up in her grandparents' house with her single, unmarried mother and younger sister. She tells how she got her start by winning a beauty pageant ( La regina del mare ) and how her ambition drove her success in cinema before revealing the influence of the producer Carlo Ponti, who cast her in her early roles and later became her husband. Loren takes us behind the scenes of the movies, her early stardom and move to Hollywood revealing intimate and never before shared stories of her famed costars: Brando, Newman, Burton, Peck, Heston, and many more. With emotional honesty, Loren goes on to discuss her long desire to become a mother and the disappointments she suffered on that path, the ultimate joy she felt at having her two sons, and scenes from her life as a mother and grandmother.
Born in 1903, and until his death in 2003, Bob Hope was the only entertainer to achieve top-rated success in every major mass-entertainment medium, from vaudeville to television and everything in between. He virtually invented modern stand-up comedy. His tours to entertain US troops and patriotic radio broadcasts, along with his all-American, brash-but-cowardly movie character, helped to ease the nation's jitters during the stressful days of World War II. He helped redefine the very notion of what it means to be a star: a savvy businessman, pioneer of the brand extension (churning out books, writing a newspaper column, hosting a golf tournament), and public-spirited entertainer whose Christmas military tours and tireless work for charity set the standard for public service in Hollywood. But he became a polarizing figure during the Vietnam War, and the book sheds new light on his close relationship with President Richard Nixon during those embattled years. Bob Hope is a household name. However, as Richard Zoglin shows in this revelatory biography, there is still much to be learned about this most public of figures, from his secret first marriage and his stint in reform school, to his indiscriminate womanizing and his ambivalent relationship with Bing Crosby and Johnny Carson. Hope could be cold, self-centered, tight with a buck, and perhaps the least introspective man in Hollywood. But he was also a dogged worker, gracious with fans, and generous with friends. Hope is both a celebration of an entertainer whose vast contribution has never been properly appreciated, and a complex portrait of a gifted but flawed man, who, unlike many Hollywood stars, truly loved being famous, appreciated its responsibilities, and handled celebrity with extraordinary grace.
Marc Davis touched nearly every aspect of The Walt Disney Company during his tenure. He began as an animator, before later transferring to the Imagineering department. As Davis had so many talents and hats, it is only fitting that this tribute be composed by a multitude of talented writers. Each chapter by an expert in the field is accompanied by a wealth of artwork, much of which was offered up by Marc's wife Alice Davis, exclusively for this book. This volume is both the biography and the portfolio of a man who was, on any given day, animator, Imagineer and teacher.
Gossip meets history--a compulsively readable collection of Hollywood's most notorious clashes and controversiesin the spirit of Hollywood Babylon Believe it or not, America's fascination with celebrity culture was thriving well before the days of TMZ, Perez Hilton, Charlie Sheen's breakdown and allegations against Woody Allen. And the stars of yesteryear? They weren't always the saints that we make them out to be. BuzzFeed columnist Anne Helen Petersen is here to set the record straight with Scandals of Classic Hollywood. Pulling little-known gems from the archives of film history, Petersen reveals eyebrow-raising information, including: The smear campaign against the original It Girl, Clara Bow, started by her best friend The heartbreaking story of Montgomery Clift's rapid rise to fame, the car accident that destroyed his face, and the long suicide that followed Fatty Arbuckle's descent from Hollywood royalty, fueled by allegations of a boozy orgy turned violent assault Why Mae West was arrested and jailed for indecency charges And much more Part biography, part cultural history, these stories cover the stuff that films are made of: love, sex, drugs, illegitimate children, illicit affairs, and botched cover-ups. But it's not all just tawdry gossip in the pages of this book. The stories are all contextualized within the boundaries of film, cultural, political, and gender history, making for a read that will inform as it entertains. Based on Petersen's popular column on the Hairpin, but featuring 100% new content, Scandals of Classic Hollywood is sensationalism made smart.
Wars have played a momentous role in shaping the course of human history. The ever-present specter of conflict has made it an enduring topic of interest in popular culture, and many movies, from Hollywood blockbusters to independent films, have sought to show the complexities and horrors of war on-screen.
In The Philosophy of War Films, David LaRocca compiles a series of essays by prominent scholars that examine the impact of representing war in film and the influence that cinematic images of battle have on human consciousness, belief, and action. The contributors explore a variety of topics, including the aesthetics of war as portrayed on-screen, the effect war has on personal identity, and the ethical problems presented by war.
Drawing upon analyses of iconic and critically acclaimed war films such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Thin Red Line (1998), Rescue Dawn (2006), Restrepo(2010), and Zero Dark Thirty (2012), this volume's examination of the genre creates new ways of thinking about the philosophy of war. A fascinating look at the manner in which combat and its aftermath are depicted cinematically, The Philosophy of War Films is a timely and engaging read for any philosopher, filmmaker, reader, or viewer who desires a deeper understanding of war and its representation in popular culture.
Now that Netflix and Hulu can deliver thousands of movies at the touch of a button, the only question is: What should I watch?
The Gardener's Son is the tale of two families: the wealthy Greggs, who own the local cotton mill, and the McEvoys, a family of mill workers beset by misfortune. Two years ago, Robert McEvoy was involved in an accident that led to the amputation of his leg. Consumed by bitterness and anger, he quit his job at the mill and fled. Now, news of his mother's terminal illness brings Robert home. What he finds on his return stokes the slow burning rage he carries within him, a fury that ultimately consumes both the McEvoys and the Greggs. This taut, riveting drama was Cormac McCarthy's first written screenplay. Directed by Richard Pearce, it was produced as a two-hour film in 1976 and received two Emmy Award nominations. This is the first UK publication of the film script in book form.
Ibsen's greatest late plays in superb modern translations, part of the new Penguin Ibsen series. This volume includes The Master Builder, Little Eyolf, John Gabriel Borkman and When We Dead Awaken - Ibsen's last four plays, written when he was an old man and had recently returned to Oslo after decades of self-imposed exile. In The Master Builder, a married, middle-aged architect whose best years are behind him becomes bewitched by a strange young woman who claims to have known him for years. A sudden death in Little Eyolf is the catalyst that drives a couple into a greater understanding of themselves and their flawed marriage. In John Gabriel Borkman, a banker recently released from prison must choose between his wife and her sister, his first true love. And in When We Dead Awaken, a sculptor on holiday is reunited with the woman who inspired his greatest art. The new Penguin series of Ibsen's major plays offer the best available editions in English, under the general editorship of Tore Rem. All the plays have been freshly translated by leading translators and are based on the recently published, definitive Norwegian edition of Ibsen's works. This volume includes a fascinating introduction by Toril Moi on the themes of death and human limitation in the plays, and additional editorial apparatus by Tore Rem. Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is often called 'the Father of Modern Drama'. He was born in the small Norwegian town of Skien and started writing plays from an early age. In 1864 he left Norway for a 21-year long voluntary exile in Italy and Germany. After successes with the verse dramas Brand and Peer Gynt, he turned to prose, writing his great 12-play cycle of society dramas between 1877 and 1899. This included The Pillars of Society, A Doll's House, Ghosts, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm, The Lady from the Sea, Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder, Little Eyolf, John Gabriel Borkman, and, finally, When We Dead Awaken. Ibsen returned to Norway in 1891 and died there at the age of seventy-eight. Barbara J. Haveland and Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife are both freelance literary translators. Toril Moi is Professor of English, Theater Studies and Philosophy at Duke University. Her books include Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism (2006). Tore Rem is Professor of British literature at the University of Oslo and author of Henry Gibson/Henrik Ibsen (2006).
There are times in the theatre when you suddenly find yourself in the grip of silence. There is no fidgeting or coughing, no shifting about in seats: the audience's attention is so tense it is almost palpable. This is because it is both thrilling and dangerous: a fight to the death, or the dawning of salvation. David Hare's new play, Skylight, is punctuated by such moments. They are the signs that a dramatist of the first rank is writing at full stretch, in complete command of his material, undogmatic and unafraid, unforgiving and compassionate. (Sunday Times). Skylight was revived in a new production at the Wyndham's Theatre, London, in June 2014, which received the Evening Standard Revival of the Year Award.