Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) was famed for his dedication, photographic memory, explosive temper and impassioned performances. At times he dominated La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Bayreuth, Salzburg and Lucerne festivals. His reforms influenced generations of musicians, and his opposition to Nazism and Fascism made him a model for artists of conscience.
With unprecedented access to the conductor's archives, Harvey Sachs has written a new biography positioning Toscanini's musical career and sometimes scandalous life against the currents of history. Set in Italy, across Europe, the Americas and in Palestine, with portraits of Verdi, Puccini, Caruso, Mussolini and others, Toscanini soars in its exploration of genius, music and moral courage.
Based on ten years of research and a vast cache of primary sources located in archives in Warsaw, Paris, London, New York, Washington, D.C., Alan Walker's monumental Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times is the most comprehensive biography of the great Polish composer to appear in English. Walker sets out to dispel the many myths and legends that continue to surround Chopin. Fryderyk Chopin is an intimate look into a dramatic life; of particular focus are Chopin's childhood and youth in Poland, which are brought into line with Walker's latest scholarly findings, and Chopin's romantic life with George Sand, with whom he lived for nine years.
Comprehensive and engaging, and written in highly readable prose, the biography wears its scholarship lightly: this is a book suited as much for the professional pianist as it is for the casual music lover. Just as he did in his definitive biography of Liszt, Walker illuminates Chopin and his music with unprecedented clarity in this magisterial biography, bringing to life one of the nineteenth century's most confounding, beloved, and legendary artists.
'It is unusual to feel bereft on finishing a 768-page book. But as Walker depicts [George] Sand with Chopin, or traces the posthumous progress of his preserved heart back to Poland, one could wish this volume twice as long. It is the most important biography of Chopin in years and will be treasured by musicians and music-lovers as the definitive life for many more.' - Sunday Times
'Adopting the same combination of broad perspective, wealth of telling detail and musical expertise that he brought to his classic biography of Franz Liszt, Alan Walker has now produced a vast work on Fryderyk Chopin that is likely to remain the most important account of the great Polish master's life for a long time to come ... A must for musicians and music-lovers alike.' - Harvey Sachs, author of The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824 and Toscanini: Musician of Conscience
Britain played a key role in Bob Dylan's career in the 1960s. He visited Britain on several occasions and performed across the country both as an acoustic folk singer and as an electric-rock musician. His tours of Britain in the mid-1960s feature heavily in documentary films such as D.A. Pennebaker's Don't Look Back and Martin Scorsese's No Direction Home and the concerts contain some of his most acclaimed ever live performances. Dylan influenced British rock musicians such as The Beatles, The Animals, and many others; they, in turn, influenced him.
Yet this key period in Dylan's artistic development is still under-represented in the extensive literature on Dylan. Tudor Jones rectifies that glaring gap with this deeply researched, yet highly readable, account of Dylan and the British Sixties. He explores the profound impact of Dylan on British popular musicians as well as his intense, and at times fraught, relationship with his UK fan base. He also provides much interesting historical context - cultural, social, and political - to give the reader a far greater understanding of a defining period of Dylan's hugely varied career. This is essential reading for all Dylan fans, as well as for readers interested in the tumultuous social and cultural history of the 1960s.
In 1969, among Harlem's Rabelaisian cast of characters are bandleader King Curtis, soul singers Aretha Franklin and Donny Hathaway, and drug peddler Jimmy `Goldfinger' Terrell. In February a raid on tenements across New York leads to the arrest of 21 Black Panther party members and one of the most controversial trials of the era. In the summer Harlem plays host to Black Woodstock and concerts starring Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone. The world's most famous guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, a major supporter of the Black Panthers, returns to Harlem in support of their cause.
By the end of the year Harlem is gripped by a heroin pandemic and the death of a 12-year-old child sends shockwaves through the USA, leaving Harlem stigmatised as an area ravaged by crime, gangsters and a darkly vengeful drug problem.
Offering a fresh perspective on one of the most prolific and well-loved catalogues of songs in the rock 'n' roll canon, Fleetwood Mac FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Iconic Rock Survivors digs deeper than your average music compendium and sidesteps the tediousness of most generalized band histories.
Professional yet playful, the book's most unique feature is its structure: a hybrid of historical breakdowns, Q and As, music criticism, and best of lists chronicling the band's influence and legacy. No Fleetwood Mac book would be complete without addressing the sensationalism of Rumours or the mythic psychological breakdown of Peter Green. But Fleetwood Mac FAQ casts a wide net avoiding monotony for long-time fans by presenting new criticism and reporting, and engaging with newcomers by addressing the most essential chapters in the band's story.
Included are interviews with former Fleetwood Mac members (guitarists Rick Vito and Billy Burnette), producers (Ken Caillat, Richard Dashut, John Shanks, and Mike Vernon), studio crew members (Rich Feldman, Ray Lindsey, and Ken Perry), rock critics who've covered the group (Anthony DeCurtis), and others who've been privileged to join the band's inner circle.
Sure, the book touches on the band's notorious drug use, romantic affairs, and brutal in-fighting more importantly, it also sheds fascinating new light on the band's innovative, ever-evolving music.
Selected and arranged by the author, with an expansive introduction by the novelist, David Mitchell, How To Be Invisible presents the lyrics of Kate Bush for the first time in a beautiful cloth-bound Faber edition.
‘For millions around the world Kate is way more than another singer-songwriter: she is a creator of musical companions that travel with you through life. One paradox about her is that while her lyrics are avowedly idiosyncratic, those same lyrics evoke emotions and sensations that feel universal’ – David Mitchell
Kate Bush is a true iconoclast and one of the most revered contemporary musical artists of recent years. Since her emergence in 1978 she has forged a creative path which has proved to be both highly innovative and hugely inspiring. Her artistic achievements have helped shape our cultural landscape and her singular vision has influenced many others. In 2002 Kate won the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, one of many awards won by her over the years. In 2012 her album 50 Words For Snow won Best Album at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards whilst in 2014 Kate won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for her live show Before The Dawn , which played for twenty-two nights at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.
An idealized image of European concert-goers has long prevailed in historical overviews of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This act of listening was considered to be an invisible and amorphous phenomenon, a naturally given mode of perception. This narrative influenced the conditions of listening from the selection of repertoire to the construction of concert halls and programmes. However, as listening moved from the concert hall to the opera house, street music, and jazz venues, new and visceral listening traditions evolved. In turn, the art of listening was shaped by phenomena of the modern era including media innovation and commercialization.
This Handbook asks whether, how, and why practices of music listening changed as the audience moved from pleasure gardens and concert venues in the eighteenth century to living rooms in the twentieth century, and mobile devices in the twenty-first. Through these questions, chapters enable a differently conceived history of listening and offer an agenda for future research.
1964 was the start of the British 'pop' invasion of the United States and the world was never the same. The Beatles paved the way for countless British bands and performers to find international success during the 1960s, taking the US and other international charts by storm.
British Pop Invasion is a photographic record of that era using hundreds of rare Daily Mirror images, with text by respected author Alan J. Whiticker.
At more than 300 pages, this book is a must for pop culture historians, baby boomers of the era and music lovers of any age.
Bing Crosby dominated American popular culture in a way that few artists ever have. From the dizzy era of Prohibition through the dark days of the Second World War, he was a desperate nation's most beloved entertainer. But he was more than just a charismatic crooner: Bing Crosby redefined the very foundations of modern music, from the way it was recorded to the way it was orchestrated and performed.
In this much-anticipated follow-up to the universally acclaimed first volume, NBCC Winner and preeminent cultural critic Gary Giddins now focuses on Crosby's most memorable period, the war years and the origin story of White Christmas. Set against the backdrop of a Europe on the brink of collapse, this groundbreaking work traces Crosby's skyrocketing career as he fully inhabits a new era of American entertainment and culture. While he would go on to reshape both popular music and cinema more comprehensively than any other artist, Crosby's legacy would be forever intertwined with his impact on the home front, a unifying voice for a nation at war. Over a decade in the making and drawing on hundreds of interviews and unprecedented access to numerous archives, Giddins brings Bing Crosby, his work, and his world to vivid life--firmly reclaiming Crosby's central role in American cultural history.
Starring the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, and Jeanne Moreau, and directed by iconoclasts such as Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer, and Jean-Luc Godard, French movies are as touching, beautiful, and romantic as they come in all of film. LE CINEMA FRANCAIS is an irresistible illustrated guide to the best of French film, starting with the 1950s (And God Created Woman), through the spectrum of French New Wave (Jules and Jim), and on to modern-day confections like Amelie. Each film is covered with a plot summary; back stories; and illustrations by Anne Keenan Higgins of highlight scenes, costumes, props, and characters that are as enchanting as the films themselves.
This collection brings together the four plays that feature Ionesco's everyman protagonist Jean Berenger. In `The Killer', he comes across a radiant city , an ideal civilization which is unfortunately being terrorized by a killer, whom he decides to track down and dissuade from committing any further crimes. In `Rhinoceros', he is the only person in a provincial town who is resisting rhinoceritis , an affliction that turn its victims into the eponymous horned beasts. In `Exit the King', he is the powerful King Berenger the First, who refuses to acknowledge that he is dying. And in `Strolling in the Air', he acquires the capacity of flight and discovers that the celestial vault is held up by a gigantic pink pillar.
While each play in the Berenger cycle is unique, they are all prime examples of Ionesco's conception of the theatre of the absurd, and touch on themes that preoccupied Ionesco throughout his career, such as mortality, alienation, freedom and the evils of Fascism. This volume constitutes a perfect introduction to one of the twentieth century's most original and influential playwrights.
This unique selection of plays by Luigi Pirandello contains some of his best-known works, such as Six Characters in Search of an Author - an absurdist piece in which the characters, actors and Pirandello himself interact during the rehearsal of a fictional play within the play - and Henry IV - a tragicomic tale of a man who falls from a horse and believes himself to be the eponymous Holy Roman Emperor.
Preoccupied with the nature of truth and delusion, and treading dangerously on the borderline between sanity and madness, Pirandello's plays are a daring exploration of human actions and the dark motives lying behind them, and the culmination of the naturalistic school of theatre inaugurated by authors such as Ibsen and Chekhov.