'How refreshing, to read a book about music written for a music lover and not a musicologist. In clear, lucid, entertaining prose, Jane Glover makes those of us who lack musical literacy better understand and appreciate Handel's divinity.' - Donna Leon, author of Handel's Bestiary and the Inspector Brunetti mysteries.
Handel in London tells the story of a young German composer who in 1712, followed his princely master to London and would remain there for the rest of his life. That master would become King George II and the composer was George Frideric Handel.
Handel, then still only twenty-seven and largely self-taught, would be at the heart of musical activity in London for the next four decades, composing masterpiece after masterpiece, whether the glorious coronation anthem, Zadok the Priest, operas such as Giulio Cesare, Rinaldo and Alcina or the great oratorios, culminating, of course, in Messiah.
Here, Jane Glover, who has conducted Handel's work in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, draws on her profound understanding of music and musicians to tell Handel's story. It is a story of music-making and musicianship, of practices and practicalities, but also of courts and cabals, of theatrical rivalries and of eighteenth-century society. It is also, of course, the story of some of the most remarkable music ever written, music that has been played and sung, and loved, in this country - and throughout the world - for three hundred years.
Beethoven imbibed Enlightenment and revolutionary ideas in Bonn where they were fervently discussed in cafes and at the university. At the age of twenty-one, he moved to Vienna to study with Haydn, gaining renown as a master pianist and innovative composer. In the capital of the Hapsburg Empire, authorities were watchful to curtail and punish displays of radical political views. Nevertheless, Beethoven avidly followed the rise of Napoleon and his republican reforms. As Napoleon had liberated Europe from aristocratic oppression, Beethoven desired to liberate music and mankind itself.
Through Beethoven's letters, portraits and other personal papers, and by setting him alongside the major artists of the time, John Clubbe illuminates Beethoven's role as a lifelong revolutionary.
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Few actors achieve in their lifetime what Sir Ian McKellen has. A repertoire of vast commercial success coupled with critically acclaimed and authoritative Shakespearian roles. A man whose gargantuan personality and varied achievements inspire both admiration and affection. McKellen has been feted and admired in every country across the globe, and has been knighted by, and received the Companionship of Honour from Queen Elizabeth II. He is an icon of, and ardent campaigner in, the cause for LGBT rights.
Many of us know of McKellen through his depiction of Gandalf in LORD OF THE RINGS. Garry O'Connor's definitive biography reveals the man behind McKellen the actor. The inside story of the person himself: a constantly developing drama and a work in progress. Yet Garry O'Connor pulls no punches: some of his revelations may be controversial to his fans, even explosive, given McKellen's constant ability to shock and surprise.
The author has himself directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and directed McKellen in some of his very first roles. This is an unflinching, yet deeply intimate and affectionate, biography that, like McKellen himself, will stand the test of time as a rounded and complete portrait of one of the most unusual geniuses of our times.
'A promising young historian with a taste for the exotic.' Stephen FryA radical new history of the Victorian age: meet the forgotten and extraordinary freak performers whose talents and disabilities helped define an era. On 23 March, 1844, General Tom Thumb, at 25 inches tall, entered the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace and bowed low to Queen Victoria. On both sides of the Atlantic, this meeting marked a tipping point in the nineteenth century - the age of the freak was born. Bewitching all levels of society, it was a world of astonishing spectacle - of dwarfs, giants, bearded ladies, Siamese twins and swaggering showmen - and one that has since inspired countless novels, films and musicals. But the real stories (human dramas that so often eclipsed the fantasy presented on the stage), of the performing men, women and children, have been forgotten or marginalized in the histories of the very people who exploited them. In this richly evocative account, Dr John Woolf uses a wealth of recently discovered material to bring to life the sometimes tragic, sometimes triumphant, always extraordinary stories of people who used their (dis)abilities and difference to become some of the first international celebrities. And through their lives we discover afresh some of the great transformations of the age: the birth of showbusiness, of celebrity, of advertising, of `alternative facts'; while also exploring the tensions between the power of fame, the impact of exploitation and our fascination with `otherness'.
At a time when sales of vinyl records have hit a 25-year high, and analog technologies are providing the kind of extraordinary audio experiences that our increasingly digital world has started to remove, Hi-Fi is essential reading. This unique book explores just how, when, and why the world fell in love with the look, feel, and sound of top-of-the-line audio equipment. Hi-Fi traces this fascinating evolution from the 1950s to today (and tomorrow), taking readers right up to the current renaissance of all things analog and the emergence of cutting-edge designs for die-hard audiophiles.
The story of how Las Vegas saved Elvis and Elvis saved Las Vegas in the greatest musical comeback of all time.
The conventional wisdom is that Las Vegas is what destroyed Elvis Presley, launching him on a downward spiral of drugs, boredom, erratic stage behavior, and eventually his fatal overdose. But in Elvis in Vegas, Richard Zoglin takes an alternate view, arguing that Vegas is where the King of Rock and Roll resurrected his career, reinvented himself as a performer, and created the most exciting show in Vegas history.
Elvis's 1969 opening night in Vegas was his first time back on a live stage in more than eight years. His career had gone sour-bad movies, and mediocre pop songs that no longer made the charts. He'd been dismissed by most critics as over the hill. But in Vegas he played the biggest showroom in the biggest hotel in the city, drawing more people for his four-week engagement than any other show in Vegas history. His performance got rave reviews, Suspicious Minds gave him his first number-one hit in seven years, and Elvis became Vegas's biggest star. Over the next seven years, he performed more than 600 shows there, and sold out every one.
Las Vegas was changed too. The intimate night-club-style shows of the Rat Pack, who made Vegas the nation's premier live-entertainment center in the 1950s and `60s, catered largely to well-heeled older gamblers. Elvis brought a new kind of experience: an over-the-top, rock-concert-like extravaganza. He set a new bar for Vegas performers, with the biggest salary, the biggest musical production, and the biggest promotion campaign the city had ever seen. In doing so, he opened the door to a new generation of pop/rock performers, and brought a new audience to Vegas-a mass audience from Middle America that Vegas depends on for its success to this day.
A classic comeback tale set against the backdrop of Las Vegas's golden age, Richard Zoglin's Elvis in Vegas is a feel-good story for the ages.
SYMPHONY OF YOU is a complete celebration of Kate Bush - her music, her look, her impact, her creativity. Showcasing hundreds of Gered Mankowitz's breathtaking photographs from the early years of Kate's career, the majority of the images in this book have never been seen outside of the author's own private works. The book also features essays from authors across a number of disciplines - from best-selling novelists and award-winning musicians to academics - offering their opinions on how Kate has shaped the cultural landscape. SYMPHONY OF YOU is a truly special collection, and a homage to a unique artist.
Against a backdrop of social unrest and protests The Rolling Stones entered 1969 as a successful blues band that had experimented with psychedelia but were returning to their rock'n'roll roots. By the end of 1969 they had released a stone cold classic, lost one of their founding members, played an era defining concert at Hyde Park to half a million people and seen a fan stabbed to death at their concert in Altamont. This is the story of how 1969 cemented the Stones as the greatest rock & roll band in the world .
Rare notes, memos, and telegrams from Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, Jane Fonda, and more Letters from Hollywood reproduces in full color scores of entertaining and insightful pieces of correspondence from some of the most notable and talented film industry names of all time-from the silent era to the golden age, and up through the pre-email days of the 1970s. Culled from libraries, archives, and personal collections, the 135 letters, memos, and telegrams are organized chronologically and are annotated by the authors to provide backstories and further context. While each piece reveals a specific moment in time, taken together, the letters convey a bigger picture of Hollywood history. Contributors include celebrities like Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Elia Kazan, Cary Grant, Francis Ford Coppola, Tom Hanks, and Jane Fonda. This is the gift book of the season for fans of classic Hollywood.
The sound of 'Wichita Lineman' was the sound of ecstatic solitude, but then its hero was the quintessential loner. What a great metaphor he was: a man who needed a woman more than he actually wanted her.
Written in 1968 by Jimmy Webb, 'Wichita Lineman' is the first philosophical country song: a heartbreaking torch ballad still celebrated for its mercurial songwriting genius fifty years later. It was recorded by Glen Campbell in LA with a legendary group of musicians known as 'the Wrecking Crew', and something about the song's enigmatic mood seemed to capture the tensions in America at a moment of crisis. Fusing a dribble of bass, searing strings, tremolo guitar and Campbell's plaintive vocals, Webb's paean to the American West describes a telephone lineman's longing for an absent lover, who he hears 'singing in the wire' - and like all good love songs, it's an SOS from the heart.
Mixing close-listening, interviews and travelogue, Dylan Jones explores the legacy of a record that has entertained and haunted millions for over half a century. What is it about this song that continues to seduce listeners, and how did the parallel stories of Campbell and Webb - songwriters and recording artists from different ends of the spectrum - unfold in the decades following? Part biography, part work of musicological archaeology, The Wichita Lineman opens a window on to America in the late-twentieth century through the prism of a song that has been covered by myriad artists in the intervening decades.
'Americana in the truest sense: evocative and real.' Bob Stanley 'It's just another song to me. I've written 1,000 of them and it's really just another one.' Jimmy Webb 'When I heard it I cried. It made me cry because I was homesick. It's just a masterfully written song.' Glen Campbell 'I love the song because its as though it's been in my life forever.' Amy Raphael 'It's not just the perfect pop song, it's almost perfect as an idea, existing outside of the song itself.' Stuart Maconie 'I don't really think of 'Wichita Lineman' as easy listening, I just think it's a great song.' Paul Weller
Stephen Hough is indisputably one of the world's leading pianists, winning global acclaim and numerous awards, both for his concerts and recordings. He is also a writer, composer and painter and was recently described by the Economist as one of '20 Living Polymaths'. As an international performer he spends much of his life at airports, on planes, and in hotel rooms - and this book expands notes he has made, in his words, 'during that dead time on the road'.
He writes about music and the life of a musician, from exploring the broader aspects of what it is to walk out on to a stage or to make a recording, to specialist tips from deep inside the practice room: how to trill, how to pedal, how to practise. He also writes vividly about people he's known, places he's travelled to, books he's read, paintings he's seen; and touches on more controversial subjects, such as assisted suicide and abortion. Even religion is there - the possibility of the existence of God, problems with some biblical texts and the challenge involved in being a gay Catholic.
An illuminating and absorbing introduction into the life and mind of one of our great cultural figures.
The second book of two, Sound Pictures traces the story of George Martin and the Beatles' incredible artistic trajectory after reaching the creative heights of Rubber Soul. As the bandmates engage in brash experimentation, creating such masterworks as Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (The White Album), and Abbey Road, the internal stakes and interpersonal challenges become ever greater. During his post-Beatles years, Martin attempts to discover new vistas of sound recording with a host of acts, including Jeff Beck, America, Cheap Trick, Paul McCartney, and Elton John. Eventually, though, all roads lead Martin back to the Beatles.
Maximum Volume offers a glimpse into the mind, the music, and the man behind the sound of the Beatles. The first book of two, Maximum Volume traces Martin's early years as a scratch pianist and his groundbreaking work as the head of Parlophone Records. It dramatically narrates the story of Martin's unlikely discovery of the Beatles and his painstaking efforts to prepare their newfangled sound for the British music marketplace. As the story unfolds, Martin and the band craft numerous number-one hits, progressing toward the landmark album Rubber Soul--all of which bear Martin's unmistakable musical signature.
Bob Dylan: His Life in Pictures does exactly what the title says. In 256 pages with over 300 images it provides a timeline to this amazing career, showing highlights along with more mundane moments at home and on tour.
Though this book may not help you to understand Dylan's lyrics, it provides a brilliant photographic background to his life and music. After a contextualizing introduction, Bob Dylan breaks his life into five chapters that cover the story decade by decade from the 1960s. Each chapter has a detailed timeline and a wealth of information.
Robert Allen Zimmerman (as Bob Dylan was born) has had more impact on the music world than could normally be expected of one man. The quicksilver folk hero of the early 1960s has redefined himself regularly over the decades and remains as controversial and brilliant as ever. The voice of the 1960s protest movement, he has not stagnated-over the years, his music has incorporated many styles, including pop music, folk music, gospel, rock, and even jazz. The one continuous thread is that his music is intelligent and literary; he is a poet first and a songwriter-albeit a great songwriter-second. It is Dylan's words that have ensured his continued importance and not his aging voice.
His peers rate him highly: Neil Young, himself no slouch in the music world, said of him in 2005: He's the master. If I'd like to be anyone, it's him. And he's a great writer, true to his music and done what he feels is the right thing to do for years and years and years. Joe Strummer praised Dylan as having laid down the template for lyric, tune, seriousness, spirituality, depth of rock music.
And if you judge a musician by his awards, Dylan has done pretty well: from a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammies in 1990 to induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; from France's highest cultural award, the Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres to the Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music; from an honorary doctorate awarded by Princeton University (US) to an honorary degree at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland)-not to mention albums of the year, six entries in the Grammy Hall of Fame, a 2000 Academy Award, a 2001 Golden Globe and a 2008 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.
Get an intimate view of this legendary singer-songwriter, artist, and writer through this amazing photographic account of his life.
One of the most prolific and commercially successful artists in modern pop music, during a career spanning over half a century Elton John has sold over 300 million records, including Candle In the Wind 1997 the biggest selling single of all time. His achievements in the US charts alone total over 50 hits in the Top 40, with seven consecutive albums making No.1. Musically a child prodigy, by the age of 15 in 1962 Elton had formed his first pop group, Bluesology, and five years later met his long-time songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. Elton released his debut album Empty Sky in 1968, from which came his first big hit, Your Song, in 1970. A spectacularly productive career followed, in which he has released over 30 albums and been the recipient of no less than six Grammy Awards and five Brit Awards. A tireless worker for various charities, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation, in 1998 he received a knighthood. Loved for his approachability and unaffected attitude to stardom, and after a career spanning nearly five decades, he still attracts capacity audiences in some of the largest auditoriums in the world, and fills them effortlessly with charismatic energy, and a musical performance that leaves fans of all ages shouting for more. AUTHOR: Chris Roberts has written about music, films and the arts for everyone from The Guardian to Uncut and currently writes for Classic Rock, Prog, Record Collector and The Quietus. He has published books on Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Kate Moss, Lou Reed, Tom Jones, Abba, Talk Talk, Pharrell Williams, Justin Bieber, Scarlett Johansson, Heath Ledger and others. SELLING POINTS:
A celebratory retrospective of one of popular music's most enduring and talented star names Fully illustrated throughout, including rare archive memorabilia and previously unpublished photography To be published in 2019 at the end of his farewell world tour 250 colour images
Robert Johnson is the subject of the most famous myth about the blues: he allegedly sold his soul at the crossroads in exchange for his incredible talent, and this deal led to his death at age 27. But the actual story of his life remains unknown save for a few inaccurate anecdotes. Up Jumped the Devil is the result of over 50 years of research. Gayle Dean Wardlow has been interviewing people who knew Robert Johnson since the early 1960s, and he was the person who discovered Johnson's death certificate in 1967. Bruce Conforth began his study of Johnson's life and music in 1970 and made it his mission to fill in what was still unknown about him. In this definitive biography, the two authors relied on every interview, resource and document, most of it material no one has seen before. As a result, this book not only destroys every myth that ever surrounded Johnson, but also tells a human story of a real person. It is the first book about Johnson that documents his years in Memphis, details his trip to New York, uncovers where and when his wife Virginia died and the impact this had on him, fully portrays the other women Johnson was involved with, and tells exactly how and why he died and who gave him the poison that killed him. Up Jumped the Devil will astonish blues fans who thought they knew something about Johnson.
The biography of the first rock n roll star, written by his son. The story of a country and western singer who became an overnight success with `Rock Around the Clock', mobbed wherever he went for two years (`Thousands of fans formed a crush at the station to greet the group in a raucous display the press dubbed the Second Battle of Waterloo. '), accused of inciting riots and then completely eclipsed by a singer called Elvis with sex appeal. Haley's messy private life resulted in distancing himself from his kids before his big 1970s revival. Despite this reversal of his fortunes he had drunk himself to death by 1981.
'Stephen King is as important to American folklore as Mark Twain.' - William Goldman No single author has been adapted more regularly than Stephen King. There are sixty-five existing movies, thirty television shows, and seven individual episodes (of multi-author anthology shows like The Twilight Zone) based on his work. The industry that surrounds King is one that embodies the very nature of Hollywood, the strange allure of the horror genre, and the accessibility of his folkloric depiction of America. The concept of the King adaptation lies at the core of what we understand as screen entertainment. Illustrated with a fabulous array of familiar and unusual iconography, this is a complete account of the films and television series adapted from the work of Stephen King the literary Steven Spielberg. Including fresh critical analysis, interviews, making of stories and biographical elements, it is a King completist's dream and a set text for any movie fan. AUTHOR: Ian Nathan, who lives and works in London, is one of the UK's best-known film writers. He is the author of eight previous books, including Alien Vault, the best-selling history of Ridley Scott's masterpiece, Terminator Vault, Tim Burton, The Coen Brothers and the forthcoming Anything You Can Imagine: Peter Jackson and the Making of Middle-earth. He is the former editor and executive editor of Empire, the world's biggest movie magazine, where he remains a contributing editor. He also regularly contributes to The Times, Independent, Mail on Sunday, Cahiers Du Cinema and the Discovering Film documentary series on Sky Arts. SELLING POINTS:
An encyclopedic exploration of Stephen Kingadaptations: from Carrie (1976) to It Chapter 2 (2019) Lavishly illustrated with more than 200 essentialimages, including unseen behind-the-scenes stills 200 colour images
Show People offers a comprehensive history of the film star from Mary Pickford to Andy Serkis, traversing more than one hundred years and drawing on examples from America, Britain, Europe, Asia and elsewhere.
Newton builds up an expansive picture of movie stardom through striking and diverse figures such as Ingrid Bergman and John Wayne, Anna Karina and Sidney Poitier, Maggie Cheung and Raj Kapoor. He celebrates the great performers of the past, and looks forward to developments in the future, while also illuminating the inner workings of the movie industry and what moves us in a film, and in an actor's performance.
Ultimately, Show People is a book about cinephilia, the love of cinema, and our complex connection to that celebrated and beleaguered figure, the movie star.