The ultimate guide to classical composers and their music-for both the novice and the experienced listener Music, according to Aaron Copland, can thrive only if there are "gifted listeners." But today's listeners must choose between classical and rock, opera and rap, and the choices can seem overwhelming at times. In The Essential Canon of Classical Music, David Dubal comes to the aid of the struggling listener and provides a cultural-literacy handbook for classical music. Dubal identifies the 240 composers whose works are most important to an understanding of classical music and offers a comprehensive, chronological guide to their lives and works. He has searched beyond the traditional canon to introduce readers to little-known works by some of the most revered names in classical music-Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert-as well as to the major works of lesser-known composers. In a spirited and opinionated voice, Dubal seeks to rid us of the notion of "masterpieces" and instead to foster a new generation of master listeners. The result is an uncommon collection of the wonders classical music has to offer.
The greatest pianist there has ever been, an innovative, forward-looking composer, and an outstanding conductor and teacher, Franz Liszt was one of the most charismatic and sought-after figures of the nineteenth century. Amongst much else, his letters record his creative work, his travels andconcerts throughout Europe, his relations with his family, and his liaisons with several remarkable women, above all the French countess and bluestocking who bore his children, and the Polish princess--described by one contemporary as `phenomenon without equal'--who strove to become his wife.His astonishingly wide and varied acquaintances included not only popes, cardinals, kings, queens, and emperors, but also Beethoven, Alexander von Humboldt, Victor Hugo, Hector Berlioz, George Sand, Chopin, Robert and Clara Schumann, Bedrich Smetana, and most notably, Richard Wagner. Outstandingfigures all, their names recur repeatedly in these fascinating and important letters, the majority of which are here made available in English for the first time.