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The Indispensable Composers by Anthony Tommasini

The Indispensable Composers

The Indispensable Composers by Anthony Tommasini
Nov 06, 2018 | 496 Pages
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    Nov 06, 2018 | 496 Pages

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    Nov 06, 2018 | 496 Pages

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“[Tommasini] defends the value of distinguishing the great from the merely good…Tommasini does a fine job of conveying the inner life of a piece, through his rhythmic sentences and sculpted paragraphs…One cannot help coming away from it with a more rounded understanding of classical music at its peak.”—Phillip Lopate, New York Times Book Review

“A pianist himself, Tommasini infuses his essays with insights from a lifetime of playing and listening.” San Francisco Chronicle
“A must for musicians and music lovers alike.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“A spirited musical compendium to the best of the best…[Tommasini’s] goal is to keep his assessments simple, insightful, and jargon-free, and he succeeds…Entertaining, highly enthusiastic, and very knowledgeable, he’s the perfect guide [to the great composers]…all exuberantly presented for your edification and enjoyment.” —Kirkus 

“Insightful…Tommasini twines engaging biographical sketches of the maestros and their tragic ailments, love affairs, and endless scrambles for money with appreciations of masterpieces, the latter enriched by his memories of hearing and performing them…he excels at the difficult task of capturing music in words…The result is an engrossing study that will appeal to both classical music aficionados and novice listeners who want a road map.”—Publishers Weekly
“A treasure trove of biographical information and a primer on the language and notation of music itself…Tommasini makes a potentially dry and academic subject accessible.”—Library Journal

“Anthony Tommasini’s book is itself indispensable—not only for those who already know how immortal are Monteverdi, Bach, Haydn down to Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Bartók, but for those who want to read Tommasini’s take on what makes our great composers lifelong companions we like to take wherever we go and would ask/want nothing more than to hear a few last notes from before leaving them forever.”—André Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name

“Anthony Tommasini is an engaging, authoritative guide to the careers and works of great composers.  Writing accessibly about even the more technical aspects of the music, he shares what these creations have meant to him in ways that should also make them essential listening for his readers.”—Walter Frisch, H. Harold Gumm/Harry and Albert von Tilzer Professor of Music at Columbia University and author of Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow

“Few critics in history have been as rigorously trained or deeply versed in music as Tony Tommasini. Page after page of this exuberant book show not only his comprehensive knowledge — he writes with the music under his fingers — but also his infectious love for the great classical repertory.”  —Alex Ross, author of The Rest is Noise

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