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Titel: Literature of Chamber Music (Set)
Verlag: Hinshaw Music
Zustand: very good
Gently used. Expect delivery in 20 days. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 9780937276167-3
Rezension: This is a monumental book; its scholarship, scope, breadth, and depth are formidable. Arthur Cohn, who died in 1998, was a music publishing executive, composer, conductor, violinist, and passionate chamber music player. Author of compendia of 20th-century music and classical recordings, Cohn brought a lifetime of research and accumulated knowledge to this study. The book is unusual in several respects. Though arranged alphabetically and organized encyclopedia style, it is no mere list of names and opuses: each work is dated, described, analyzed, evaluated; different editions are compared. The author's attitude is inclusive, covering composers famous and obscure of all periods and nationalities. Cohn's judgments are both knowledgeable and generous; he elucidates abstruse, forbidding styles up to the extreme avant-garde, tempers criticism with praise, and goes to bat for unjustly underrated composers. There are 29 essays discussing the style, background, and historical significance of important major composers; these are written with insight, sensitivity, and affectionate admiration (including an explanatory listing of the often arcane nicknames of Haydn's string quartets). Readers will also encounter names not associated with chamber music, such as Humperdinck, Marc Blitzstein, Furtwängler, Victor Babin, and the writer Max Brod, as well as an extraordinary number of unknown composers. Thus, the book can be read for new perspectives on favorite composers and as a guide to unfamiliar ones--though one often wishes for more information about the latter.
Inevitably, Cohn does not escape the problems of dealing with one artistic medium in terms of another: music is meant to be heard, not read about. (Musical illustrations would have helped; a few notes can say more than a lot of words.) This results in a somewhat idiosyncratic, convoluted style, especially in the earlier volumes, and an odd preoccupation with numbers: of measures, repeats, key changes, etc., as well as timings. There are some misprints and erroneous translations. But these blemishes in no way diminish the book's value as an extraordinarily comprehensive, endlessly fascinating reference work. --Edith Eisler
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