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Chopin (Master Musicians (Paperback Oxford))
by Jim Samson
ISBN 0198167032 / 9780198167037 / 0-19-816703-2
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
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Celebrating its 100th anniversary, this extraordinary series continues to amaze and captivate its readers with detailed insight into the lives and work of music's geniuses. Unlike other composer biographies that focus narrowly on the music, this series explores the personal history of each composer and the social context surrounding the music. In a precise, engaging, and authoritative manner, each volume combines a vivid portrait of the master musicians' inspirations, influences, life experiences, even their weaknesses, with an accessible discussion of their work-all in roughly 300 pages. Further, each volume offers superb reference material, including a detailed life and times chronology, a complete list of works, a personalia glossary highlighting the important people in the composer's life, and a select bibliography. Under the supervision of music expert and series general editor Stanley Sadie, Master Musicians will certainly proceed to delight music scholars, serious musicians, and all music lovers for another hundred years.
In this profound look at Chopin, Jim Samson interweaves biographical and musical commentary to produce a well-rounded portrait the man and the musician. Incorporating the most recent research, it succeeds in presenting it without recourse to unduly complex technical language. Samson addresses such questions as pedagogy, musical influences, and pianistic idiom. He examines the composer's mature musical style, considers his unique approach to the genres of nineteenth-century piano music, and investigates the nature of his compositional process as revealed through manuscripts and early printed scores. Readers to understand why this frail and fastidious musician from Warsaw, whose music is so immensely refined and innovatory, has captured the imagination of generations of music lovers the world over. [via]