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The Rough Guide To Classical Music
ISBN 1843532476 / 9781843532477 / 1-84353-247-6
Publisher Rough Guides
List price $25.99
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This expanded and completely revised fourth edition is a unique handbook, spanning a thousand years of music from Gregorian chant via Bach and Beethoven to current leading lights such as Thomas Adès and Kaija Saariaho.
There are concise biographical profiles of more than 200 composers and informative summaries of the major compositions in all genres, from chamber works to operatic epics. Topics such as the influence of jazz, notation, conducting, the madrigal, and why Stradivarius made such great violins are covered fully in feature boxes. The Rough Guide has been praised for its mix of well-known composers with more obscure, but interesting, figures (like Antoine Brumel and Barbara Strozzi), and for the way it takes contemporary music seriously.[via]