Item description for Tchaikovsky: The Man and His Music by David Brown...
"In any language, it is definitive."-The Sunday Telegraph
"A magnificent achievement, and one which can only deepen our appreciation and understanding of this great composer."-The Sunday Times (London)
This very distinctive new work on Tchaikovsky uniquely combines a lively biography of Russia's best-loved composer with a chronological guide to his music, ranging from the popular symphonies and concertos to his operas and ballets. David Brown skillfully guides the reader through Tchaikovsky's music within the context of his life, and the result is a book that will be of particular interest to those who, knowing little or nothing of classic music, might wish to become acquainted with some of the greatest and most moving music ever composed.
As for Tchaikovsky himself, he emerges as a man dogged with bouts of depression but capable of great and sustained kindness, devoted to his family, and unstinting with his time and money, even on behalf of virtual strangers. It is no wonder, then, when he died he was given a state funeral, nor that the massive crowds lining the streets delayed the procession to the cemetery by five hours.
David Brown, professor of musicology at Southampton University, is an international authority on both Russian and nineteenth-century music. He is the author of a previous four-volume biographical study on Tchaikovsky, which, taken with this new book, makes Brown arguably the most renowned expert on the composer in the world.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.2" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.8" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2007
Publisher Pegasus Books
ISBN 1933648309 ISBN13 9781933648309
Reviews - What do customers think about Tchaikovsky: The Man and His Music?
Wonderful, personal biography May 13, 2008
This is a beautifully written and comprehensive biography of Tchaikovsky. The book is written in a very conversational yet authoritative style, and draws the reader in to what Tchaikovsky may have been thinking during his compositional periods. Clearly the author is extraordinarily knowledgeable about his subject, having written a four volume biography years earlier. This is a far more manageable read, yet conveys the essentials. By juxtaposing Tchaikovsky's life with his compositions, it is much easier to understand the meaning behind so many of his recondite works. I particularly enjoyed the in-depth analyses of his compositions, as well as the author's editorial comments about their quality. Although it seems there is little about Tchaikovsky that he doesn't like, the author uses a rating system to point the reader to the most important of works, such as the late symphonies, the violin and first piano concertos, and the ballets (especially Sleeping Beauty). I was left wishing how interesting it would have been to talk to the composer in person: he was a complex man who divulged his soul through his music. Understanding the background of the Tchaikovsky works, and understanding his state of mind against the backdrop of the tribulations of his personal life when composing, vastly enhances the listening of his music; in this regard Tchaikovsky is almost unique because the man, his life, and his music become inseparable. All the book lacked for me were recommendations for specific recordings that the author felt were exalted. Nevertheless - Bravo!