Item description for The History of Classical Music (Non Fiction) by Richard Fawkes...
From Gregorian Chant to Henryk Gorecki, the first living classical composer to get into the pop album charts, this is the story of over 1000 years of Western classical music and the composers who have sought to express in music the deepest of human feelings and emotions. Sonata form, serial music, polyphony - many musical expressions are also explained - with the text illustrated by performances from some of the major recordings of recent years (all but a few taken from the Naxos and Marco Polo catalogues).
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Richard Fawkes grew up surrounded by books and developed an early fascination for military history that continues to this day. Occasionally, he can be cajoled into admitting, without details, to time spent as a small unit commander and a close combat specialist. At the present time his martial activities are confined to the practice of historical European martial arts. When not devising stories of the Eridani and Humankind's War with the Remor, Fawkes works as a designer of icons for manually controlled tactical simulations.
Richard Fawkes currently resides in Herndon, in the state of Virginia. Richard Fawkes was born in 1944.
Reviews - What do customers think about The History of Classical Music (Non Fiction)?
A superbly recorded music history. Feb 3, 2000
From Gregorian Chant to Henryk Gorecki (the first living composer to get into the pop album charts), Richard Fawkes' The History Of Classical Music presents the fascinating and informative story of more than a thousand years of Western classical music and the composers who have sought to express in music the deepest human feelings and emotions. Welsh also explains polyphony, sonata form, serial music, and other musical expressions with a text that is illustrated by performances from some of the most highly praised recordings of recent years. Fawkes' superb text is ably narrated on in this four compact disc collection by Robert Powell (Running Time: 5 hours, 20 minutes). The History Of Classical Music is also available on audio cassette. Also highly recommended is the unabridged Naxos Audiobook edition of Richard Fawkes' The History Of Opera.
A good quick survey Sep 2, 1999
It seems the most popular budget classical music label, Naxos, not only makes most of the Western musical output available at very reasonable prices (no top stars who demand absurd fees make this possible), but it has also issued three very nice boxed sets of recordings on cassettes and CDs (I have the latter) that together give you a quick, fairly accurate, and quite enjoyable survey of three major topics. Perry Keenlyside's (NA 314412) is on three tapes or CDs and more or less delivers what the title promises in about 3 hours and 40 minutes. The text is considerately divided into sections--"Mozart, the child prodigy," "January 1762, the first journeys," "Paris and London, 1763-4," and so on--with tracking cues for each section. The narration and quotations from letters and journals of the time are accompanied by the appropriate music drawn from the bottomless Naxos catalogue. Nigel Anthony is the narrator, aided by Paul Rhys (Mozart), Edward de Souza (Leopold Mozart), with David Timson and Anna Patrick in "other parts." I have not seen the original books to see how much of an abridgment this is, if at all, but that is immaterial. The voices are personable, the information digestible, the whole project very worth while, especially at the price. Those last two sentences are true for the other setsas well. Richard Fawke's (NA414012) and (417612) are both on 4 tapes or CDs and read solo by Robert Powell. I am afraid that just a little five hours is not enough to handle the first topic with any satisfying degree of completeness; but it does give a 'Monarch Notes" glance at an enormously wide and complicated topic and is just enough for anyone who wants a head start before plunging into longer works. On the other hand, I greatly enjoyed the Opera set, timed at only 5 minutes more than the other recording. Trying to cover less, it does it better; and it even has room for some amusing incidents such as the one about the famous one-act opera that was entered into a contest (which it won) by the composer's wife who had more faith in it than did the composer. [No, you listen to the recording to learn which opera I mean.] My only objection to the Naxos recordings of books in the low recording level that makes it a bit difficult to hear on a walkman set up on (say) a noisy train. But this should offer no problem to home hearing or even in your car. These sets are really perfect listening for long trips.