Hello, I’m trying to track down the best books on classical music. I have tried expanding my knowledge using online articles, but I find most of them to be unsubstantial. I now want to just stick with the books.
CURRENT BOOKS I HAVE:
‘The Essential Canon of Classical Music’ by David Dubal
‘The Lives of the Great Composers’ by Harold C. Schonberg
These two books by Schonberg and Dubal are probably my favorite because of thier impressive ability to capture the emotional impressions given by the music as well as the overall intentions of the composers. And together, with their ability to emphasize the importance of their music without having to discuss too much technical jargon, makes these books the most accessible and exciting of my [minuscule] collection of classical books.
‘All Music Guide to Classical Music’ A very comprehensive collection of writings discussing background info on compositions and detailed descriptions of the music. But that’s all it really does. I feel that it doesn’t cut to the core of the music. However informative these writings are, I find them to be very bland. They simply do not have the personality and emotional depth that the writings of Harold C. Schonberg and David Dubal have. Perhaps it is just me, but there is something very repellent about this book.
‘Modern Music and After - Directions Since 1945’ by Paul Griffiths This book reads exactly the way your instruction manual for your HD television would read. Very technical. But it has to be. How else does one understand modernism? Griffiths places little emphasis on aesthetic qualities of the music and instead sets out to basically illustrate the compositional developments in modern music and he achieves this goal wonderfully. In short, this is a great book. However, one must have a thorough understanding of musical concepts and also know how to read and understand sheet music before engaging in such a book. But its worth it.
Other books I’m checking out:
‘American Music in the Twentieth Century’ by Kyle Gann
‘Twentieth-Century Music’ by Robert P. Morgan
‘Modern Music: A Concise History from Debussy to Boulez’ by Paul Griffiths
‘The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century’ by Alex Ross
I need to find more books on classical music. I’m mainly looking for books that focus on certain eras, but any book will due.