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Composers' Letters

Length: 2 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)
Regular price: £10.89
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Editor reviews

In a perfect and perfectly delightful use of the audio format, this offering pairs accomplished and well-cast actors with letters written by famous composers. The letters are given chronologically, from J.S. Bach's writing about career and money difficulties in the seventeenth century through the letters of Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and others up to Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky in the twentieth. A brief and helpful historical note precedes each composer's section, and, best of all, the music he's writing about accompanies and illuminates the words. Age-appropriate actors voice composers writing in old age while lighter, boyish voices bring us young Mozart or Chopin as a determined and very broke youth writing home from Paris.

Summary

In Composers' Letters, the voices of the great figures of classical music come alive through their correspondence. Set against the music we know and love, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and many more talk openly about their music, their hopes and fears, their lives, their sadness, and their struggles in realizing their artistic hopes in a commercial world. Poignant, funny, revealing, informative and so often direct and honest, these letters offer a fascinating insight into the personalities that created our Western musical tradition.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

(P)1995 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.; ©1995 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.

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Insightful look into the composer's lives

Enjoyed listening to this book. Gives a good insight into the personality and psychology of the composers. The book benefits from having multiple narrators. Would recommend this to anyone who likes classical music and also likes biographies.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Grablowski
  • 02-09-18

A Charming Little Collection.

Loving all the great composers I was pleasantly surprised Naxos has made this delightful collection. For any lover of classical musoc, I would highly recommend. For others, it will probably not mean much. Listen to the masters’ work then come back to this little book.