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Books About Music

Biographies

H
Handel | Hartmann | Haydn | Henze | Herrmann | Hindemith | Holst | Horowitz

George Frideric Handel

Handel
Handel. Christopher Hogwood. Thames & Hudson. 1996. ISBN 0500274983 (paperback).
A look back at the original Handel, providing a portrait of his life and music that blends the evidence from documents of all kinds with biographical observation. It contains a chronological table and traces the Handel legend down to our own time.

The New Grove Handel. Winton Dean, Anthony Hicks. W.W. Norton & Company. 1997. ISBN 0393303586 (paperback).
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Karl Amadeus Hartmann

Hindemith, Hartmann and Henze
Hindemith, Hartmann and Henze. Guy Rickards. Phaidon Press. 1995. ISBN 0714831743 (paperback).
Three portraits of influential German musicians of the 20th century, apparently brought together as a result of their common opposition to Nazism. Hindemith, although not particularly avant-garde in his idiom, became identified in the minds of the Nazi leaders with certain cultural trends they despised and was forced by them to flee to America. Hartmann, fortunate in his wife's wealth, led a reclusive life during the Nazi period, emerging to growing popularity in postwar Germany. The author's greatest admiration, however, which is as much political as musical, seems to be reserved for the less well-known Henze. This portion of the book will be enjoyed primarily by those already convinced of the worth of Henze's output and politics.
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Franz Joseph Haydn

Haydn: A Creative Life in Music
Haydn: A Creative Life in Music. Karl Geiringer, Irene Geiringer. University of California Press. year. ISBN 0520043162 (hardcover), 0520043170 (paperback).
Studies the life and career of the Austrian composer, providing a critical analysis of his contributions to the music world.

Haydn, The Early Years 1732-1765 (Chronicle and Works Volume 1), H.C. Robbins Landon. Thames & Hudson. 1995. ISBN 0500011699 (paperback).
Haydn at Esterhaza 1766-1790 (Chronicle and Works Volume 2), H.C. Robbins Landon. Thames & Hudson. 1995. ISBN 0500011680 (hardcover).
Haydn in England 1791-1795 (Chronicle and Works Volume 3), H.C. Robbins Landon. Thames & Hudson. 1995. ISBN 0500011648 (hardcover).
Haydn, The Years of "The Creation" 1796-1800 (Chronicle and Works Volume 4), H.C. Robbins Landon. Thames & Hudson. 1995. ISBN 0500011664 (hardcover).
Haydn, The Late Years 1801-1809 (Chronicle and Works Volume 5), H.C. Robbins Landon. Thames & Hudson. 1995. ISBN 0500011672 (hardcover).

Mozart and Haydn in London. Carl Ferdinand Pohl. Da Capo Press. 1970. ISBN 0306700247 (hardcover).

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Haydn and His World. Elaine Sisman (Editor). Princeton University Press. 1997. ISBN 0691057990 (paperback).
Joseph Haydn's symphonies and string quartets are staples of the concert repertory, yet many aspects of this founding genius of the Viennese Classical style are only beginning to be explored. From local Kapellmeister to international icon, Haydn achieved success by developing a musical language aimed at both the connoisseurs and amateurs of the emerging musical public. In this volume, the first collection of essays in English devoted to this composer, a group of leading musicologists examines Haydn's works in relation to the aesthetic and cultural crosscurrents of his time. Haydn and His World opens with an examination of the contexts of the composer's late oratorios: James Webster connects the Creation with the sublime – the eighteenth-century term for artistic experience of overwhelming power – and Leon Botstein explores the reception of Haydn's Seasons in terms of the changing views of programmatic music in the nineteenth century. Essays on Haydn's instrumental music include Mary Hunter on London chamber music as models of private and public performance, fortepianist Tom Beghin on rhetorical aspects of the Piano Sonata in D Major, XVI:42, Mark Evan Bonds on the real meaning behind contemporary comparisons of symphonies to the Pindaric ode, and Elaine R. Sisman on Haydn's Shakespeare, Haydn as Shakespeare, and "originality." Finally, Rebecca Green draws on primary sources to place one of Haydn's Goldoni operas at the center of the Eszterháza operatic culture of the 1770s. The book also includes two extensive late-eighteenth-century discussions, translated into English for the first time, of music and musicians in Haydn's milieu, as well as a fascinating reconstruction of the contents of Haydn's library, which shows him fully conversant with the intellectual and artistic trends of the era.

Joseph Haydn and the Eighteenth Century: Collected Essays of Karl Geiringer
Joseph Haydn and the Eighteenth Century: Collected Essays of Karl Geiringer. Robert N. Freeman (Editor). Harmonie Park Press. 2002. ISBN 0899901123 (hardcover).
This collection of Haydn essays, spanning more than sixty years (1927-88), is representative of the wide ranging interests of an esteemed scholar and includes published, unpublished, out of print and previously untranslated publications. Volume concludes with a revised and updated bibliography of Geiringer publications pertaining to Haydn.

The New Grove Haydn. Jens Peter Larsen, Georg Feder. W.W. Norton & Company. 1997. ISBN 0393303594 (paperback).
The son of an 18th-century Austrian wheelwright, Haydn is acknowledged for refining the symphony and string quartet and praised for his oratorios and masses. Deeply involved in the evolution of the Classical style, its subsequent growth can be seen in his own music. Indeed, he is considered to be one of the most significant composers of the Classical Period. Under his care the symphony and string quartet came to life, and the oratios and masses of his late years belong to the consummation of the classical spirit in music. This biography of Joseph Haydn is one in a new series of composer biographies, derived and adapted from the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. These newly written biographies bring the best of the book-length pieces in The New Grove to a wider audience. Each title provides fresh new insights into the life and works of a major composer, derived from the most recent scholarship. In addition to a detailed and informative view of the subject's life and works, written by an expert in the field, each book includes comprehensive, tabular work-lists and a fully revised and updated bibliography.
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Hans Werner Henze

Hindemith, Hartmann and Henze. Guy Rickards. Phaidon Press. 1995. ISBN 0714831743 (paperback).
Three portraits of influential German musicians of the 20th century, apparently brought together as a result of their common opposition to Nazism. Hindemith, although not particularly avant-garde in his idiom, became identified in the minds of the Nazi leaders with certain cultural trends they despised and was forced by them to flee to America. Hartmann, fortunate in his wife's wealth, led a reclusive life during the Nazi period, emerging to growing popularity in postwar Germany. The author's greatest admiration, however, which is as much political as musical, seems to be reserved for the less well-known Henze. This portion of the book will be enjoyed primarily by those already convinced of the worth of Henze's output and politics.
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Bernard Herrmann

Heart at Fire's Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann. Steven C. Smith. University of California Press. 1991. ISBN 0520071239 (hardcover).
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Paul Hindemith

Hindemith, Hartmann and Henze. Guy Rickards. Phaidon Press. 1995. ISBN 0714831743 (paperback).
Three portraits of influential German musicians of the 20th century, apparently brought together as a result of their common opposition to Nazism. Hindemith, although not particularly avant-garde in his idiom, became identified in the minds of the Nazi leaders with certain cultural trends they despised and was forced by them to flee to America. Hartmann, fortunate in his wife's wealth, led a reclusive life during the Nazi period, emerging to growing popularity in postwar Germany. The author's greatest admiration, however, which is as much political as musical, seems to be reserved for the less well-known Henze. This portion of the book will be enjoyed primarily by those already convinced of the worth of Henze's output and politics.
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Illustrated Lives of the Great Composers - Holst

Gustav Holst

Illustrated Lives of the Great Composers - Holst. Paul Holmes. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0711965250 (paperback).

Gustav Holst. Edmund Rubbra. Reprint Services. ISBN 0781296013 (hardcover).
Library binding, 48 pages.

Holst's Music - A Guide. A.E.F. Dickinson, with Alan Gibbs (Editor). Kahn & Averill. ISBN 090521045X (paperback).
219 pages.
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Vladimir Horowitz

Evenings with Horowitz. David Dubal. Birch Lane Press. 1991. ISBN 1559720948 (hardcover).
The author was a friend of Vladimir Horowitz for three years in the 1980's. This is a record of their conversations on piano repertoire, composers, performance, etc. The author displays his own erudition in his talks with Horowitz, but his writing style is breezy and accessible. I enjoy looking it years after I originally read the book. And there's an exhaustive Horowitz discography with critical comments. A must for the piano afficionado, this is a book to keep and reread.
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