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Biographies

S
Saint-Saëns | Satie | Scarlatti | Schnittke | Schoenberg | Schubert | Schuman | Schumann | Schütz | Scriabin | Seeger | Sessions | Shostakovich | Sibelius | Smetana | Stockhausen | R. Strauss | Stravinsky | Sullivan

Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille Saint-Saëns: A Guide to Research
Camille Saint-Saëns: A Guide to Research. Timothy Flynn. Routledge. 2003. ISBN 0815336195 (hardcover).
A key figure in establishing an identifiable French musical style in the nineteenth century, this annotated biliography catalogs the studies of Saint-Saëns' life and works as well as examining the composer's own correspondence and essays. Included are many lesser-known writings on the composer and his music, as well as recent scholarship which re-examines his place in music history.

Five Great French Composers: Hector Berlioz, César Franck, Camille Saint-Saëns, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel - Their Lives and Works. Donald Brook. Books for Libraries. 1977. ISBN 0836980794 (hardcover).

Saint-Saëns: On Music and Musicians
Saint-Saëns: On Music and Musicians. Roger Nichols. Oxford University Press. 2008. ISBN 0195320166 (hardcover).
Camille Saint-Saëns is a memorable figure not only for his successes as a composer of choral and orchestral works, and the eternally popular opera Samson et Dalila, but also because he was a keen observer of the musical culture in which he lived. A composer of vast intelligence and erudition, Saint-Saëns was at the same time one of the foremost writers on music in his day. From Wagner, Liszt and Debussy to Milhaud and Stravinsky, Saint-Saëns was at the center of the elite musical and cultural fin de siecle and early 20th-century world. He championed Schumann and Wagner in France in a time when these composers were regarded as dangerous subversives whose music should be kept away from the impressionable student. Yet Saint-Saëns himself had no aspirations to being a revolutionary, and his appreciation of Wagner the composer was tempered by his reservations over Wagner the philosopher and dramatist, suspicious as he was of what he called "the Germanic preoccupation with going beyond reality." Whether defending Meyerbeer against charges of facility or Berlioz against those who questioned his harmonic grasp, Saint-Saëns was always his own man: in both cases, he claimed, it was "not the absence of faults but the presence of virtues" that distinguishes the good composer. Saint-Saëns's writings provide a well-argued counter-discourse to the strong modernist music critics who rallied around Debussy and Ravel during the fin de siecle. And above all, they demonstrate a brilliantly sharp and active brain, expressing itself through prose of a Classical purity and balance, enlivened throughout with flashes of wit and, at times, of sheer malice. In this generously annotated volume, renowned scholar, seasoned translator and radio broadcaster Roger Nichols brings some of the composer's most striking and evocative writings brilliantly to life in English translation, many for the first time. Nichols has carefully chosen these selections for their intrinsic interest as historical documents to create a well-balanced and engaging view of the man, the music, and the age.
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Erik Satie

Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall. Steven Moore Whiting (Editor). Oxford University Press. 1999. ISBN 0198164580 (hardcover).

Erik Satie. Ornella Volta, with Simon Pleasance (translator). Distributed Art Publishers. 1997. ISBN 2850255653 (paperback).
Primarily a collection of pictures, paintings, and a sample of Satie's scores that are used to illustrate the various stages of the composer's life and artistic development.
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Domenico Scarlatti

Domenico Scarlatti. Ralph Kirkpatrick. Princeton University Press. 1953. Paperback1983. ISBN 0691027080 (paperback).
Important work by Ralph Kirkpatrick, harpsichordist, musicologist, and respected Scarlatti authority. Essential reading.
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Alfred Schnittke

Alfred Schnittke. Alexander Ivashkin. Phaidon Press. 1996. ISBN 0714831697 (paperback).
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Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Schoenberg: Letters. Arnold Schoenberg, Erwin Stein (Editor). University of California Press. 1987. ISBN 0520060091 (paperback).

The Early Works of Arnold Schoenberg 1893-1908. Walter Frisch. University of California Press. 1993. ISBN 0520078195 (hardcover), 0520212185 (paperback).

New Grove Second Viennesse School. Oliver Neighbour, et al. W.W. Norton & Company. 1998. ISBN 0393315878 (paperback).
Comprehensive biographical articles taken from the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians. Included are: Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg, and Anton Webern.

Perspectives on Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Benjamin, Comp. Boretz. W.W. Norton & Company. 1972. ISBN 0393006182 (paperback).

Arnold Schoenberg: The Composer As Jew. Alexander L. Ringer. Oxford University Press. 1990. ISBN 0193154668 (hardcover), 0198163541 (paperback).
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Franz Schubert

Schubert: The Music and the Man. Brian Newbould. University of California Press. 1997. ISBN 0520210654 (hardcover).

Schubert: A Critical Biography. Maurice John Edwin Brown. Da Capo Press. 1988. ISBN 0306803291 (paperback).

Franz Schubert: A Biography. Elizabeth Norman McKay. Oxford University Press. 1996. ISBN 0198165234 (hardcover).

Schubert and His Vienna. Charles Osborne. Alfred A. Knopf. 1985. ISBN 0394541111 (paperback).
Schubert placed in historical perspective in Biedermeier Vienna. Chapters alternate between history and biography.

The New Grove Schubert. Maurice J. E. Brown, Eric Sams. W.W. Norton & Company. 1997. ISBN 039331586X (paperback).
Comprehensive biographical article taken from the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians. The excellent biography by Brown is enhanced by the extremely detailed work list (including titles and Deutch listings for everything including each song that Schubert wrote). There is an extensive bibliography.

Schubert and His World: A Biographical Dictionary. Peter Clive, H. P. Clive. Oxford University Press. 1997. ISBN 019816582X (hardcover).

Schubert: Memoirs by His Friends. Otto Erich Deutsch (Editor). Oxford University Press. 1998. ISBN 019816436X (paperback).
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William Schuman

Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America's Musical Life by Swayne
Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America's Musical Life. Steve Swayne. Oxford University Press. 2011. ISBN 0195388526 (hardcover).
The musical landscape of New York City and the United States of America would look quite different had it not been for William Schuman. Orpheus in Manhattan, a fully objective and comprehensive biography of Schuman, portrays a man who had a profound influence upon the artistic and political institutions of his day and beyond. Steve Swayne draws heavily upon Schuman's letters, writings, and manuscripts as well as unprecedented access to archival recordings and previously unknown correspondence. The winner of the first Pulitzer Prize in Music, Schuman composed music that is rhythmically febrile, harmonically pungent, melodically long-breathed, and timbrally brilliant, and Swayne offers an astute analysis of his work, including many unpublished music scores. Swayne also describes Schuman's role as president of the Juilliard School of Music and of Lincoln Center, tracing how he both expanded the boundaries of music education and championed the performing arts. Filled with new discoveries and revisions of the received historical narrative, Orpheus in Manhattan confirms Schuman as a major figure in America's musical life. Read the Classical Net Review of this book.








The Music of William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, and Peter Mennin: Voices of Stone and Steel by Simmons
The Music of William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, and Peter Mennin: Voices of Stone and Steel. Walter Simmons. Amadeus Press. 1995. ISBN 0810857480 (paperback).
William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, and Peter Mennin were three of the most significant American composers of the 20th century, yet their music has largely disappeared from view since their respective deaths. Because they each spent the majority of their careers working at the Juilliard School and Lincoln Center, their music is often viewed as "interchangeable". Walter Simmons provides a thorough examination of the lives and work of these artists, clarifying their considerable individuality both as composers and as human beings. The book begins with a comprehensive introduction summarizing the conventional view of the history of American music, while noting the marginalization of traditionalist composers, those who preferred to work with the musical forms and developmental principles on which the body of Western classical music is based. In the chapters that follow, each composer is presented through a brief overview and a biographical essay, followed by a general description of his style. Extensively researched and including detailed discussions and insights, the sections include lists of the composer's "most representative, fully realized works" and then provide systematic overviews of most or all of their compositions, giving the reader a general understanding of the artist and his work. The overviews contain a description of each composition, information concerning first performance and first recording, excerpts from reviews as well as Simmons' own critical assessment of each, and a statement of its place within the composer's output as a whole. A selected bibliography and essential discography follows at the end of each chapter. With a photo of each composer and a representative sampling of their music on the enclosed CD, readers will find this book a valuable resource. Read the Classical Net Review of this book.
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Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann - Words and Music: The Vocal Compositions. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Reinhard G. Pauly (Translator). Amadeus Press. 1989. ISBN 0931340063 (hardcover).

Schumann As Critic. Leon B. Plantinga. Da Capo Press. 1976. ISBN 0306707853 (hardcover).

Schumann and His World. R. Larry Todd. Princeton University Press. 1994. ISBN 0691036977 (hardcover), 0691036985 (paperback).

Robert Schumann: Herald of a 'New Poetic Age'. John Daverio. Oxford University Press. 1997. ISBN 0195091809 (hardcover).
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Heinrich Schütz

Heinrich Schütz

Heinrich Schütz. Douglas Miller, with Anne Highsmith (compiler). Greenwood Publishing. 1986. ISBN 0313248842 (hardcover).

Schütz. Basil Smallman. Oxford University Press. 2000. ISBN 0198166745 (hardcover).
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Alexander Scriabin

Scriabin: A Biography. Faubian Bowers. Dover. 1996 (1969). ISBN 0486288978 (paperback).
Expansive biography of Alexander Scriabin (1871-1915), newly revised and updated by the author, incorporates many confessional letters and personal reminiscences in a vivid, highly personal portrait of the controversial Russian composer. One of the visionary pioneers who sought a new musical language, Scriabin immersed himself in a search for a way to express, in sound, the mystical and theosophical ideals that obsessed him. This biography probes the complexities of the composer's personal revolution as it chronicles the turbulent events of his upbringing, marital life and career: his tours of Europe and America, abandonment of his wife, brushes with homosexuality and madness and the flowering of an unrealized vision to synthesize all of art and life into an all-encompassing final work. Originally published in two volumes, the work is republished here in one volume unabridged, complete with a catalog of Scriabin works and 49 rare photographs.

Scriabin: Artist and Mystic. Boris De SChloézer, et al. University of California Press. 1987. ISBN 0520043847 (hardcover).
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Ruth Crawford Seeger

Ruth Crawford Seeger: A Composer's Search for American Music. Judith Tick. Oxford University Press. 1997. ISBN 0195065093 (hardcover).
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The Correspondence of Roger Sessions

Roger Sessions

The Correspondence of Roger Sessions. Roger Sessions, with Andrea Olmstead (Editor). Northeastern University Press. 1992. ISBN 1555531229 (hardcover).
Read the Classical Net Review of this book.

Conversations with Roger Sessions. Andrea Olmstead (Editor). Northeastern University Press. 1987. ISBN 1555530109 (hardcover).
Read the Classical Net Review of this book.
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Dmitri Shostakovich

Shostakovich: A Life Remembered. Elizabeth Wilson. Princeton University Press. 1995. ISBN 0691044651 (paperback).

Testimony - The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich. Dmitri Shostakovich as related to and edited by Solomon Volkov. translated fromt he Russian by Antonina W. Bouis. Harper and Row. 1990 ISBN O879100214 (paperback).
This is the Shostakovich biography that caused much controversy. Was it really written by Shostakovich? How much did Volkov have to do with it? In any case, it is an extremely moving work, and talks as much about politics as it does about music.

Shostakovich Reconsidered
Shostakovich Reconsidered. Allan B. Ho & Dmitry Feofanov, with Foreward by Vladimir Ashkenazy. Toccata Press. 1999. ISBN 0907689566 (hardcover).
This volume systematically address all of the accusations levelled against the controversial Testimony, and amasses an enormous amount of material about Shostakovich and his position in Soviet society, burying forever the picture of Shostakovich as a willing participant in Soviet communism.
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Jean Sibelius

Sibelius, Volume 1: 1865-1905. Erik Tawaststjerna. University of California Press. 1976. ISBN 0520030141 (paperback).

Sibelius, Volume 2: 1904-1914. Erik Tawaststjerna. University of California Press. 1987. ISBN 0520058690 (paperback).

The New Grove Turn of the Century Masters. John Tyrrell. W.W. Norton & Company. 1985. ISBN 0393016943 (paperback).
Comprehensive biographical articles taken from the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians. Included are: Leoš Janáček, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Jean Sibelius.
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Bedřich Smetana

Smetana. John Clapham. J M Dent & Sons Ltd. 1972. ISBN 0460031333 (hardcover).
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Karlheinz Stockhausen

The Music of Stockhausen: An Introduction. Jonathan. Harvey. University of California Press. 1975. ISBN 0520023110 (paperback).
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Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss: A Critical Commentary on His Life and Works. Richard Del Mar, Norman Del Mar. Cornell University Press. 1986. ISBN Volume 1 0801417805 (paperback); Volume 2 0801417813 (hardcover), 0801493188 (paperback); Volume 3 0801417821 (hardcover), 0801493196 (paperback).
Though not strictly a biography, conductor/horn player, Norman Del Mar, gives us a detailed look into Strauss' music. Del Mar displays an excellent understanding of the musical structure, orchestration, roles of motifs, and literary background of the works.

Richart Strauss - An Intimate Portrait. Kurt Wilhelm, Mary Whittall (translator). Rizzoli. 1989. ISBN 0847810216 (paperback).
This beautiful book with almost five hundred illustrations is written in a style that captures the attention from beginning to end. The author was a close friend of the Strauss family, and the vignettes of musical and private life are unforgettably vivid.

Richard Strauss. Tim Ashley. Phaidon Press. 1999. ISBN 0714837946 (paperback).

Richard Strauss and His World. Bryan Gilliam (Editor). Princeton University Press. 1992. ISBN 0691027625 (paperback).

The New Grove Turn of the Century Masters. John Tyrrell. W.W. Norton & Company. 1985. ISBN 0393016943 (paperback).
Comprehensive biographical articles taken from the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians. Included are: Leoš Janáček, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Jean Sibelius.

Richard Strauss and Romain Rolland Correspondence, Diary and Essays. by Rollo Meyers (Editor & annotator). University of California Press. 1968. ISBN (paperback).
Essays and entries are from the diary of Romain Rolland, the French musicologist and Nobel Laureate in Literature. The correspondence is from the turn of the century to the end of the first world war.
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Igor Stravinsky

Stravinsky: A Critical Survey, 1882-1946. Eric Walter White. Dover Publications, Inc. 1997. ISBN 0486297551 (paperback).

Igor Stravinsky. Michael Oliver. Phaidon Press. 1995. ISBN 0714831581 (paperback).

Confronting Stravinsky: Man, Musician, and Modernist. Jann Pasler. University of California Press. 1988. ISBN 0520064666 (paperback).

Stravinsky and the Rite of Spring: The Beginnings of a Musical Language. Pieter C. Van Den Toorn. University of California Press. 1987. ISBN 0520059581 (hardcover).

Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works Through Mavra. Richard Taruskin. University of California Press. 1996. ISBN 0520070992 (hardcover).
Drawing on newly accessible Russian archives this two-volume set addresses the influence of Stravinsky's Russian Period, and how,appropriation of motifs and style characteristics from folk art, Stravinsky realized the Silver Age ideal of "neonationalism".

Stravinsky: Selected Correspondence, Volume 1. Igor Stravinsky, Robert Craft (Editor). Alfred A. Knopf. 1982. ISBN 0394518705 (paperback).


Stravinsky: Selected Correspondence, Volume 2. Igor Stravinsky, Robert Craft (Editor). Alfred A. Knopf. 1984. ISBN 0394528131 (paperback).


Stravinsky: Selected Correspondence, Volume 3. Igor Stravinsky, Robert Craft (Editor). Alfred A. Knopf. 1985. ISBN 0394542207 (paperback).

Firebird: A Biography of Igor Stravinsky. John Kobler. Macmillan Publishers. 1988. ISBN 0025649302 (paperback).

Perspectives on Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Benjamin, Comp. Boretz. W.W. Norton & Company. 1972. ISBN 0393006182 (paperback).

Stravinsky Glimpses of a Life. Robert Craft. St. Martin's Press. 1992. ISBN 0312088965 (paperback).
Essays on Stravinsky by the person closest to the composer for the last 25 years of his professional life.

Stravinsky Seen and Heard. Keller Hans, with sketches by Milein Cosman. Toccata Press. 1990. ISBN 0907689027 (paperback).
This examination of Stravinsky's importance and his impact on the future of music is complemented by a series of sketches of the composer.

Igor Stravinsky An Autobiography. Igor Stravinsky. W.W. Norton. 1962. ISBN 039300161X (paperback).
This work, originally published in 1936, was undertaken by the composer to set "misunderstandings" to rest. It is a chatty memoir, not always flattering to the author, but always good reading.

Igor Stravinsky. Michael Oliver. Phaidon Press Ltd. 1995. ISBN 0714831581 (paperback).
Concise biography with photographs and drawings. Includes Classified List of Works and Selective Discography. Part of Phaidon's series on 20th-Century Composers. Norman Lebrecht, Series Editor.
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Sir Arthur Sullivan

Arthur Sullivan: A Victorian Musician. Arthur Jacobs. Amadeus Press. 1992. ISBN 0931340519 (hardcover).
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