Masterly conductor's guide to classical music for anyone seeking to love and understand it
With a lifetime of experience, profound knowledge and understanding, and heartwarming appreciation, an internationally celebrated conductor and teacher answers the questions: Why should I listen to classical music? How can I get the most from the listening experience?
A protegee of Leonard Bernstein - his colleague for eighteen years - and an eminent conductor who has toured and recorded all over the world, John Mauceri helps us to reap the joy and pleasures classical music has to offer. Briefly, we learn the way a musical tradition born in ancient Greece, embraced by Roman Empire, and subsequently nurtured by influences from across the globe gave shape to the classical music that came to be embraced by cultures from Japan to Bolivia. Then Mauceri examines the music itself, helping us understand what it is we hear when we listen to classical music: how, by a kind of sonic metaphor, it expresses the deepest recesses of human feeling and emotion; how each piece bears the traces of its history; how the concert experience - a unique one each and every time - allows us to discover music anew. Unpretentious, graceful, instructive, this is a book for the aficionado, the novice, and anyone looking to have the love of music fired within them.
Mauceri's love letter will provoke newbies to give classical a whirl and inspire fans to listen with fresh ears. - Publishers Weekly
John Mauceri has done it again with this wonderful book. I learned a lot, at my advanced age, and am thankful for the pleasure it brought me. I recommend it to all. - Marilyn Horne
Any amateur for whom music is one the chief pleasures in life, but who longs always for a deeper understanding of the language of the classical concert than can be had from liner notes and his or her own intuitions, will be grateful for John Mauceri's new book-it makes understanding how music works almost as pleasurable as listening to it. - Adam Gopnik
This delightful book is not so much the opening of a door as an affectionate hand on the arm, guiding the reader with enthusiasm and intelligence into a world of beauty which reaches to the very heart of what makes human life of value. - Stephen Hough
Having grown up with a father whose passion for music was tsunami-like in its intensity, I quickly recognized and welcomed a similar joy in John Mauceri's meditations on the repertoire he loves so much. Every page warms us with the fires of his lifelong devotion. His book gives us precisely what Mauceri tells us the music itself will provide: 'a most rewarding journey. - Jamie Bernstein, author of Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein