The Secret Life and Shameful Death of the Classical Record Industry
Author: Norman Lebrecht
Pubpsher: Penguin Books
Inflated egos. Corporate insanity. Slave labour. Sexual excess. Dazzling genius. Welcome to the world of classical recording. Maestros, Masterpieces and Madness is a sparkling exposé of the strange truth and sheer brilliance behind the classical music recording industry. Leading music critic Norman Lebrecht charts its rise since the great Caruso's first gramophone bestseller of 1902 and predicts the industry's imminent doom in the face of schmaltzy crossover albums and new technology. From the imperious Karajan to the perfectionist Toscanini and charismatic Bernstein, the leading figures are all here, depicted in witty, incisive pen portraits. Including Lebrecht's own selections of 100 recorded masterpieces and twenty that should never have been made, this is a compelling story of flamboyant maestros, lifelong alliances, disastrous personality clashes and entrepreneurial masterstrokes.
Gustav Mahler is the most influential symphonist of the twentieth century. In this pioneering study, Norman Lebrecht reveals the man and musician through the words of his contemporaries. Using many previously unpublished documents, he constructs a profile of Mahler even more complex and compelling than that familiar from his letters and the often unreliable memoirs of his widow, Alma. Compassionate or callous, idealistic or pragmatic, Mahler aroused violently contrasting impressions and emotions in those who lived and worked with him. Accounts of the composer include the artist Alfred Roller's description of Mahler's naked body, a Nazi-era reappraisal by one of his closest relatives, Natalie Bauer-Lechner's unpublished jottings of Mahler's childhood, and Stefan Zweig's report of his final voyage. Together, they form a remarkable and deeply illuminating image of a formidable personality. 'The effect is cumulative, sometimes contradictory and vivid - like a written version of a radio or film portrait.' Classical Music 'Norman Lebrecht's Mahler Remembered is quite breathtakingly interesting.' Birmingham Post
A century after his death, Gustav Mahler is the most important composer of modern times. Displacing Beethoven as a box-office draw, his music offers more than the usual listening satisfactions. Many believe it has the power to heal emotional wounds and ease the pain of death. Others struggle with the intellectual fascination of its contradictory meanings. Long, loud and seldom easy, his symphonies are used to accompany acts of mourning and Hollywood melodramas. Sometimes dismissed as death-obsessed, Mahler is more alive in the 21st century than ever before. Why Mahler? Why does a Jewish musician from a land without a name capture the yearnings and anxieties of post-industrial society? Is it the music, it is the man, or is it the affinity we feel with his productive peak - a decade when Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Joyce and Mahler reconfigured the ways we understand life on earth? In this highly original account of Mahler's life and work, Norman Lebrecht - renowned writer, critic and cultural commentator - explores the Mahler Effect, a phenomenon that reaches deep into unsuspecting lives, altering the self-perceptions of world leaders, finance chiefs and working musicians. Why Mahler? is a multi-layered exploration of the role that music plays as a soundtrack to our lives.
Titles in Dictionaries for the Modern Musician: A Scarecrow Press Music Series offer both the novice and the advanced artist key information designed to convey the field of study and performance for a major instrument or instrument class, as well as the workings of musicians in areas from conducting to composing. Unlike other encyclopedic works, contributions to this series focus primarily on the knowledge required by the contemporary musical student or performer. Each dictionary covers topics from instrument parts to playing technique, major works to key figures. A must-have for any musician’s personal library! Filling a vital need in the rapidly changing and complex field of conducting, A Dictionary for the Modern Conductor is a concise one-volume reference tool that brings together for the first time information covering a broad array of topics essential for today’s conductor to know. Author and conductor Emily Freeman Brown offers easy-to-read definitions of key musical terms, translated foreign terms, examples of usage from orchestral music and practical vocabulary in multiple languages. A Dictionary for the Modern Conductor includes biographies of major conductors and other individual important to the world of modern conducting, emphasizing throughout their contributions to the progress of the conducting professional; critical information on major orchestras, significant ensembles, key institutions and organizations, with a focus on the ways in which they preserve and advance today’s musical life; and practical entries covering baton and rehearsal techniques, bowing terms, information about instruments, voice types and much more. In a series of appendixes, A Dictionary for the Modern Conductor also covers such topics as orchestral works that changed the art and practice of conducting, a short historiography of conducting, a comprehensive bibliography, a look at conducting recitative, and a list of pitches, interval names, rhythmic terms, orchestral and percussion instrument names, and finally translations of all of these categories of information into French, German, Italian, and Spanish. A Dictionary for the Modern Conductor will appeal to aspiring conductors and seasoned professionals. It is an invaluable resource.
The Gilded Stage is a comprehensive tour of the world of opera. From its origins in the courts of northern Italy, to its internationally recognised position in modern culture, Snowman explores the social history of opera houses and impresarios, composers and patrons, artists and audiences. Even the most flamboyant composers could scarcely have imagined the global reach of opera in our own times. More opera is performed, financed, seen, heard, filmed and broadcast than ever before, and the world's leading performers are worshipped and paid like pop stars. Yet the art form is widely derided as 'elitist' and parts of the classical recording business appear close to bankruptcy. Pinpointing the scandals, forgotten history and key revolutions in the form with light erudition and a brilliant anecdotal eye, Daniel Snowman reveals that the world of opera has always known crisis and uncertainty - and the resulting struggles have often proved every bit as dramatic as those portrayed onstage.
Despite the geometric expansion of tourism knowledge, some areas have remained stubbornly underdeveloped and a full or comprehensive consideration of the philosophical issues of tourism represents one such significant knowledge gap. A key aim of this book therefore is to provide an initial mapping of, and fresh insights into this territory. In doing so it discusses key philosophical questions in the field such as What is tourism? Who is a tourist? What is wisdom? What is it to know something? What is the nature of reality? Why are some destinations considered beautiful? Why is tourism desirable? What is good and bad tourism? What are desirable ends? These and similar topics are addressed this book under the headings of truth, beauty and virtue.
In this Very Short Introduction, D. Kern Holoman considers the structure, roots, and day-to-day functioning of the modern philharmonic society. He explores topics ranging from the life of a musician in a modern orchestra, the recent wave of new hall construction from Berlin to Birmingham, threats of bankruptcies and strikes, and the eyebrow-raising salaries of conductors and general managers. At the heart of the book lies a troubling pair of questions: Can such a seemingly anachronistic organization long survive? Does the symphony matter in contemporary culture? Holoman responds to both with a resounding yes. He shows that the orchestra remains a potent political and social force, a cultural diplomat par excellence. It has adapted well to the digital revolution, and it continues to be seen as an essential element of civic pride. In a time of upheaval in how classical music is created, heard, distributed, and evaluated, the orchestra has managed to retain its historic role as a meeting place of intellectual currents, an ongoing forum for public enlightenment.
Release on 2014-10-23 | by Lars Eckstein,Anja Schwarz
Media Distribution and Cultural Production in the Global South
Author: Lars Eckstein,Anja Schwarz
Pubpsher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Category: Political Science
Across the global South, new media technologies have brought about new forms of cultural production, distribution and reception. The spread of cassette recorders in the 1970s; the introduction of analogue and digital video formats in the 80s and 90s; the pervasive availability of recycled computer hardware; the global dissemination of the internet and mobile phones in the new millennium: all these have revolutionised the access of previously marginalised populations to the cultural flows of global modernity. Yet this access also engenders a pirate occupation of the modern: it ducks and deranges the globalised designs of property, capitalism and personhood set by the North. Positioning itself against Eurocentric critiques by corporate lobbies, libertarian readings or classical Marxist interventions, this volume offers a profound postcolonial revaluation of the social, epistemic and aesthetic workings of piracy. It projects how postcolonial piracy persistently negotiates different trajectories of property and self at the crossroads of the global and the local.
Ethnomusicology: A Contemporary Reader, Volume II provides an overview of developments in the study of ethnomusicology in the twenty-first century, offering an introduction to contemporary issues relevant to the field. Nineteen essays, written by an international array of scholars, highlight the relationship between current issues in the discipline and ethnomusicologists’ engagement with issues such as advocacy, poverty and social participation, maintaining intangible cultural heritages, and ecological concerns. It provides a forum for rethinking the discipline’s identity in terms of major themes and issues to which ethnomusicologists have turned their attention since Volume I published in 2005. The collection of essays is organized into six sections: Property and Rights Applied Practice Knowledge and Agency Community and Social Space Embodiment and Cognition Curating Sound Volume II serves as a basic introduction to the best writing in the field for students, professors, and music professionals, perfect for both introductory and upper level courses in world music. Together with the first volume, Ethnomusicology: A Contemporary Reader, Volume II provides a comprehensive survey of current research directions.
The extraordinary story of the independent record label that changed classical recording for ever
Author: Nicolas Soames
Pubpsher: Hachette UK
Category: Business & Economics
In 1987, a budget classical record label was started in Hong Kong by Klaus Heymann, a German businessman who loved classical music. Swiftly, it gained a world wide reputation for reliable new digital recordings of the classics at a remarkably low price. Despite opposition from the classical record establishment, it grew at a remarkable pace, and soon expanded into opera, early music, contemporary music and specialist repertoire so that it became appreciated by specialist collectors as well as the general music lover. It is now the leading provider of classical music and as an innovator in digital delivery. At the heart of Naxos is one man: Klaus Heymann. The combination of his broad knowledge of classical music and his acute business acumen has enabled him to build the most varied classical music label in the world, but also the most effective distribution network to ensure that his recordings are available everywhere. This fascinating story explains how it happened, how a one-time tennis coach in Frankfurt became a classical recording mogul in Hong Kong and how, at the age of 75, he still holds the reins as firmly as ever.