Chopin – A Listener's Guide to the Master of the Piano
Unlocking the Masters Series
Series: Unlocking the Masters
Publisher: Amadeus Press
Format: Softcover with CD
Composer: Frederic Chopin
Author: Victor Lederer
Frédéric Chopin died a famous man with his place in the musical pantheon secure. Yet the works that were once most popular tended to be his lightest and least challenging, leading many listeners and critics to view him as a miniaturist and composer for the salon. The bold pieces now revered as his masterpieces-the epic and tragic structures of the ballades, scherzos, polonaises, and sonatas, and the compact but daring preludes and mazurkas-were rarely played and poorly understood. In fact, a larger proportion of Chopin's pieces are now in the active repertory than that of any composer.
Chopin – A Listener's Guide to the Master of the Piano takes a detailed tour through the life and oeuvre of the sovereign master of the keyboard. The composer's metabolic adaptation of the melodic structures of Italian opera and the folk music of his native Poland for the resources of the piano are examined in detail, as are the originality and boldness he displayed throughout his tragically short, astonishing career.
The book is accompanied by a CD containing 15 complete compositions (and one full movement from his Piano Sonata No. 2) performed by pianist Idil Biret, from her complete survey of the composer's music on the Naxos label.
Reviews “[Author] Victor Lederer presents an imaginative, colorful and guided exploration into the piano works of Frederic Chopin. The book is an easy read . . . . Teachers and pianists at many levels can benefit from Lederer's imaginative depictions of Chopin's music. These descriptions provide teachers with ideas to help students develop an interpretation and a dramatic sense of Chopin's piano works. . . . Lederer, himself a pianist, acknowledges that through his own study of music he has 'learned the wide gulf between listening passively--no matter how closely and lovingly--and hearing music as a practicing musician.' By providing an active listening experience of Chopin's piano works, Lederer's book is definitely successful in helping the reader bridge this gap.”
American Music Teacher magazine, June/July 2007
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