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by Joan Peyser
The symphonic orchestra is intriguingly considered in essays by 23 leading music authors and thinkers. Topics include historical beginnings, the role of the conductor, the orchestral audience, the nature of the repertoire, and how recordings have effected the modern orchestra. With a new editor's introduction for this 2006 edition and a glossary of terms.
(first published December 1st 2006)
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What a magnificent book this is! Twenty-three essays on the history and transformations of the symphony orchestra, plus a handy glossary at the back for those of us (even though I had eleven years of piano lessons) who don't know all of music's technical terms. One essay describes the physical properties of strings and horns and tells how our modern instruments were developed. Another essay explains how the western European Romantic composers came to be "the classical" composers, the ones we hea ...more
Jun 10, 2009 Evan marked it as to-read · review of another edition
Despite the exceedingly dull title, this is actually a lively and fascinating fact-filled overview of the history of symphonic orchestras, including chapters on orchestras and recordings and on star conductors. I've only skimmed this but really want to bite into it soon. It looks to be a unique resource -- without being boringly academic.