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The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works Lecture

The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works

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Publisher's Summary

Over the centuries, orchestral music has given us a category of works that stand apart as transcendent expressions of the human spirit. What are these "greatest of the greats"? Find out in these 32 richly detailed lectures that take you on a sumptuous grand tour of the symphonic pieces that continue to live at the center of our musical culture. These thirty masterworks form an essential foundation for any music collection and a focal point for understanding the orchestral medium and deepening your insight into the communicative power of music. While seasoned music lovers will find the lectures a revealing journey through the repertoire, the course welcomes newcomers to orchestral music, offering a very accessible point of entry to this magnificent repertoire.

You'll encounter symphonies, concertos, tone poems, symphonic poems, and suites, delving into the works through extensive musical excerpts. The course covers the major eras and stylistic periods in Western music from the early 18th- to the mid-20th centuries and highlights a wide range of European and American works. Among these: Haydn's Symphony no. 104, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, and Shostakovich's Symphony no. 5. Throughout these lectures, you'll learn about the major musical forms found in orchestral writing and how they're used in conveying expressive meanings. Knowing how these forms work allows you to grasp the structure of the music as you hear it, and also to appreciate how the greatest composers used them, extended them, and finally departed from them in sublimely original ways.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

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  •  
    Alissa McCarthy Scottsdale, AZ USA 01-13-14
    Alissa McCarthy Scottsdale, AZ USA 01-13-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An absolute delight!"
    What made the experience of listening to The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works the most enjoyable?

    I've been a musician all of my life and yet in each of these lectures there was something new to learn. I enjoyed Dr. Greenberg's delivery and found the contextual information about the composer and the time in which they lived to have a profound impact of how I heard the pieces discussed. I also came away with a new-found appreciation for some of the composers with whom I was less familiar. All in all I was sad to hear it end and will definitely look for another series.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendan Kharkiv 03-11-16
    Brendan Kharkiv 03-11-16 Member Since 2016
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    "A Fun, Informative Overview Of The World of Classical Music"

    So enjoyable, so fun, so informative - and this is coming from a person who didn't really know the second thing about classical music! Sure, I can distinguish my Bach from my Beethoven, but this course proved an incredibly useful help! And the professor is fabulous!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia L. Scott 12-01-15

    itmaven

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Intro to musical works"

    A good intro to musical works. Just wish the narrator had been a little less bombastic. His delivery reminded me of an over eager teacher giving high-fives and "good job!" When the student puts the lid back on the paste. But, I'm a boomer and none of my professors were ever so excited and enthusiastic in their lectures.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian T. Clem Orlando, FL 10-27-15
    Brian T. Clem Orlando, FL 10-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Best format"

    I loved having a new piece and composer each chapter. Too bad it's not the top 100.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xexox Toasthammer Dayton, OH 09-04-15
    Xexox Toasthammer Dayton, OH 09-04-15 Member Since 2016

    wintermute1

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    "Greenberg is just a killer lecturer"
    What did you love best about The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works?

    I would not consider myself a classical music fan, I have got the great lectures on history, science, psychology and literature in the past but rolled the dice on this one. Jackpot!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The lecturer, the background stories behind the works.


    What about Professor Robert Greenberg’s performance did you like?

    Pretty damn much everything, but his references were great 'slick as brill cream on a doorknob'...'if this does not get your hear racing you have metabolic issues far beyond the ability of modern pharmacology to intervene'. Expressive cadence and modulation to his voice.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Well, no, but that's ok.


    Any additional comments?

    It's not your local NPR classic hour. You actually have to focus and listen to lecturer if you want learn.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miguel Mejia 02-19-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Fantastic"

    You should be greatful this course exists. Listen to this course and be amazed at how much you thought you did not know.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark S. Schuyler Ludlow, MA 02-05-15
    Mark S. Schuyler Ludlow, MA 02-05-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Learned, Wry, Joyous"

    I hope to listen to these lectures again because they were so good. I listened to some while chopping wood, some while lying sick in bed, some while baking bread, some while driving the dog to the vet. Always riveting and yet, as you can tell from my examples, I was at times otherwise occupied. A second pass through will, no doubt, double my enjoyment, which is saying something. Professor Greenberg rocks!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eusebio NY 02-12-15
    Eusebio NY 02-12-15
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    "Great, like many other courses from prof Greenberg"

    Professor Greenberg's style is quite "ornate" but I always find his courses interesting and entertaining.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas A Gaskin 08-23-16
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    "Came to appreciate new music!"

    Covered many of my of favorites and introduced me to even more great music. Wished it could have just kept on going. Great overviews and background histories of the composers and times as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Bogosian Glendale, CA USA 08-11-16
    David Bogosian Glendale, CA USA 08-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Fabulous survey of classical music"

    Greenberg is easily the best of all the Great Courses lecturers I have listened to: entertaining, witty, very knowledgeable, and clearly enjoys communicating his knowledge. The course covers the broad span of western music in a very useful way. We can all quibble about his choices; I personally felt he over-emphasized the 20th century, most of which lectures I sampled and skipped. The presentation suffers from his premise that each lecture should be self-sufficient, leading to innumerable repetitions of the definition of sonata form, for instance. And if you haven't heard his other series, you will never truly understand sonata form because he can never get into its definition in any great depth. Nonetheless, you will get a sense of how music developed, learn many fascinating anecdotes about these composers whom we idolise so much, and generally enjoy yourself in the process.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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