In a perfect and perfectly delightful use of the audio format, this offering pairs accomplished and well-cast actors with letters written by famous composers. The letters are given chronologically, from J.S. Bach's writing about career and money difficulties in the seventeenth century through the letters of Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and others up to Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky in the twentieth. A brief and helpful historical note precedes each composer's section, and, best of all, the music he's writing about accompanies and illuminates the words. Age-appropriate actors voice composers writing in old age while lighter, boyish voices bring us young Mozart or Chopin as a determined and very broke youth writing home from Paris.
In Composers' Letters, the voices of the great figures of classical music come alive through their correspondence. Set against the music we know and love, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and many more talk openly about their music, their hopes and fears, their lives, their sadness, and their struggles in realizing their artistic hopes in a commercial world. Poignant, funny, revealing, informative and so often direct and honest, these letters offer a fascinating insight into the personalities that created our Western musical tradition.
Enjoyed listening to this book. Gives a good insight into the personality and psychology of the composers. The book benefits from having multiple narrators. Would recommend this to anyone who likes classical music and also likes biographies.
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