Showing results by narrator "Gerard Schwarz"

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    • Conductor's Guide to Bartok's The Miraculous Mandarin & Concerto for Orchestra

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 17
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13

    Gerard Schwarz describes how Bela Bartok developed new rhythmic patterns modeled on Balkan and North African folk music and explored unusual instrumental colors and textures. During the 1920s and early 1930s, Bartok's innovative tendencies earned him a reputation as an uncompromising modernist, making him almost a musical anarchist who was unappreciated and largely unperformed, particularly in his native Hungary.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Das Rheingold, & More

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 10 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 11
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 6
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 6

    Gerard Schwarz shows how no artist expressed the ideals of nineteenth-century Romanticism better than Richard Wagner. With his great operas, or "music dramas", as he preferred to call them, Wagner created epic works relating stories derived from old European myths and medieval romances. Wagner was, in many respects, the dominating cultural figure in the second half of the nineteenth century. His ideas provoked more admiration, scorn, and astonishment than any other artist of the era.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Debussy's Prelude, Nocturnes, & La Mer

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 12 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 19
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 12
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13

    Debussy was the first great composer of the twentieth century. He departed from previous musical practice to a greater extent than any previous composer. Though he completed his masterpieces Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun and the triptych Nocturnes before the turn of the century, it was not until 1902 that Debussy received widespread recognition.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Engaging but uneven volume levels

    • By William on 02-09-06

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Brahms' Symphony No. 4 & Variations on a Theme by Haydn

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10

    The more adventurous composers of the 19th century, such as Liszt, Chopin, and Berlioz, made use of the Classical forms and procedures, though often modifying them for their own purposes. And certain composers remained dedicated to the Classical heritage. None was more devoted to this than Johannes Brahms.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, No. 5, and Orchestral Suite No. 3

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 11 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 26
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 14

    With J.S. Bach and three of his sons, Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, and Johann Christian, we find a concentration of familial talent that is unique in history. The elder Bach was certainly the most accomplished member of his clan, but his offspring also attained a high level of musical achievement.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 33
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 16
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 16

    Of the many remarkable violinist-composers Italy produced during the Baroque era, the most remarkable of all was Antonio Vivaldi. An artist of astonishing vigor and productivity (he wrote more than 450 concertos, 40 operas, and many solo, chamber, and vocal works over the course of his career), Vivaldi was one of the most innovative and influential musicians of his day.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Chopin's Impromptu in C-sharp Minor, Nocturne in E-flat Major, & More

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 10 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 17
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13

    Gerard Schwarz explains how Chopin came to embody the Romantic Movement with his rich harmonic shadings, his intense poetic expression, and his attention to the sensual qualities of music. But Chopin did more than just write music imbued with the spirit of Romanticism. In many ways he embodied an archetypal Romantic character: a lonely genius, doomed by that most Romantic disease, tuberculosis; a visionary musician too refined to seek public acclaim.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Schumann's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A Minor & Symphony No. 3

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 7 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 8
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 8

    One of the great composers of the 19th century, Schumann wrote piano solos, chamber music, choral pieces and opera, dozens of superb songs, and some of the finest works in the orchestral reperotry. Much of this music conveys contented and even joyful sentiments; there is surprisingly little darkness in Schumann's compositions. Yet from the beginning of his career, Schumann was plagued by irrational fears and melancholy. In the end, his personal demons overwhelmed him.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • One complaint!

    • By bg on 12-16-17

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Ballet for Martha

    • Making Appalachian Spring
    • By: Jan Greenberg, Sandra Jordan
    • Narrated by: Sarah Jessica Parker, The Seattle Symphony conducted by Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 4
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 4
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 4

    In 1944 the modern American ballet Appalachian Spring premiered at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The collaborators behind the performance anxiously awaited the critical response to their artistic achievement: Would the world understand what they had done? In Ballet for Martha, the journey to this stage and the success shared among choreographer Martha Graham, composer Aaron Copland, and artist Isamu Noguchi is expressively captured by acclaimed children’s book authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan.

    • 1 out of 5 stars
    • Boring

    • By redlemon on 11-15-17

    Regular price: $10.49

    • Conductor's Guide to Schubert's Symphony No. 5 & Symphony No. 8

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 59 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 14
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6

    The music of Franz Schubert is cherished for its beautiful flow of melody; melody that runs through the composer's songs and instrumental compositions like a clear and inexhaustible stream. But Schubert was more than just a gifted melodist. He was also the creator of exquisite symphonies in the Classical tradition.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique & Les Troyen

    • Royal Hunt and Storm
    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 14
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 8
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 9

    Berlioz had a passionate and idealistic personality, one given to incandescent enthusiasms and uncompromising struggles. Through most of this career he stood in opposition to Paris' entrenched musical establishments, which looked on his innovations in harmony, form, and instrumentation with suspicion or outright indignation. The judgment that Berlioz was a wild-eyed radical contained a certain element of truth.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 & Piano Concerto No. 4

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 39
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 23
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 22

    The work of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) has been called the culmination of the Classical era or the wellspring of the Romantic era in European music. Historians today see him as the heir of Haydn and Mozart, carrying their musical discoveries to a new level of complexity and integration. But the generations of composers that followed Beethoven saw him more as the headstrong radical, breaking the shackles of classicism and showing new possibilities for music.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Excellent

    • By proton on 03-31-07

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Liszt's Les Preludes & More

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 12 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 8
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 8

    Franz Liszt came of age with the flowering of the Romantic movement in literature and the arts, and the Romantic spirit had a profound impact on his development as both a man and an artist. Indeed, Liszt, like Berlioz, Wagner, and Chopin, gave expression to that spirit in both his life and his music. Liszt cut a larger-than-life figure, and everything he did tended towards extravagance.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3 & No. 4

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 9 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 9
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 4
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3

    Felix Mendelssohn grew up in an extraordinary family, one distinguished by both worldly success and intellectual achievement. Mendelssohn was, in fact, the greatest child prodigy that music has known, undoubtedly helped by the early nurturing his talent received. Not even Mozart created such mature compositions at so early an age.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Prokofiev

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 19
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 13

    Gerard Schwarz examines the life of this impolitic composer who lived in the political world of revolutionary Russia. Prokofiev's failure to interest himself in political realities, together with his tremendous confidence in his own genius, led him to ignore the darkening climate for artists in the Soviet Union. When the Soviets arrested his first wife on charges of spying, Prokofiev issued a public apology for his failure to write in an appropriate socialist style.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Haydn's Cello Concerto in D Major & Symphony No. 103

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 9 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6

    More than any other composer, Franz Joseph Haydn deserves to be called the father of music's "Classical" style. As he came of age in the mid-18th century, musical thinking was in the midst of profound changes. The compositional forms and procedures of the Baroque era began to seem old-fashioned and composers sought fresh modes of musical expression.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Stravinsky's Petrouchka & The Rite of Spring

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 17
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 13

    As the 20th century winds to its close, Igor Stravinsky stands securely as its most important and influential composer. For more than six decades his works defined modernism in music, just as Picasso's canvases showed the essence of modernism in painting. Like that great Spanish artist, who was almost his exact contemporary, Stravinsky attained a dominating stature in his field. Only a handful of composers rivaled him in significance during his lifetime. None surpassed him.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Misleading title . . . not FOR conductors

    • By G. White on 08-05-13

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain & The Three-Cornered Hat

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 6 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11

    Beginning in the waning years of the 19th century, Spanish composers turned to the rich tradition of Spanish folk music for materials and inspiration, and in doing so imbued their compositions with a colorful national character. The most brilliant of those composers was Manuel de Falla.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Copland's Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, & Fanfare for the Common Man

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 13 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 11
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 5

    Gerard Schwarz shares his enthusiasm for the music of Aaron Copland, the quintessential American composer. Born in 1900 into a family of immigrants in Brooklyn, Copland didn't come from a musical family and had to find his own way, even trying to learn harmony from a mail order course. Today, Copland has become a permanent part of our cultural landscape, as important to our national consciousness as Whitman, Whistler, or Melville.

    Regular price: $9.07

    • Conductor's Guide to Strauss' Thus Spake Zarathustra and Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome

    • By: Gerard Schwarz
    • Narrated by: Gerard Schwarz
    • Length: 1 hr and 12 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9

    Like all tone poems, "Thus Spake Zarathustra" follows a "program" or story line which, to some extent, dictates its musical form and details. Strauss derived his program from Nietzsche's philosophical allegory or the same name which theorizes the rise of mankind from a primitive natural state to one of moral and intellectual superiority.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Introduction to an Underrated Genius

    • By Bror Erickson on 07-16-15

    Regular price: $9.07

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