Pulitzer Prize–winning critic and author Harold C. Schonberg presents vivid Bolet, Gutierrez, and Watts, The Great Pianists is a comprehensive and fascinating. The Great Pianists brings to life the brilliant, stylish, and sometimes eccentric personalities, methods, and technical peculiarities of history’s. The Great Pianists has ratings and 29 reviews. King Haddock said: Note: I read the original s a charming little book, complet.
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The Great Pianists by Harold C. Pulitzer Prize—winning critic and author Harold C. Including profiles of Horowitz and Van Cliburn, among others, and chapters detailing the playing and careers of such modern pianists as de Larrocha, Ashkenazy, Gilels, Gould, Brendel, Bolet, Gutierrez, and Watts, The Great Pianists is a comprehensive and fascinating look at legendary schonbwrg past and present.
Great Pianists | Book by Harold C. Schonberg | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster
Paperbackpages. Published June 15th by Simon Schuster first published To see what grdat friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Great Pianistsplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Aug 10, King Haddock rated it really liked it Shelves: I read the original s publication.
Quite a charming little book, complete with Schonberg’s own particular diction. While a bit “outdated” in the sense that the book no longer writes to the “present,” I loved how Schonberg encompassed all known virtuosity since the very beginning of the instrument. Some sections I considered much more charming and interesting than others. Particularly, the older time periods really captured my interest. Maybe that is just personal bias, but I really love Note: Maybe that is just personal bias, but I really love how Schonberg weaved together the tales of Mozart, Clementi, and the other beginning classical pianists.
The details he incorporated – everything to Mozart’s style, the expectations of piano performance at the time period, and some of the pianist’s eccentricities particularly amused me. As the book passes into the present, I feel it drags a bit greah, as though Schonberg settled into a groove and just repeated the same sorts of details for all the pianists without making the effort to distinguish each one from the other.
Again, some parts were better than others. I certainly had no hesitation reading about Horowitz, Rubinstein, de Pachmann oh my goodness I love that guyand so forth. What I really get schobnerg of this book is how connected the musical eras are together. I felt the constant movement and morphing as one era blurred into the other, something new always occurring in music.
And how close together everything is! Suddenly it no longer seems as though Mozart performed so long ago; it seems as though the Romantic Era began yesterday. So few generations from then until now! A beautiful connectedness of music Nov 30, Jana Light rated it really liked it.
A fantastic overview of some of the most talented musicians, pianists, and composers of the post-Bach, post-harpsichord era. I’m not normally drawn to encyclopedic books like this I prefer doing a deep divebut I enjoyed this book immensely.
The stories are delightful and tragic and all things in between. Schonberg makes each pianist seem unique in a way that honored, to whatever degree was warranted, the contribution each made to the world of piano performance. That is difficult to sustain f A fantastic overview of some of the most talented sschonberg, pianists, and composers of the post-Bach, post-harpsichord era.
That is difficult to sustain for pages and over 50 significant profiles and he should be commended. I took away one star because it really is encyclopedic and at times the names came too fast and furious for me to absorb or appreciate.
Also, in the older copy I read I wasn’t thrilled that he bucketed one group of female pianists into their own chapter rather than weaving their stories into the full history.
What will stick with me from The Great Pianists is not just a better understanding of the pianists themselves, but a better understanding of the acts of piano performance and interpretation. I enjoyed the consequential history that emerged of how piano performance and interpretation styles shifted over the centuries, and of the varying ways people in different decades “received” or “conceived of” composers and their best works. After reading, I now have a richer language for describing piano performance, a lengthy list of discs to add to my music library, and access points into those recordings.
I’m looking forward to developing my ear first by trying to hear what Schonberg heard, and second to see if I agree with his assessment. Schonberg gave me a greater appreciation for the indelibly individual and creative act of piano performance and I look forward to returning to this book over the years whenever I need to recapture the magic of music.
Dec 01, Emily rated it really liked it Shelves: This was a great book — probably not something most people would want to read for pleasure. Actually, I own this book because it was a textbook from college. But I remember enjoying the reading for this class a great deal and wishing we read more of it. And so I come back to revisit this book – I am so glad I did! It’s a long book pagesbut if you are a pianist or an avid music appreciator, this is a must-read.
Sadly, the author has passed away, or I’d be calling for a new edition.
What This was a great book — probably not something most people would want to read for pleasure. What is there is fantastic material, but I just want more of it! This last edition was published inand quite a bit has happened since then.
My one quibble with this book is that there were occasional quote in other languages; generally a translation wasn’t provided. Sometimes there was a translation, and I think maybe it was supposed to be obvious what was being said. It wasn’t obvious for this reader.
With that said, I certainly recommend this book, especially read the last half if you’re looking for insights and ideas on which recording to buy. Feb 04, Joseph Bourque rated it it was amazing. If you have an interest in piano, either because you play it I don’t or just love to listen to it I dothen this book is for you. I picked up the Fireside Book edition for a ‘song’ and from time to time refer back to it when listening to a piece by a composer pianist, or just watching the incredible technique I see on You Tube virtuoso.
Who wouldn’t want to be able to hear some of the early great composers and pianists play their piece? How then, can Schonberg rate pianists he has never eve If you have an interest in piano, either because you play it I don’t or just love to listen to it I dothen this book is for you. How then, can Schonberg rate pianists he has never even heard? To answer, read the preface and first chapter.
If nothing else, you will be impressed with his thought and work behind his ‘criticism’. After all, he was a great critic writing for the New York Times, and not just on piano. He gives you Bach as a start not the father, but one of the sons, C.
The Great Pianists
From Mozart into Perahia inSchonberg gives us a glimpse of their virtuosity, musicality and influence on our present great pianists. We can only wish to have his thr insight and ear to help us listen to our current great pianists. Dec 03, Tonybliss rated it liked it Shelves: I liked this better than I thought I would – as piainsts trying to learn the piano I thought it behooved me to try and learn a bit about the past.
I expected to be bored silly, but was pleasantly surprised at how the great pianists, and their styles of interpretation, and how they were influenced by their generation, etc, were brought to life. Jun 06, Michael rated it it was amazing. I do believe this is one of the most important books that a piano student can read, especially one still in his formative-of-technique years.
At least it is a very good resource for teachers, as the book does not cover so much the biographies of the great pianists but focuses on their style, technique, and how their inception into the concerting world.
This is one I definitely plan on rereading, and I only wish that the “present” really was modern and not referring to its publication in May 13, Lydia Holt rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book was both entertaining and educational. A WONDERFUL read for the serious pianist or piano teacher, it had me laughing and running off to read quotes to my family about the eccentricities and recommendations of people like Liszt, Moscheles, and lots of people whose names I won’t attempt to spell.
The only problem is that it was convicting me so badly that I kept having to stop reading to go practice my technique very thoroughly. Aug 07, William Trently rated it it was amazing Shelves: I bought this book at a thrift store for twenty-five cents and could not have imagined at the time that it would transform into a solid piece of gold that I could not put down.
This is a great book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading from beginning to end, every page presenting amusing and interesting anecdotes. Schonberg writes in a humorous and easy-to-read manner, describing changes in piano construction, technique and interpretation over the centuries, as well as treating the reader to juicy gossip about the many pianists he discusses.
Aug 20, Zoombini Pedicini rated it it was amazing. Schonberg was one of the eminent music critics of his day. I gobbled up this book with a gusto. From amusing anecdotes about the pianist Gottschalk from New Orleans, to Beethoven’s infamous extemporization battle against the musical charlatan Steibelt, Schonberg captures it all with incisive wit and a perspicaciousness that seems to have been largely forgotten in contemporary writing. Mar 17, Stephanie Pieck rated it liked it Shelves: The challenge of a book like this is that it tries to cover a large amount of information, particularly about people practicing a specific art.
Music is an auditory experience, and it is quite difficult to write about it well, especially to describe individual artists’ styles. This book was interesting and valuable, but it often broke down into lists of names and one- or two-sentence blurbs.
It also was the product of a past era–references to people as “mental defectives” or descriptions of som The challenge of a book like this is that it tries to cover a large amount of information, particularly about people practicing a specific art. It also was the product of a past era–references to people as “mental defectives” or descriptions of someone having a “noble head” have gone out of fashion. It did capture some intriguing stories and sparked my curiosity.