With a lifetime of experience, profound knowledge and understanding, and heartwarming appreciation, an internationally celebrated conductor and teacher answers the questions: Why should I listen to classical music? How can I get the most from the listening experience?
A protégé of Leonard Bernstein - his colleague for 18 years - and an eminent conductor who has toured and recorded all over the world, John Mauceri helps us to reap the joys and pleasures classical music has to offer. Briefly, we learn the way a musical tradition born in ancient Greece, embraced by the Roman Empire, and subsequently nurtured by influences from across the globe, gave shape to the classical music that came to be embraced by cultures from Japan to Bolivia. Then Mauceri examines the music itself, helping us understand what it is we hear when we listen to classical music: how, by a kind of sonic metaphor, it expresses the deepest recesses of human feeling and emotion; how each piece bears the traces of its history; how the concert experience - a unique one each and every time - allows us to discover music anew. Unpretentious, graceful, instructive, this is a book for the aficionado, the novice, and anyone looking to have the love of music fired within them.
"Mauceri’s love letter will provoke newbies to give classical a whirl and inspire fans to listen with fresh ears.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Classical-music aficionados will enjoy Mauceri’s discussions of composers and their works. Newbies will find them instructive, but the author would caution all readers to not just take his word for it, but to experience the music and hear for themselves.” (Joan Curbow, Booklist)
“The author’s joy for music is infectious.... Even those who know classical music well will learn something from this lively and enthusiastic primer.” (Kirkus Reviews)