Tome Tweets 3.
Ennio MORRICONE (with Alessandro DE ROSA): In His Own Words (2016; trans. Maurizio CORBELLA, 2019). Oxford University Press (www.oup.com). ISBN 976-0-19-068101-2.
Think what you will of his scores (“applied” and “absolute”), but Morricone was smart. De Rosa coaxes vignettes and wisdom from the maestro.
M.T. ANDERSON: Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad (2015). Candlewick Press (www.candlewick.com). ISBN 978-0-7636-6818-1.
War sucks. That Shostakovich wrote his Seventh in Leningrad is astounding. Look past this telling’s simplicity and note the chilling details.
David YEARSLEY: Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks (2019). The University of Chicago Press (www.press.uchicago.edu). ISBN 978-0-226-61770-1.
A detailed examination of how music functioned within the Bach household, and how history has perceived one of music’s most celebrated wives.
Veronika KUSZ: A Wayfaring Stranger: Ernst von Dohnáni’s American Years, 1949-1960 (2020). University of California Press (www.ucpress.edu). ISBN 978-0-520-30183-2.
An in-depth study of the somewhat conservative Hungarian pianist and composer who never quite got back on his feet after coming to America.
Steven JOHNSON: The Eighth: Mahler and the World in 1910 (2020). The University of Chicago Press (www.press.uchicago.edu). ISBN 978-0-226-74082-9.
Not just about No. 8, but also about Mahler as he premiered it, and how No. 10 was therefore influenced. More histories should be like this.
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