Portrait of Elgar (Clarendon Paperbacks) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1993/8/26
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The public image of Elgar as patriotic country squire was established in his lifetime, but, in reality, it concealed a highly complex, sometimes baffling, private individual. Although acquaintances found him a man of endless curiosity and good humour, his family and close friends knew him to be rather different: a prey to despair, neurotically mistrustful both of himself and of those who loved him and so damaged by the condescension and neglect of his early years that emotionally he never recovered.
This is a reissue of the third edition of Michael Kenedy's portrait of this complexman - not an analytical survey of the music but a faithful likeness of the composer, recognizable, but at the same time a thoroughly individual interpretation of the subject.
The most down-to-earth and comprehensive Elgar biography of its size, thoroughly researched, perceptively distilled and persuasively writtemn. (Music and Letters)商品の説明をすべて表示する
Michael Kennedy is a journalist who started his career with the British daily newspaper, The Daily Telegraph. He is known for his expertise in writing about the life and work of English composers and performers. This book is one such biography. Edward Elgar was a brilliant composer of the late 19th century and more prominently the early decades of the 20th century. His immediate forerunners were the composers and teachers Hubert Parry and Charles Villiers Stanford, and there are certain similarities in melodic lines and harmonies between these three composers. But Elgar was not a pupil of either. He was self-taught, gaining his musical expertise by working in his father's music shop in the main street of the town of Worcester. He taught himself not only how to compose but also how to play violin, viola, cello, bassoon, piano and organ - a huge accomplishment. He wrote two symphonies and two concertos - one each for violin and for cello - and sketches for a third symphony (elaborated into a performing edition by Anthony Payne) and a piano concerto (realised for performance by Robert Walker) remained at his death in 1934. This excellent biography gives an intimate portrait of the man and, as well as the biographical details as such, there is included at the end of the book a Chronological List of Elgar's compositions, nearly two dozen recordings made by Elgar himself as conductor of his own works, and a useful Index.
Michael Kennedy's biography, first published in 1968 and now in its third edition, traces the contradictory impulses in Elgar's art and shows how they contributed to its vitality. He also explains how Elgar became one of music's finest orchestrators, despite a lack of formal training. He describes Elgar's varied apprenticeship as a "jack-of-all-trades" musician--playing organ, violin and bassoon in his native Worcester--which gave him a thorough knowledge of how instrumental sounds combine.
Kennedy, who has written books on Mahler, Richard Strauss and Vaughan Williams, offers valuable insights into the music as well as its composer. His judgments on the respective value of Elgar's works will be especially useful to anyone exploring them for the first time. The book contains four appendices, including a detailed list of Elgar's recordings, which give us, for the first time in history, a record of how a major composer wanted his music performed.
This book played an important part in the Elgar revival of the sixties and seventies. (Recordings by Adrian Boult and John Barbirolli, subjects of two other Kennedy biographies, helped too.) It's a measure of this book's importance that Elgarians still consider it essential today.