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Description - Chopin by James G. Huneker

James Gibbon Huneker (1857 1921) was a distinguished American newspaper critic, an essayist, and a prolific author. His writing style is remarkable unrestrained, informal, full of brilliant insight and this style plus Huneker's wide knowledge of art and literature as well as music has kept his literacy work alive. Chopin: The Man and His Music reflects the intimate, thorough knowledge of Chopin's music that Huneker acquired while studying to be a concert pianist and his unusually keen insight into the character of the great Polish composer whose music he adored.The book is divided into two parts. The first treats Chopin's life his youth in Poland, his emigration to Paris, the famous George Sand episode, his sickness and death and comments on Chopin as a teacher and as a pianist and performer. The second part discusses the entire body of Chopin's music, piece by piece. Huneker notes his own overall impression of the individual compositions as well as the impressions of Schumann, George Sand, Chopin's biographer Frederick Niecks, many of the great pianists, and others. He directly compares differing editions of Chopin's Etudes, Preludes, Nocturnes, Mazurkas, Polonaises, Sonatas, and other works edited by von Bulow, Kullak, Riemann, Mikuli, and Godowsky in their detailed treatment of fingering, phrasing, pedaling, tempo indication, and so forth.Huneker's entire work is reprinted here unchanged, thoroughly edited in running footnotes by Herbert Weinstock to correct the exuberant Huneker's inaccuracies and to add information that modern musical scholarship has unearthed. Weinstock has also provided an engrossing introductory essay on Huneker, and has amplified the bibliography to include modern books and articles on Chopin.A classic in musical biography and commentary, this work is unsurpassed for sympathetic understanding and insight into Chopin's life and music. It will interest equally music students, pianists, and music lovers."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780486216874
ISBN-10: 048621687X
Format: Paperback
(215mm x 138mm x 13mm)
Pages: 239
Imprint: Dover Publications Inc.
Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
Publish Date: 1-Jun-1966
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - Chopin by James G. Huneker

US Kirkus Review » A sane and conscientious biography dealing with both the man and his work. As Poland's major composer, Chopin traveled in other parts of Europe, although he centred his musical interests mainly in Paris, where his most successful concerts were given to small select gatherings. However, a deep patriotic concern for Poland and her political difficulties, plus his own guilt feelings, for not joining her army, brought Chopin to incorporate much of his country's folk music into his work. A thin, blond, aesthetic looking youth, Chopin seemed to function only in the medium of music, becoming vague and unsure elsewhere. Evidently this dependency- together with his recessive characteristics-appealed to George Sand, as the strong, maternal, domineering companion. Despite the biographer's insistence to the contrary, it would seem that Chopin spent his life dying, thin and sickly as a very young man, then tubercular, up to his death at 39. In the second part of his book, Mr. Weinstock gives technical resumes of Chopin's compositions...There are interesting excerpts from Chopin's correspondence, but the interest is focussed almost wholly on the musical values- and outside that market, the book would make rather tedious reading. (Kirkus Reviews)

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