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Elgar: An Extraordinary Life (An Extraordinary Life (ABRSM)) [Sheet music]

J.P.E. Harper-Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

24 May 2007 An Extraordinary Life (ABRSM)
How did the son of a provincial piano tuner rise to international fame? Was the English countryside the principal inspiration for Elgar's music? Was this moustachioed, red-blooded, imperialist all that he seemed...?

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Elgar: An Extraordinary Life (An Extraordinary Life (ABRSM)) + Elgar the Music Maker + The Life of Elgar (Musical Lives)
Price For All Three: 49.41

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Product details

  • Sheet music: 128 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (24 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860967701
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860967702
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

J. P. E. Harper-Scott is a musicologist specializing in symphonic and operatic music of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries (especially Wagner, Britten, and Elgar), and philosophy (especially Heidegger, Marx, Badiou, Žižek, and Agamben).

He is Reader in Musicology and Theory at Royal Holloway, University of London, with a professional webpage at http://www.jpehs.co.uk/

He blogs on political and cultural issues, as well as his research, at http://www.jpehs.co.uk/blog

Product Description


This is now possibly the best first stop for learning about Elgar's life...On the complex yet sympathetic genius himself Harper-Scott presents a well-detailed and believable likeness. (BBC Music Magazine)

Few general studies of this composer offer so much food for thought. Harper-Scott has digested what seems to be the whole of the Elgar literature and then some. That he is able to address so many of the key issues in Elgar scholarship today - politics, Empire, religion, nostalgia, sexuality and other, less contentious topics - with concision and common sense is deeply impressive...He's an unusually perceptive and persuasive advocate, who has something fresh to say about most of the composer's major works. ...the best short book on the composer yet. (Gramophone)

Small but perfectly constructed book...fascinating (Sunday Express)

Harper-Scott is a forceful, engaging writer, and as both a biography and a musical appraisal, this book is compelling reading. (MUSO)

About the Author

J.P.E Harper-Scott is lecturer in music at Royal Holloway having taught previously at Universities of Oxford, Nottingham and Liverpool. He has scholarly interests in Elgar, Walton, Britten , Schenkerian theory, the philosophy of Heidegger, and meaning in music.

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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Sheet music|Verified Purchase
This splendid little volume is just what we need in 2007, Elgar's 150th birthday year. Harper-Scott offers not only a clear account of the life, but a pithy and accesible guide to the state of Elgar studies today. Elgar's reputation has surely never been more secure; yet a downside of this reverence is the perpetuation of the myth that Elgar is a backwards-looking, complacent, 'safe' national icon. Elgar himself encouraged aspects of this image as a protective skin. But by emphasising the paradoxes of Elgar's nature and the modernism of his art, Harper-Scott challenges the image, building upon the work of biographers like Michael Kennedy who have already done much to encourage a more nuanced view of the composer. The great value of the book lies in its presentation of many of the current ideas in Elgarian scholarship in a way that is concise and perfectly accesible to the layman; no technical knowledge of music is required. There are sharp but sensitive thoughts on how we have chosen to remember Elgar, his own self-fashioning, his love life, his attitudes towards modernity and technology, and on the Payne-Elgar 3rd Symphony. Harper-Scott writes with great elegance and wit, and not a small part of the recommendation for this very stimulating book is his emphasis on Elgar's sense of fun. Strongly recommended to all save those who like their Elgar stuffed.
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