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Max Bruch: His Life and Works Hardcover – Aug 1988


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: George Braziller (Aug 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807612049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807612040
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,426,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

The return of Fifield's excellent biography to the ranks of books in print is very welcome indeed. H-NET REVIEWSBruch deserves a full-scale study and this is what he and his music gets...This is the work on Bruch but its merit lies not only in being the only book but in the detail, pacing and presentation of Bruch's life. The humanising communicative faculty that Mr Fifield brings to bear lifts the book from mere gap-filling as does its evident determination to lift Bruch from the slough of one-work composers. In all these ways the book and its author bears the laurels of victory. MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL Richly documented account of Bruch's career. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Music Web International, in an enthusiastic online review, have written 'Bruch deserves a full-scale study and this is what he and his music gets…This the work on Bruch but its merit lies not only in being the only book but in the detail, pacing and presentation of Bruch's life. The humanising communicative faculty that Mr Fifield brings to bear lifts the book from mere gap-filling as does its evident determination to lift Bruch from the slough of one-work composers. In all these ways the book and its author bears the laurels of victory.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
still reading it. His range of music, both choral and orchestral are rarely heard. Today, by co-incidence, I heard on radio 3 his 3rd Violin concerto, which I would like to hear again before giving an opinion Life was not good to him in his later years.
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Format: Paperback
Max Bruch: His life and works by Christopher Fifield, Victor Gollancz, London, 1988; 2nd edn. The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, 2005, 400 ff.

There can be few music lovers who do not know the Violin Concerto No.1 in g minor by Max Bruch. But, somewhat to the composer's frustration, this is almost the only composition of his that is heard regularly in the concert hall or over the airways - either now or even during his lifetime. It is in fact only one of three violin concertos Bruch composed and its greater popularity is probably due to its use of lovely, long-breathed melodies to a greater extent than the other two concertos. But Bruch composed music in other forms too - much choral music, three symphonies, a concerto for two pianos, a Serenade and a Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra, and an Adagio and the quite lovely Kol Nidrei for cello and orchestra. This last piece was composed to accompany the declaration in the synagogue at the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; and Bruch also composed an oratorio on the subject of Moses. Probably as a result of these compositions, especially the former, he was thought to be Jewish, but that was not the case.

Bruch also wrote some lovely chamber music - two string quartets, two string quintets, a piano quintet and a string octet, all currently available on CD. Musical examples are used sparingly in this book, which works chronologically through the life of this composer and conductor, bringing in the compositions at the appropriate time of his life when they were written. However, descriptive musical analyses as well as his social interactions are given in sufficient detail to give the reader a real sense of involvement in the life of the man and his music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Time to Rediscover Bruch? 12 Jun 2008
By Robert E. Morrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whatever may be the matter with the times we live in, we can at least take some comfort in having escaped from a century largely dominated by musical cognoscenti who insisted that music was not music! (The details are lucidly described in Alex Ross's landmark study, "The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century" -- required summer reading if you don't have a copy already.)

Max Bruch (1838-1920) was not so lucky, but he kept the faith: that music was fundamentally about music. The price he paid for this attitude was that for some time his work has been largely overlooked. It is positively amazing that to this day Christopher Fifield's biography is still "the only full-length study of Bruch."

Many are familiar with Bruch's beautiful Violin Concerto in G minor, often the first major concerto attempted by young violinists. Less well known, but just as musical, is his "Scottish Fantasy" for violin and orchestra. And, of course, the great arrangement of "Kol Nidrei," for cello, and any number of other instruments.

That is just a small part of Bruch's output. He composed three violin concertos, three symphonies, oratorios, chamber music, choral music, etc. Fortunately, much of this has been recorded and is available through Amazon.com.

Fifield's book may seem a little pricey, but it is thorough, well-documented, well-written -- and there are no alternatives. So your decision is easy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Essence of Bruch 12 Oct 2005
By Stephen S. Trott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am the pre-concert speaker for all the symphonic programs of the Boise Philharmonic Association and a guest speaker for the Seattle Symphony. My challange is to bring to life the composers and to create a meaningful context for their works so that the audience can get the most out of each performance. This book contains everything one needs to know about this arresting romantic composer who wrote two of the most beautiful pieces aver written: his Violin Concerto in g minor and his Scottish Fantasy. Bruch's secret? The inspiration of folksong and folk music. The grace, simplicity, the authenticity, and the unalloyed power of the voice of humanity taught him how to write orchestral music that will endure forever. It is all in this excellent book, a perfect companion to his musical masterpieces.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A thorough look at Max Bruch 12 May 2007
By L. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well and engagingly written, this book gives a lively look into the life of a composer who is now known for only a handful of the nearly 100 works he wrote and who deserves a better fate than that.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
One of the less well known German Romantic composers 3 Feb 2013
By Dr. H. A. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Max Bruch: His life and works by Christopher Fifield, Victor Gollancz, London, 1988; 2nd edn. The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, 2005, 400 ff.

A lesser known German Romantic composer

There can be few music lovers who do not know the Violin Concerto No.1 in g minor by Max Bruch. But, somewhat to the composer's frustration, this is almost the only composition of his that is heard regularly in the concert hall or over the airways - either now or even during his lifetime. It is in fact only one of three violin concertos Bruch composed and its greater popularity is probably due to its use of lovely, long-breathed melodies to a greater extent than the other two concertos. But Bruch composed music in other forms too - much choral music, three symphonies, a concerto for two pianos, a Serenade and a Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra, and an Adagio and the quite lovely Kol Nidrei for cello and orchestra. This last piece was composed to accompany the declaration in the synagogue at the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; and Bruch also composed an oratorio on the subject of Moses. Probably as a result of these compositions, especially the former, he was thought to be Jewish, but that was not the case.

Bruch also wrote some lovely chamber music - two string quartets, two string quintets, a piano quintet and a string octet, all currently available on CD. Musical examples are used sparingly in this book, which works chronologically through the life of this composer and conductor, bringing in the compositions at the appropriate time of his life when they were written. However, descriptive musical analyses as well as his social interactions are given in sufficient detail to give the reader a real sense of involvement in the life of the man and his music. When this book was originally written (1980s) there existed no other biography of Max Bruch, even in German. The book ends with a list of his compositions and those who were significant figures in his life, and a general index. For this second edition, there is also an interesting 35-page Appendix listing works that Bruch conducted for the three years that he was Court Music Director in the town of Sondershausen.

Bruch: Piano Quintet/String Quintet/Octet
Bruch: 2 String Quartets
Bruch: The Complete Symphonies
excellent 2 Jan 2014
By Eric Jolley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
well written detailed life story of one of my favourite composers. very interesting detailed life.
paper back book in as new condition
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