'Brilliant and epoch-making.' Times Literary Supplement
In this remarkable study, now an established classic which has remained in print since its first publication in 1971, Charles Rosen surveys the language of the music of the classical period.
He concentrates on the three major figures of the time - Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven - because 'it is in terms of their achievements that the musical vernacular can best be defined'.
He follows the development of each composer's best known genres: for Haydn, the symphony and string quartet; for Mozart, the concerto, string quintet and comic opera; for Beethoven, the piano sonata. In addition, the author ranges widely through material which falls outside these categories.