- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Samuel Barber: The Composer and His Music Paperback – 1 Jan 1992
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
In the sheer scope of her documentation, her book must be close on faultless. (Tempo)
provides and authoritative commentary on this most European of American composers (Michael White, Independent)
About the Author
Barbara B. Heyman, a pianist, editor, and musicologist, has written and lectured extensively on Samuel Barber. She lives in New York City.
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Theory hogs, like me, may want a few more examples--but if so, we're just being greedy. The author's analyses of the works are well-done, cursory without being useless. She neither fawns over her subject, nor butchers him. Perhaps a bit more biographical information would be nice--Barber's love life is always touched upon at tangents, never explained. But maybe such information is simply not to be found.
The esoteric nature of the subject precludes me from recommending it generally--but for anyone with the slightest interest in Mr. Barber, this is certainly one of the best resources out there.
And what do we say of Samuel? Reactionary, fuddy-duddy? Snobbish European turning his back on his American home, or a man who simply recognizes good music when he hears it? Or, like Brahms, a fusion of past and present who only appears conservative when compared with the silly extremists? I lean towards the latter.
Barber enjoyed Brahms, and there's a similarity stapling the two together here. Both took a rich harmonic and modern language, Brahms with his soup of pivot chords and chromatic thirds, Barber with his polychords, changing meters, and quartal implications, reinvigorating ideas and forms that some describe as depleted. And both were, in some sense, fearless. Now of course neither was immune to public opinion--the failure of Anthony and Cleopatra cracked off a bit of Barber's heart--but nevertheless, we find two men who by and large did not care to defend their artistic choices. Barber wrote music of lyrical melodic line when the flavor de jure was prickly textures or avant-garde nonsense.
I have no opinion on whether or not that was the right decision; but I bestow the highest respect on Barber's intense drive for perfection. 71 years he lived, and left behind a paucity--but a paucity of perfection. The concertos are jewels! The songs are staples (or should be)! Barber forced and tempered his creations: many works were revised after the first performance--and, which is to be respected all the more--usually made shorter by it. Excess notes deleted, and tight statements left behind.
This book honors that aspect of him well, and I'm glad to have gotten to know him through it.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > Film, Television & Music > Music > Classical Music
- Books > History > Americas > United States
- Books > Music, Stage & Screen > Film > History of Film > United States
- Books > Music, Stage & Screen > Music > Composers & Musicians
- Books > Music, Stage & Screen > Music > Styles > Classical Music > Orchestral
- Books > Music, Stage & Screen > Performing Arts
- Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > Drama