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How to Appreciate Music

Gustav Kobbé

Book Overview: 

This book is essentially a how to guide on music appreciation. Includes sections on the pianoforte, orchestral, and vocal music. Good for anyone who wishes for a greater appreciation of the wonders of music.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .sounding phrases about the duty of the interpreter to subordinate himself to the composer, and against what I am about to say, I nevertheless make bold to affirm that it is the province of the virtuoso to express himself, his own personality, his moods, his temperament, his subjective or even his subconscious self, through music; and in music that is purely contrapuntal there is a barrier to this individual power of expression.

The Mission of the Player.

We often hear it said of the greatest contemporary pianist that he is a great Chopin player, but not a great Bach player. He could not be, and at the same time be the greatest living virtuoso. It is the worshiper of tradition, the reserved, continent, scholarly player, the player who converts a Chopin nocturne into an icicle and a Schubert impromptu into a snowball, who revels in counterpoint—the player who always is slavishly subordinating himself to what he is pleased to call the “composer’. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A pianist raves about the musicians he digs. And among those musicians, Wagner surfaces repeatedly at the flimsiest excuse. Yet, there are some things here that I could learn. However, don't expect a systematic approach that will improve your music appreciation. The title is grossly misleading.

Even though the title of this book is How To Appreciate Music, it might be better titled: How To Appreciate Wagner. As the author discusses various musical genres, it is very clear that his favourite composer is Wagner. He seems to bring him into every chapter somehow!