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by author "Robert Greenberg" in All Categories
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How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition
Robert Greenberg, The Great Courses
Length: 36 hrs and 34 mins
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Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.
In The Life & Times of Beethoven, celebrated composer and music historian Professor Robert Greenberg of San Francisco Performances gives you a unique perspective on a musical genius the likes of which the world had never seen before - or since. Blending biography, history, and music appreciation, these 10 lectures portray Beethoven’s extraordinary (and still modern-sounding) music as a direct outgrowth of his life, environment, and interior emotional landscape.
Over the centuries, orchestral music has given us a category of works that stand apart as transcendent expressions of the human spirit. What are these "greatest of the greats"? Find out in these 32 richly detailed lectures that take you on a sumptuous grand tour of the symphonic pieces that continue to live at the center of our musical culture.These 30 masterworks form an essential foundation for any music collection and a focal point for understanding the orchestral medium and deepening your insight into the communicative power of music.
In Music as a Mirror of History, Great Courses favorite Professor Greenberg of San Francisco Performances returns with a fascinating and provocative premise: Despite the abstractness and the universality of music - and our habit of listening to it divorced from any historical context - music is a mirror of the historical setting in which it was created. Music carries a rich spectrum of social, cultural, historical, and philosophical information, all grounded in the life and experience of the composer.
Professor Robert Greenberg Ph.D. University of California Berkeley
Length: 25 hrs and 5 mins
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Though unappreciated in his own time, Johann Sebastian Bach has ascended to Olympian heights, the verdict of contemporary audiences long since overruled by succeeding generations of music lovers. But what makes his music great? In this series of 32 lectures, a working composer and musicologist brings his exceptional teaching skills to the task of helping you hear the extraordinary sweep of Bach's music. You'll understand the compositional language that enabled him to compose such extravagant, unbridled music while still maintaining precise control of every aspect - beat, melody, melodic repetition, interaction, and harmony.
To watch any opera lover listen to a favorite work, eyes clenched tight in concentration and passion, often betraying a tear, is to be almost envious. What must it be like, you might think, to love a piece of music so much?And now one of music's most gifted teachers is offering you the opportunity to answer that very question, in a spellbinding series of 32 lectures that will introduce you to the transcendentally beautiful performing art that has enthralled audiences for more than 400 years.
From its humble beginnings in the 17th-century Along the way, it has embraced nearly every trend to be found in Western concert music.In this series of twenty-four 45-minute lectures, Professor Greenberg guides you on a survey of the symphony.
A revolutionary man living in a revolutionary time, Beethoven used the piano as his personal musical laboratory. The piano sonata became, more than any other genre of music, a place where he could experiment with harmony, motivic development, the contextual use of form, and, most important, his developing view of music as a self-expressive art.Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas include some of his most popular works as well as some of his most experimental.
The piano is the most popular solo concert instrument in Western music. One of the key reasons is the fact that it has inspired many of the greatest masterpieces in the concert repertoire. To study these masterworks and to understand their genius and lasting appeal is to know one of the greatest accomplishments of Western culture, works that give great pleasure even as they deepen your insight into the meaning of music.
Have you ever thought about the creative process that boiled inside geniuses like Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorák, Strauss, Brahms, Mendelssohn, or Liszt-or any composer, for that matter?What goes through a composer's mind when a musical composition is being set to paper? Are those magical weeks or months spent in an agonizing creative blur of ideas first tried and then discarded, or it a matter of pure inspiration?
Nowhere is Mozart's maturity and mastery more apparent than in the chamber music he wrote during the last 10 years of his life. These 16 lectures take you deep inside the structure of Mozart's chamber masterworks to reveal his hand at work. This is an amazing opportunity to hear, study, and enjoy a selection of immortal musical compositions that Professor Greenberg calls "a blessing of inconceivable richness". You will learn the basic "language" that all 18th-century composers used to write Classical music. You'll also explore the subtleties of Mozart's technique as a composer: his ability to make art "artless".
Even from the perspective of time, it is nearly impossible to grasp the full contribution made to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his brief and glorious life. He composed his first symphony at the age of 8 and reached full artistic maturity by the time he was only 20. And when he died at the age of 35, he left a legacy of more than 600 works of brilliance - symphonies, chamber music, operas, and more - most composed during an incredibly productive 20-year period.
Although we often think of an artist's work as a window into their own inner world, that is not always the case.In the life of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, however, we can see perhaps the closest link to be found anywhere between a creative product and the shifting moods of a turbulent soul, which found its outlet through the glorious music created by the great Russian composer.To know his music, you must know the man, and this fast-moving series of eight lectures from an award-winning composer and accomplished teacher offers an insightful look into both the circumstances of Tchaikovsky's life and the impact that life had on his music.
Have you ever wondered how the lives of great composers-especially when set against the social, political, and cultural context of their world-influences their music?After listening to this perceptive series of eight lectures on the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven, you will likely find that you hear his work in an entirely different way, your insight informed by new knowledge of how Beethoven was able to create masterpieces from the crises of his life.You'll learn about the years of progressive hearing loss-ultimately to produce total deafness-and the understandable agony and rage such a fate would bring upon a composer. About his deep depression over the end of his relationship with the woman he calls his Immortal Beloved. About his pathological hatred of authority, his persecution complex, even delusional behaviors.But you'll also learn how each of these crises, and many others, served to drive Beethoven inward, to reinvent himself and redeem his suffering through art, creating disruptive works of profound passion and beauty that reinvented the nature of musical expression in the Western world.
More than many other composers, Gustav Mahler's works are highly personal expressions of his inner world, a world of overwhelming alienation and loneliness. You'll learn, through both lectures and musical excerpts, how his symphonies are vast repositories of his intellectual, emotional, and spiritual expression that made him the first exponent of Expressionism, the early 20th-century art movement that celebrates inner reality as the only reality - but explored by Mahler using the musical language of the century just ended.
When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in 1791 at the age of just 35, he nonetheless left behind the defining composition in every available musical genre of his time: symphony, chamber music, masses, and above all - opera. Opera was the prestige genre of the era, and the thought of it, Mozart wrote, made him, "beside myself at once." It was a form he loved dearly, depending on it heavily for personal, professional, artistic, and financial reasons of the greatest weight.
Dmitri Shostakovich is without a doubt one of the central composers of the 20th century. Drawing on both the flood of declassified documents from the Soviet Union that began in 1991 and Shostakovich's own extraordinarily frank posthumous reminiscences, Professor Greenberg shows how Shostakovich, who, in the words of a friend, "did not want to rot in a prison or a graveyard" was still unwilling to become a docile instrument of the Soviet regime.
Stravinsky composed what is arguably one of the two most important musical compositions of the twentieth century, The Rite of Spring. He forged a new "musical language" to portray the sense of the ballet's primitive and earthy theme. More than a dozen excerpts of Stravinsky's works are examined.
The concerto offers a kind of unique excitement no other instrumental music can match. Where a symphony enthralls us with its thematic variations and development, a concerto gives us human drama-the exhilaration of a soloist or group of soloists ringing forth against the mass of the orchestra.In 24 musically rich lectures, Professor Greenberg provides a guided tour of the concerto, from its conception as a child of Renaissance ideals, through its maturation in the Classical age, its metamorphosis in the Romantic era, and its radical transformation in the 20th century and beyond.