Experiencing the Violin Concerto: A Listener's Companion

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Rowman & Littlefield, Aug 4, 2016 - Music - 204 pages
Since the eighteenth century, violin concertos have provided a showcase for dramatic interplay between a soloist’s virtuosity and the blended sonority of an orchestra’s many instruments. Using this genre to showcase skill and ingenuity, composers cemented the violin concerto as a key genre of classical music and gifted our ears with such timeless masterpieces as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

In Experiencing the Violin Concerto, Franco Sciannameo draws on his years of scholarship and violin performance to trace the genre through Baroque, Classical, and modern periods. Along the way, he explores the social and personal histories of composers, and the fabulous virtuosi who performed concertos, and audiences they conquered worldwide. Inviting readers to consider not only the components of the music but also the power of perception and experience, Sciannameo recreates the atmosphere of a live performance as he paints a narrative history of technique and innovation.

Experiencing the Violin Concerto uses descriptions in place of technical jargon to make the world of classical music accessible to amateur music lovers. As part of the Listener’s Companion series, the volume gives readers an enhanced experience of key works by investigating the environments in which the works were written and first performed as well as those in which they are enjoyed today.

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1 In the Baroque
2 MozartHaydnBrunettiTomasini
3 Viotti and Beethoven
4 The Meteoric Paganini and His Epigones
5 At the Heart of German Romanticism
6 Brahmss Violin Concerto and the End of an Era
Monsters and Leprechauns
8 Pillars of Modernism
9 Barber and Korngold Shostakovich and Schoenberg
10 Music without Anxieties
Selected Reading
Selected Listening
Index of Names
About the Author

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About the author (2016)

Franco Sciannameo is professor and associate dean for Interdisciplinary Initiatives in the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of Nino Rota, Federico Fellini and the Making of an Italian Cinematic Folk Opera: Amarcord (2005); Giuseppe Mazzini's Philosophy of Music: Envisioning a Social Opera (1836) (2005); Nino Rota's The Godfather Trilogy (2010), and Phil Trajetta (1777-1854), Patriot, Musician, Immigrant (2010)

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