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The Gluck biography

This extremely readable biography is based on Gerhard Croll’s five decades’ work researching and collecting material on the life and work of Gluck. It offers a general account, based on the latest scholarly and biographical discoveries. 

Starting with the family history in the Upper Palatinate and Bohemia, Gluck’s career as a great opera reformer and European is traced, with a clear distinction always made between the verifiable and the anecdotal. There is extensive discussion of the circumstances prevailing at the time in Northern Italy, Paris and Vienna (political conditions, court history, singers, opera reforms).

Specialist terms such as opera seria, dramma per musica, etc., are explained. Gluck’s works are discussed in their contemporary historical context, selected operas are described in detail, and other works are placed in the context of the composer’s life; many of his contemporaries feature. The musical descriptions and analysis are clearly comprehensible.

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Schubert. Schubert? life and music

We mistrust the sentimental portraits of Schubert from old novels and films, as well as the all too sharply contoured portrait of him as a broken personality.

Gernot Gruber’s engaging book challenges these established ideas and offers new, unusual perspectives on Schubert and his music.

Gruber presents a narrative of Schubert’s life in its cultural and political context. The book describes his compositional development and finally enquires about the nature and meaning of Schubert’s music. His creative insights link historical facts and the gaps in our knowledge to stretch our understanding and inspire us to new listening and musical experiences. Gernot Gruber presents his “Thoughts on Franz S." in a lively writing style and with an open intellectual approach.

A book for all Schubert enthusiasts, musicians, scholars and literary specialists.

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