Ten Masterpieces of Music
Some pieces of music survive; most fall into oblivion. What gives the ten masterpieces selected for this book their extraordinary vitality?
In this magisterial volume, Harvey Sachs, author of the highly acclaimed biography Toscanini, takes readers into the heart of ten great works of classical music—works that have endured because they were created by composers who had a genius for drawing music out of their deepest wellsprings. These masters—Mozart and Beethoven; Schubert, Schumann, Berlioz, Verdi and Brahms; Sibelius, Prokofiev and Stravinsky—communicated their life experiences through music and through music they universalised the intimate. By expanding our perceptions of these ten pieces—composed in the years between 1784 and 1966—Sachs, in lush, exquisite prose, invites us to consider why music stimulates, disturbs, exalts and consoles us. He has lived with these masterpieces for a lifetime and his descriptions of them and the dramatic lives of the composers who wrote them bring a heightened dimension to the musical perceptions of readers who may be casual listeners, students, professional musicians or anyone in between.