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Great Pianists by Harold Schonberg (Read 995 times)

Offline immortalbeloved

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Great Pianists by Harold Schonberg
« on: January 19, 2016, 10:24:57 PM »
Hey everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has read Great Pianists by Harold Schonberg. From my earliest days of beginning the piano, Schonberg has either been called a legend or a hack. I, so new to this all, simply have no way to know.

I would be interested what anyone though of the book if they read it.

Thank you all

Offline zpianist

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Re: Great Pianists by Harold Schonberg
«Reply #1 on: January 20, 2016, 03:12:32 AM »
I think the book is a great book. It's super comprehensive, going back to CPE Bach, Clementi... and it's a good way to get into in the "genealogies" of pianists and the different "schools," so to speak. (e.g. Liszt's pupils) It's a good read for both music-lovers who want to appreciate recordings, as well as for pianists... It's a good way to get to know pianists that you otherwise wouldn't have heard of, and then "get to know them" more through YouTube, etc.

I don't see how anyone could call Schonberg a "hack." He did have particular tastes and opinions, e.g. on Bernstein's "speech" before his concert w/ Glenn Gould. But they're not reflected in the book; most of his viewpoints are the "consensus," and nothing comes of as pretentious or annoying.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Great Pianists by Harold Schonberg
«Reply #2 on: January 20, 2016, 06:37:18 PM »
This book is pretty essential reading if you wish to educate yourself with the history and development of pianism and the great masters of the past.

I would also try "From Paris to Peoria".

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