An updated and expanded edition of this perennial favorite, tracing the line of composers from Monteverdi to the tonalists of the 1990s.
This third edition of a work that has become a standard resource since its publication in 1981 includes brief but significant changes. A new chapter brings the work up to date, covering later serialists such as Stockhausen and Carter, minimalists Philip Glass and John Adams, and Alfred Schnittke and Peter Maxwell Davies. Schonberg discusses the recent phenomenal success of recordings of Gregorian chant and the search for styles of composition that combine originality and complexity with audience appeal. Women composers Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Amy Beach, Cecile Chaminade, Ethel Smyth, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich are now included. Though each has been given only one paragraph, it is valuable to see them placed in the context of their contemporaries and their predecessors. Schonberg writes for the lay reader. His intention is to humanize the composers and the writing, always highly readable, emphasizes biographical information rather than musical analysis. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.