This outstanding book treating the three most beloved composers of the Vienna School is considered basic to any study of classical-era music. Drawing on his rich experience and intimate familiarity with the works of these giants, Charles Rosen presents his keen insights in clear and persuasive language. For this expanded edition of The Classical Style, Rosen provides an entirely new, 64-page chapter on the later years of Beethoven and the musical conventions he inherited from Haydn and Mozart. Rosen has also written an extensive new preface in which he responds to other writers who have commented on his ideas.
The first edition of this book won the 1972 National Book Award and remained available in paperback for more than two decades. For this edition, Rosen adds a 14-page preface answering some of his friendly critics and a 26-page essay on Beethoven-which includes 44 musical examples, not seen-that emphasizes the composer's indebtedness to Haydn and Mozart. Otherwise, the text of the original edition remains unchanged. A CD (not heard) of Rosen playing two Beethoven piano sonatas (opp. 106 and 110) is also included. Libraries successful in keeping together the book and CD of Rosen's Romantic Generation (LJ 4/1/95) may want to attempt the same with this set, but once the CD is lost, the price seems high for only two new essays if the older edition is still serviceable.-Bonnie Jo Dopp, Univ. of Maryland Lib., College Park