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Other excerpts are used to help explain terms such as 'sonata form', 'rondo' and 'minuet'. As readers of this magazine know, an excerpt is worth a thousand words. Here's the minuet from Symphony No 39 [listen -- track 9, 0:00-1:24]. Melodic shapes are demonstrated as well. The concept of an 'arch' becomes clearer when Hurwitz refers the reader to the finale of the Piano Concerto No 17 and to the opening phrase of the G Minor String Quintet [listen -- track 6, 0:00-0:55].

The remaining three sections of the book go into more extended analyses of many of Mozart's greatest compositions. Hurwitz chooses the chamber music, orchestral works and concertos to discuss based on his judgment of value and recorded availability. For example he describes the form and mood of each movement in nine of the 41 symphonies.

Most classical music fans would benefit from reading the first section of Getting The Most Out Of Mozart and listening to the recorded excerpts as they are discussed. The remaining chapters contain material they can refer to the next time they listen to one of the works analyzed. Hurwitz's comments will often be an invaluable addition to the notes that accompany recordings. He has noticed more than most of us, and his descriptions will sharpen the ear and increase understanding. Highly recommended.

Copyright © 20 July 2006 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


Unlocking the Masters Series
Getting the Most out of Mozart
The Instrumental Works

David Hurwitz

Amadeus Press, 2005, ISBN 1-57467-096-4,
185 pages, paperback
Includes a full-length BMG Classics CD


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