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David Hurwitz on Dvorák,
recommended by RON BIERMAN


Amadeus Press now offers six books by David Hurwitz. They discuss the works of Dvorák, Haydn, Mahler, Shostakovich and Mozart (in two volumes). Last year I gave a rave review to Getting The Most Out Of Mozart: The Instrumental Music. I'm a bit less enthusiastic about this volume, but still recommend it highly for the author's comprehensive overview of Dvorák's work, sharp-eared analysis, and well-reasoned advocacy.

Unlocking the Masters - Dvorák - Romantic Music's Most Versatile Genius. © 2005 Amadeus Press

First, the reservations. I believe music performances and music criticism and analysis need to be more approachable, and as I said in the earlier review, Hurwitz 'has a clear style and a fresh way of looking at great music'. But this time he occasionally overdoes it. Take 'the remarkable saga of how a kid from the Bohemian countryside created a personal language of universal appeal'. A colloquial style (or in this instance, celebrity-reporting style) can weaken credibility, especially when you are presenting unconventional views.

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Copyright © 1 February 2007 Ron Bierman, California USA


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