A thorough and enthusiastic introduction to the life and works of Mozart, perfect for readers of all ages.


From the A Lifetime of Learning Book series , Vol. 4

This fourth installment of a series focuses on the music of Mozart.

Alexander (Sex and Romance, 2015, etc.) continues his series of manuals with a slight departure from the norm. Previous volumes have centered on providing readers with lucid, accessible guides to such practical matters as sex, romance, money, finances, and general life lessons, but in this updated version of Book 4, the emphasis turns quite specific: the journey, music, and genius of Mozart. The author contends that listening to and properly appreciating Mozart’s music can usher readers into what Alexander calls a “heavenly state of consciousness.” Great art, according to the author, transports listeners to a realm where they ask: How is it possible that a human being actually made something so beautiful and stirring? Offering copious musical examples, Alexander deftly describes several of Mozart’s best known or most technically virtuosic pieces, grounding them in the particulars of the composer’s life and career. The author presents e-book readers with links to YouTube clips featuring Mozart performances or various discussions by experts on the music’s splendor and significance. At several points, readers are taken on deeper examinations of key works (both Mozart’s and those of other classical composers who either influenced or were inspired by his music). The Mozart offerings range from popular operas like The Marriage of Figaro and complex pieces like the string quartets and quintets to such towering achievements as the “Jupiter” Symphony. The technical details of instruments and arrangements are broken down in clear language. The author is always alert to the ways Mozart “stretched the ears” of his listeners, perfecting many of the musical forms that had come before him and foreshadowing several later developments in the genre. And throughout the book, as in the previous entries in this series, Alexander is very effective at stressing the excitement of discovery, the great personal rewards to be reaped with patient and meticulous study. The guide is brightly and invitingly designed, clearly intended to welcome readers to a grand adventure.

A thorough and enthusiastic introduction to the life and works of Mozart, perfect for readers of all ages.

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-937597-24-5

Page Count: 180

Publisher: The School of Pythagoras

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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