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eBook Jean-Philippe Rameau: His Life and Work download

by Cuthbert Girdlestone

eBook Jean-Philippe Rameau: His Life and Work download ISBN: 0486214168
Author: Cuthbert Girdlestone
Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (January 1, 1969)
Language: English
Pages: 646
ePub: 1718 kb
Fb2: 1962 kb
Rating: 4.8
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Category: Test, Exam
Subcategory: Professional

Rameau, Jean-Philippe, 1683-1764, Rameau, Jean Philippe, 1683-1764. Books for People with Print Disabilities.

Rameau, Jean-Philippe, 1683-1764, Rameau, Jean Philippe, 1683-1764. Internet Archive Books.

And Rameau was the man who set it down. His treatises are hard reading, and I suspect still not fully understood. And here is a basic problem with Girdlestone

And Rameau was the man who set it down. And here is a basic problem with Girdlestone. In such a thick book, 600 pages, how can you fail to even try? He mentions that others have covered the subject, and backs out at the outset of a brief chapter in which he mainly teeters on the verge of calling Rameau a crank. And that is not very deep or adventurous for what aims to be a definitive book on Rameau.

Jean-Philippe Rameau: His Life and Work. by Cuthbert Girdlestone and Philip Gossett. In later life he was not talkative and seldom spoke of himself. Chabanon, inditing his eulogy a few months after his death, says that the first half of his life is absolutely unknown, and that he never imparted any detail of it to his friends or even to his wife. When, in the year after his death, Dr. Maret, secretary to the Academy of Dijon, collected material for an Éloge, he had great difficulty in filling the gaps in the first forty years. Indeed, we know to-day more of Jean-Philippe’s existence between 1683 and 1723 than did any of his contemporaries.

Home Browse Books Book details, Jean-Philippe Rameau: His Life and Work. Jean-Philippe Rameau: His Life and Work. By Cuthbert Girdlestone. The many quotations which I have given will, I trust, whet the reader's curiosity and send him to at least the vocal scores of what has been published in that form.

Girdlestone, Cuthbert. Jean-Philippe Rameau, His Life and Work. Girdlestone, Cuthbert. Jean-Philippe Rameau: sa vie, son œuvre. La tragédie en musique, considéré comme genre littéraire.

Holden, Amanda, (Ed) The Viking Opera Guide (Viking, 1993). Sadler, Graham, (E., The New Grove French Baroque Masters (Grove/Macmillan, 1988). Jean-Philippe Rameau at the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Jean-Philippe Rameau. The definitive biography and critical study of Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764), this volume deals at length not only with the composer's musical achievements but also with aspects of his life and work that made him one of the most important cultural figures in eighteenth-century France

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Jean-Philippe Rameau: His Life and Work by Cuthbert Girdlestone. A fascinating look into the life and work of controversial French novelist Irène Némirovsky Irène Némirovsky succeeded in creating a brilliant career as a novel. Cuthbert Dover Publications Classical Music Memoirs Biography Memories Biography Books Classic. The Némirovsky Question: The Life Death and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in Twentieth-Century France (eBook). Cuthbert Girdlestone.

Definitive full-scale biography and critical study of great 18th-century composer. Full treatment of great operas and ballets as well as Rameauâ?™s life and musical times, acoustic and harmonic theories, link to Lully, influence on Gluck, other topics. Numerous useful appendixes, indexes and an extensive bibliography. Over 300 musical examples.
Comments: (3)
When a book is this well researched, this detail rich, and still has large portions of a person's life left cloudy, you know that the historical records are lost.

My only disappointment with this book is that I wanted more of a personal story; but apparently it is not to be found. This is readable history with an extreme eye for detail, and any musical scholor will be delighted with the depth of the musical analysis. (A bit too much for me... if I am to have to music theory, I want to see the whole piece... but that would have made this a multi-volume set.)

The majority of this book is analysis of the works of Rameau, with a focus on the operas, compared and contrasted with other contemporaries, which can be a bit dry. But for those who are seeking/preparing to perform Rameau, this is neccessary information to have when embarking. The next to last chapter is about his keyboard works, and this was useful to me for exactly this reason, I am interested as a harpist in making these works a groundstone of my repertoire, and his history, thoughts and insights here are very helpful.

(ex: he mentions that "Venitienne" is played as a barcarole, rolling and easy, and that it's full character comes out at this pace. This is my experience working on it. Christophe Rousset plays it a full tilt on his CDs of Rameau's works, and it loses it's sweetness at that speed, and feels "short." That one quibble aside, if you're interested in Rameau's keyboard works, Rousset's 2 CD set is a masterwork and a must have for your library. It's one of my prized CDs.)

Apparently, when Piron said about Rameau "when he closed the lid [of his harpsichord] there was no one home"... he was pre-cognizant of how much of Rameau's life would remain undiscovered. There is still a LOT of his life here, and plenty to shed better light on misplaced rumors of his ill temper and inarticulate speech. Fasincating talented man who lived in interesting times.
OK, this is unquestionably a major book on Rameau, if not THE major work. So let's get that out of the way. Masterful, scholarly, detailed and analytical, it's a must.

But. Rameau gave us more than most people know. First of all, he codified harmony for centuries to come. The fact that 20th century "serious music" went fishing off the coast of Schoenberg's neuroses will hopefully be forgiven in centuries to come. And to anyone who wants to tackle THAT issue by quoting from the microcephalics who accused Rameau of writing incomprehensible noise, I will only say that THAT was a polemic in hyperbole that dealt with Opera style, and that it worked itself out within a few years. Some critics may have rejected Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, but it took only a few years for it to be universally recognized as a masterpiece. But "ordinary" people are still gaping at Schoenberg's dodecacophony after nearly a hundred years, it's not working itself out at all. Rameau described and explained "normal" harmony as we all "instinctively" know it, though it's precisely because Rameau hit on some Universals that this "instinctively" exists. The Baroque started with harmony in flux, and by the time it was over, there were certain progressions and cadences that had become established, and that still make sense today. Forgetting academics making dissonant noises for their mutual admiration society, real music exists outside the Universities and the grants circuit, and real music is what everybody listens to. The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Mozart, Chopin, Brahms -- EVERYBODY understands basic harmony. And Rameau was the man who set it down. His treatises are hard reading, and I suspect still not fully understood. And here is a basic problem with Girdlestone. In such a thick book, 600 pages, how can you fail to even try? He mentions that others have covered the subject, and backs out at the outset of a brief chapter in which he mainly teeters on the verge of calling Rameau a crank. And that is not very deep or adventurous for what aims to be a definitive book on Rameau.

The second issue I object to is that Rameau's harpsichord pieces, which present, or foretell, in succinct form, all of Rameau's craft, everything that he used in his operas, are barely given 35 pages' of treatment under "chamber music". That's strange. The most impressive thing about Rameau for me is his conciseness. Each of his harpsichord pieces is different, there aren't hundreds of them, and each has a complex musical story to tell. For instance, the Sarabande from his second book fits on a single page and yet explores a harmonic and rhythmic territory of such immense complexity, width, and emotional range. [...]. Who could fit more music on a single page? Girdlestone instead devotes the majority of the book to a scene by scene description of Rameau's operas. From a theatrical standpoint, these are not terribly exciting, as his librettists were generally at best average. Musically, the operas, that Rameau took up late in life, largely start with techniques and motifs used in his harpsichord pieces, hence we should start the discussion by carefully examining what Rameau, who allegedly disappeared once the harpsichord's lid was closed, was up to when he was "not disappeared". This is where everything originates. I cannot fairly comment on the depth of Girdlestone's analysis of the operas, since, like most contemporaries, I don't know them in detail as they are still very selectively performed. This is of course very interesting reading, it's the main focus of the book, and my only quarrel is with the imbalance vis a vis the keyboard and chamber pieces, hundreds of pages versus 35.

The third issue is the lack of biographical depth. A previous reviewer comments on this, and I agree. Granted, Rameau was a modest and withdrawn person. Not much is still known about his personal life. But it was up to Girdlestone to dig deeper. Wagner went to the trouble of spreading absurd rumors about Rameau to malign all French music, the least Girdlestone could have done was to work harder to find more sources, and to extrapolate from what we have. I guess Rameau will have to wait for another biographer to do this job. Maybe in light of the sheer size of his opera analysis, it's impossible to have mere biographical anecdotes appear as more than a sliver.

In any case, my facile objections aside, Girdlestone's volume is clearly on a short list for anyone interested in the phenomenon that was Rameau, and represents an enormous, scholarly and invaluable contribution, which strangely devotes such a sliver of its space to subjects that readers might consider important.
Zeus Wooden
When choosing which edition of this book to buy or borrow, be aware that the 1969 (Dover) paperback is a "revised" (corrected and expanded) edition of the original 1957 hardcover. In his initial "Preface to the Dover Edition" the author explains, in some detail, the nature of his "several substantial changes and additions" for the second (Dover) edition.

Since neither Amazon nor WorldCat provides any online information regarding this 631-page Dover book's table of contents, allow ME to perform that service:

1. Life: The First Fifty Years
2. Chamber Music
3. Cantatas and Motets
10. LES FETES D'HEBE and Rameau's Pastoral Music
12. Minor Works
13. Life: The Last Thirty Years
14. Theories
15. Rameau and Gluck
16. Conclusion


Appendix A--Abodes and Churches
Appendix B--Titles
Appendix C--Prelude by Louis Marchand


Read the other reviewers' positive assessments of this indispensable tome. Bottom line, notwithstanding its age, Girdlestone's book certainly rates at least four--or virtually five--stars.