Music and Composers – Resources in Overdrive

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Several famous composers have their birthdays in May. Here are just three –  Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Wagner. The Learning Commons team thought that May would be the perfect time to highlight our E resources in Overdrive, which might help encourage your students studying music and music appreciation. Enjoy!

Famous Composers

Famous Composers by Darren Henley

Following on the success of The Story of Classical Music, Darren Henley and Marin Alsop combine forces again to tell, in more detail, the lives of six key composers Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorák and Shostakovich. Their colourful lives and their love of music is told against the backdrop of some of their finest works – an ideal combination.

More Famous Composers

More Famous Composers by Darren Henley

The first volume of Famous Composers written by Darren Henley and read by Marin Alsop, the American conductor, won a prestigious Audie in the US. Here, Henley and the Naxos AudioBooks team bring the combination of an entertaining but informative ‘life’ and numerous musical selections to a further set of six composers.

The Farewell Symphony

The Farewell Symphony by Anna Harwell Celenza

Anna Harwell Celenza’s engaging fictionalized telling of the story behind Franz Joseph Haydn’s famous symphony is a perfect introduction to classical music and its power. THE FAREWELL SYMPHONY brings to life a long summer spent at Esterháza, the summer palace of Prince Nicholas of Esterházy. The blustering, bellowing prince entertained hundreds of guests at his rural retreat and demanded music for every occasion. As the months passed, Haydn was kept very busy writing and performing music for parties, balls, dinners, and even walks in the gardens. His orchestra members became homesick and missed their families. The anger, frustration, and longing of the musicians is expressed beautifully in the symphony born of the clever mind of Joseph Haydn who used it to convince Prince Nicholas that it was time to go home. Wonderfully expressive illustrations by JoAnn E. Kitchel capture all the comedy and pathos of this unique symphony. Beautifully interpretive motifs and borders convey the setting and emotion of the story mirroring the structure of the symphony with the repetitive use of sets of four. Making classical music and history come alive with color and character, THE FAREWELL SYMPHONY ensures a place for the arts in the hearts and minds of children.

M is for Music

M is for Music by Kathleen Krull

Music and the alphabet have always gone together. Don’t kids learn their letters by singing the ABCs? But you’ve never seen—or heard—a musical alphabet like this one. Beloved tunes. Unusual instruments. Legendary virtuosos. From anthems to zydeco, the language of music and the music of language harmonize in one superb symphony. It’s a funky fusion for songsters of all ages! Includes endnotes.

Cool Classical Music

Cool Classical Music by Mary Lindeen

Highlights everything needed to learn about classical music.

Beethoven for Kids

Beethoven for Kids by Helen Bauer

Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the most influential composers of all time, is brought vividly to life and made relevant to today’s young musicians in Beethoven for Kids. Children will learn about Beethoven’s troubled childhood and family life, early gift and passion for music, volatile personality, championing of equality and freedom, and persistence in his work despite increasing hearing loss. The great musicians, thinkers, and movements of Beethoven’s time, from Mozart and Haydn to the bold new ideas of the Enlightenment, are presented and their profound effect on the composer’s life and music explained. Twenty-one engaging activities, including singing musical variations, dancing a Viennese waltz, creating an operatic diorama, and making a model eardrum, illuminate Beethoven’s life, times, and work. A time line, a glossary, online resources, and recordings and reading lists for further listening and study round out this comprehensive resource.

Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Anna Harwell Celenza

Lyrical descriptions, a lush historical backdrop, and colorful artwork tell the story behind Antonio Vivaldi’s composition of The Four Seasons. He is inspired by his talented and determined students, young girl musicians at a Venetian orphanage. Together, they bring Vivaldi’s masterpiece to life. CD recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons included.

Reviews by Overdrive

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