Concert Masterworks : The Great Courses: Fine Arts & Music

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Robert Greenberg
  • Series: The Great Courses: Fine Arts & Music
  • 24 hrs and 53 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Have you ever thought about the creative process that boiled inside geniuses like Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorák, Strauss, Brahms, Mendelssohn, or Liszt - or any composer, for that matter?
What goes through a composer's mind when a musical composition is being set to paper? Are those magical weeks or months spent in an agonizing creative blur of ideas first tried and then discarded, or is it a matter of pure inspiration? Does the composer hear the music in his head before even picking up a pen, or does the music in fact begin on that blank sheet of staff paper? Most important, can lay listeners like us, untrained in music's technicalities, learn how to open our ears to a composer's creative intentions?
Happily, the answer is a resounding "yes!" And in this series of 32 lectures, a professional composer and accomplished teacher will give you a new level of sophistication as a music listener - using as his teaching tools some of the most memorable works in all of music, by geniuses whose work has not only withstood time, but transcended it.
Through listening to these lectures, you'll gain a new grasp of the intricacies of musical purpose, structure, and narrative content that you will then be able to hear in any piece of music. And though this is a demanding course, with a deeper look into musical structure than untrained listeners are likely to have experienced, it is not an intimidating one. Professor Greenberg vividly positions each composition and its composer in the social and musical fabric of its period, so you can understand the music in its proper societal and artistic context and feel its emotional power in the same way as did its original audiences.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A great way to add to your concertgoing experience

This is the best credit I've spent in a long time. Rather than just providing technical details and historical context, Professor Greenberg explains exactly what another composer would be listening for in each of these works. The result is eye-opening, even for someone who regularly attends orchestral concerts.

If you've listened to Professor Greenberg's "30 Greatest Orchestral Works" in the same series, Concert Masterworks is deeper and more engaging in every way.
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- Andrew

Down the rabbit hole with Dr. G!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

My first attempt to break into the world of really enjoying music came when my husband bought. The Concert Masterworks. Until then, I knew my favorite music was Bach’s and Mozart came second and Beethoven and Vivaldi and Teleman were in there somewhere. I was pretty much a Baroque girl. When I listened to the first two lectures, I realized I was missing a lot. So, I got the How to Listen and Understand Great Music. Loved it. Listened until I got to the Classical Period and went back and did Bach and the High Baroque. Then on with the Classical Period--which I have not finished yet because I did Great Masters: Mozart and am about to start The Concerto. And then, either The Chamber Music of Mozart or The Symphony. I am enjoying Dr. Greenberg’s expertise and attitude so much that I keep diving down new rabbit holes!

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- JaneN

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses