Great Masters: Brahms-His Life and Music (The Great Courses)

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In both his life and his music, Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) was a man of contrasts. He composed serious Teutonic music and joyful dance music. He was miserly with himself and exceedingly generous with family and associates. He was kind to working people and known for his biting, malicious wit in artistic and aristocratic social circles. […]

String Quartets of Beethoven (The Great Courses)

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In his 16 quartets for two violins, viola, and cello, Beethoven created a Mount Everest for string players and some of the most sublime, unforgettable music ever written. Continuing to astound listeners after 200 years, these glorious quartets give voice to the innermost landscape of the human heart and spirit. They stand, like Michelangelo’s statues […]

Great Masters: Tchaikovsky-His Life and Music (The Great Courses)

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The life of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) exhibits as close a link as you will find anywhere between an artist’s inner world and the outward products of that artist’s creative activity. As a man, Tchaikovsky was defined by and indivisible from his music, which became an outlet for all the shifting moods of his turbulent […]

Great Masters: Beethoven-His Life and Music (The Great Courses)

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Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the most prolific and inspiring forces in the history of music. With his brilliant compositions and his unique approach to the piano, he changed the face of western concert music forever. After Beethoven nothing could ever be the same again. This course by Professor Robert Greenberg is a biographical […]

Great Masters: Mozart-His Life and Music (The Great Courses)

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He composed his first symphony at the age of 8. His middle name means “loved of God.” And Austrian Emperor Joseph II accused his music of having “too many notes.” This course is a biographical and musical study of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), who composed more than 600 works of beauty and brilliance in just […]

The 23 Greatest Solo Piano Works (The Great Courses)

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As a solo concert instrument, the piano enjoys an unrivaled popularity in Western music. Capable of a vast sonic range, from ethereal softness to thundering grandeur, its appeal is global and seemingly eternal. For nearly 200 years, audiences have packed concert halls and opera houses to hear performers play this single, phenomenal instrument. One of […]

The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works (The Great Courses)

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From the majesty of Baroque and Classical era masterpieces to the daring visions of modernism, orchestral music is undoubtedly one of the supreme artistic traditions of Western culture. And, over the centuries, this amazing medium has given us a special category of works that stand apart from the rest as transcendent expressions of the human […]

The Great Works of Sacred Music (The Great Courses)

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Western classical music is one of humanity’s most sublime artistic traditions. Significantly, this great musical language—encompassing genres from symphonic and instrumental music to choral works and opera—was created through the meeting of art and faith. The first music schools in Europe were associated with the Catholic Church. Originally, the Church commissioned music, as composers and […]

How Music and Mathematics Relate (The Great Courses)

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Gain new perspective on two of the greatest achievements of human culture—music and math—and the fascinating connections that will help you more fully appreciate the intricacies of both. Great minds have long sought to understand the relationship between music and mathematics. On the surface, they seem very different. Music delights the senses and can express […]

How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition (The Great Courses)

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Learning how to appreciate the unmatched beauty, genius, and power of concert music can permanently enrich your life. Why is this so? As award-winning composer and Professor Robert Greenberg explains, “Music, the most abstract and sublime of all the arts, is capable of transmitting an unbelievable amount of expressive, historical, and even philosophical information to […]