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Gerald Abraham’s reputation as an authority on Russian music has tended to obscure his deep interest in the music of Poland and Czechoslovakia, and of the nineteenth-century generally. From a lifetime’s devoted scholarship in these fields Abrahams selected his best work to make up this volume (first published in 1968), one of exceptional breadth and fascination.
The subjects range from the relationship of Slavonic music to the western world, to detailed essays on figures such as Chopin, Dvorák, Rubinstein and Mussorgsky. A study of realism in Janacek’s operas contains a particularly fine analysis of From a House of the Dead and there is an account of the fantastic ‘erotic diary’ for piano in which Zdenek Fibich, one of the finest nineteenth-century Czech symphonists, recorded the secrets of his love affair with former student and librettist Anežka Schulzová.
Gerald Abraham (1904-1988) was a distinguished musicologist, among his official posts those of Professor of Music at the University of Liverpool and Assistant Controller of Music at the BBC.
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