The Gift of Music: Great Composers & Their Influence
by Jane Stuart Smith & Betty Carlson
Recommended by Francis Schaeffer as "a wealth of detail concerning classical music." It really enhances your understanding of the composers and their music.
Includes the following composers:
an article about Shakespeares influence on the great composers, and Christmas Carols.
One of the finest achievements of Western culture is its brilliant heritage of classical music. A Gift of Music looks at the lives of the greatest composers who have given us this heritage, and especially at how their music was shaped by their beliefs.
The result is a remarkable and inspiring book, showing the importance of Christian faith for many composers, and the effect of this upon their music. But it also shows how the lack of faith has brought profound change in the meaning and form of contemporary music.
Thus A Gift of Music seeks to open up a whole new world of music--to encourage listening to the finest compositions with new understanding and pleasure, and to stretch our ears and imaginations. It is a book which will be greatly appreciated by those who already love classical music, and by others who want to explore this delightful world for the first time.
"I found The Gift of Music hard to lay down until I had read it from cover to cover. I feel this book is a must." --Jerome Hines, Metropolitan Opera Company
"Reading about these great composers has been most inspiring to me. This is a book to read and enjoy." --George Beverly Shea, renowned soloist of the Billy Graham Crusades
"There will be no one who will not find stimulating insights [in The Gift of Music]... I look for this book to open the doors to a new affirmation of life in the area of music." --Francis A. Schaeffer, founder, LAbri Fellowship
"The most valuable contribution of The Gift of Music is the way the authors integrate the lives, philosophies, and music of these great composers. It is their discussion of the cross-pollination of thought and the interaction of one composer and artist with another. This approach makes the men come alive and places the reader in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as observers, not historians.... Whether readers are new to classical music or graduates of a classical music program, they will find the book a good resource and an excellent overview of the development of musical thought." --Contemporary Christian
"[The authors] joyous enthusiasm... should serve to ignite the curiosity of many readers and lure them on to sample more liberally the magnificent sound structures of Bach and Handel, Haydn and Mozart--not to mention both their forerunners and their heirs." --Christianity Today
317 page book