By Jill Martinson
AK Smiley Public Library was fortunate to recently add a large selection of music books representing various genres to our outstanding collection.
Jazz fans enjoyed “Straighten Up and Fly Right: the Life and Music of Nat King Cole” by Will Friedwald. Country music fans learned the background stories behind the songs in the autobiography “Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics”, available in print and audio. Popular music listeners got a glimpse of Jeff Buckley’s thoughts and inspirations in “Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice: Journals, Objects and Ephemera”.
The following highlights music from a much older period, including Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras. This rich musical history dates from around 1600 to 1900, with familiar names like Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Liszt. Take a closer look at our classical music books and compact discs available at checkout.
Exceptionally detailed and entertaining, “Mozart: The Reign of Love” by Jan Swafford will tell you absolutely everything you want to know about the Austrian composer who was born in 1756 and died at the age of 35. Wolfgang was a musical prodigy before the royal courts from an early age. At age 7, his father Leopold presented his talents and those of his sister Nannerl, taking them across Europe for three years, covering thousands of kilometers and stopping in 88 cities. At 8, Mozart wrote his first symphony, at 11, his first opera. Swafford provides a comprehensive overview of Mozart’s musical influences, tours of Italy and time spent in Vienna. Her personal life, marriage, friendships and frustrations are fully explored. From the progression of his career to the keys in which he wrote his operas, even Mozart aficionados will learn something new and gain an appreciation for the man behind the music.
Interesting short entries, biographical backgrounds, and beautiful images include “Composers: Their Lives and Works” by DK Publishing. The featured composers begin in the 11th century with the Italian monk, Guido d’Arezzo, considered the inventor of modern musical notation. You will continue through history, examining key works and visiting different time periods before reaching the final entry with British composer Judith Weir, born in 1954. It is a wonderful book to read and a resource for those in the know. discover classical music.
Your education will not be complete without taking the time to listen to the expressive and beautiful pieces that classical music offers. Smiley Library’s outstanding CD collection is the perfect way to get acquainted with this passionate music and expand your sonic palette. Vivladi’s “Four Seasons”, Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” and Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” are just a few of the pieces you can view on CD.
If you are lucky enough to see a live show, it is such a rewarding experience. The Redlands Bowl features some fantastic concerts in 2021, both virtual and live. In-person concerts include classical, taiko drum, Latin big band, music from India and Brazil. For more information and updates, visit www.redlandsbowl.org.
Founded in 1950, the Redlands Symphony has continuously provided exceptional and high quality performances to the community. Definitely take the time to hear them once they are back in the concert hall. For more information, visit www.redlandssymphony.com.
When you visit the Smiley Library in July, note the display case next to the main lending desk. It’s dedicated to classical music, and we’ll have some of our favorite books ready to take home with you.
Jill Martinson is Library Specialist at AK Smiley Public Library in Redlands.