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"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without." -- Confucius, The Book of Rites

Volume 8, Issue 10.1

October 2017

The Music Section just got cleaned and inventoried and then received a huge influx of new books! It is now much easier to navigate and is a cozy nook in which to spend some time shopping for great books. Subjects range from a bio on your favorite musician to instructions on how to play your favorite instrument to finding the music to a favorite holiday song or even a book on how to whistle like a pro. This section is also the new home of a beautiful guitar donated to us by artist Cara Seigel. She created it for the Ellnora Guitar Festival and it was previously on display in our front window.

Click on a section to see a list of books:

Remember you can always check the website www.janeaddamsbooks.com, send an email, or call us at (217) 356-2555 if you have any questions or search requests!

New Music Arrivals!
(New to us even if old in age)

The Ninth Symphony, a symbol of freedom and joy, was Beethoven's mightiest attempt to help humanity find its way from darkness to light, from chaos to peace. Yet the work was born in a repressive era, with terrified Bourbons, Hapsburgs, and Romanovs using every means at their disposal to squelch populist rumblings in the wake of the French Revolution and Napoleon's wars. Ironically, the premiere of this hymn to universal brotherhood took place in Vienna, the capital of a nation that Metternich was turning into the first modern police state.

The Ninth's unveiling, on May 7, 1824, was the most significant artistic event of the year, and the work remains one of the most precedent-shattering and influential compositions in the history of music -- a reference point and inspiration that resonates even today. But in The Ninth, eminent music historian Harvey Sachs demonstrates that Beethoven was not alone in his discontent with the state of the world. Lord Byron died in 1824 during an attempt to free Greece from the domination of the Ottoman empire; Delacroix painted a masterpiece in support of that same cause; Pushkin, suffering at the hands of an autocratic czar, began to draft his anti-authoritarian play Boris Godunov; and Stendhal and Heine wrote works that mocked conventional ways of thinking.

The Ninth Symphony was so unorthodox that it amazed and confused listeners at its premiere -- described by Sachs in vibrant detail -- yet it became a standard for subsequent generations of creative artists, and its composer came to embody the Romantic cult of genius. In this unconventional, provocative new book, Beethoven's masterwork becomes a prism through which we may view the politics, aesthetics, and overall climate of the era.

Part biography, part history, part memoir, The Ninth brilliantly explores the intricacies of Beethoven's last symphony -- how it brought forth the power of the individual while celebrating the collective spirit of humanity.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) is one of the most influential -- and also one of the most controversial -- composers in the history of music. Over the course of his long career, he produced a stream of spellbinding works that challenged musical convention through their richness and tonal experimentation, ultimately paving the way for modernism. This book presents an in-depth but easy-to-read overview of Wagner's life, work and times. It considers a wide range of themes, including the composer's original sources of inspiration; his fetish for exotic silks; his relationship with his wife, Cosima, and with his mistress, Mathilde Wesendonck; the anti-semitism that is undeniably present in the operas; their proto-cinematic nature; and the turbulent legacy both of the Bayreuth Festival and of Wagnerism itself. 

Making use of the very latest scholarship -- much of it undertaken by the author himself in connection with his editorship of The Wagner Journal -- Millington reassesses received notions about Wagner and his work, demolishing ill-informed opinion in favour of proper critical understanding. It is a radical -- and occasionally controversial -- reappraisal of this most perplexing of composers. The volume's arrangement -- unique among books on the composer -- combines an accessible text, intriguing images and original documents, thus ensuring a consistently fresh approach. Bringing new insights to an endlessly fascinating subject, The Sorcerer of Bayreuth will charm anyone interested in music and in the wider cultural life of the 19th century and beyond.

Asimov's Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan
A century ago lyricist William Schwenck Gilbert and composer Arthur Seymour Sullivan met and formed a legendary partnership, out of which some of the world's best-known and loved musical theater was created. Including such perennial favorites as H.M.S. PinaforeThe Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado, the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan have endured and increased in popularity to this day. Now renowned author and long-time G & S fan Isaac Asimov brings his masterful wit and understanding to a complete annotation of these classic works.

Lucid, authoritative, and thoroughly entertaining, Asimov's Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan offers a fresh and illuminating interpretation of the artists' fourteen famous operettas. Here, Dr. Asimov skillfully guides the reader through every word, reference, and innuendo that needs clarification. With enthusiasm and insight, he identifies all the major characters, describes specific settings, and brings to light pertinent background information, such as when and where each play opened, how it was received by critics and audiences at the time, how its title was derived, and more.

Like Asimov's Annotated Don Juan, Asimov's Annotated Paradise Lost, and Familiar Poems Annotated, this meticulously detailed volume provides a wealth of information essential for a full appreciation of the timeless works. Beautifully illustrated and written in the good doctor's inimitable style, Asimov's Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan at last makes the endearing charm of the world's favorite operettas accessible to armchair music lovers and seasoned theater aficionados alike.

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August Strindberg (Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists), Eszter Szalczer
August Strindberg (Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists)
Eszter Szalczer
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Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton, Jeff Pearlman
Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton
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