Smiley Library was fortunate to recently add a great selection of music books representing diverse genres to our circulating collection. Jazz enthusiasts enjoyed “Straighten Up and Fly Right: the Life and Music of Nat King Cole” by Will Friedwald. Country music lovers learned the background stories behind the songs in the autobiography “Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics” available in both print and audio. Popular music listeners got a peek into Jeff Buckley’s thoughts and inspirations in “Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice: Journals, Objects and Ephemera.”
The following items highlight music from a much earlier time period, including the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. This rich musical history dates from the 1600s through around 1900, with familiar names like Vivaldi, Beethoven and Liszt. Take a closer look at our classical music books and compact discs available for 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 born in 1756 who died at the young age of 35. Wolfgang Mozart was a musical prodigy performing in front of royal courts at an early age. At seven, his father Leopold showcased his and his sister Nannerl’s talents, touring them across Europe for three years, traveling thousands of miles and stopping in 88 cities. At eight, Mozart wrote his first symphony, his first opera at 11. Swafford provides a comprehensive overview of Mozart’s musical influences, tours in Italy and time in Vienna. His personal life, marriage, friendships and frustrations are fully explored. From the progression of his career to the keys he wrote his operas in, even Mozart aficionados will learn something new and acquire an appreciation of the man behind the music.
Interesting short entries, biographical backgrounds and beautiful pictures comprise “Composers: Their Lives and Works” by DK Publishing. Featured composers commence in the 11th century with Italian monk, Guido d’Arezzo, considered the inventor of modern musical staff notation. You’ll proceed throughout history, examining key works and visiting various time periods before reaching the final entry with British composer Judith Weir, born in 1954. This is a wonderful book to peruse and quite a resource for those new to classical music.
Your education won’t be complete without taking time to listen to the expressive and beautiful pieces classical music offers. Smiley Library’s circulating compact disc collection is the perfect way to become acquainted with this passionate music and broaden your aural pallet. Vivladi’s Four Seasons, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake are just a few of the pieces you can check out on CD.
If you get the chance to attend a live performance, it’s such a rewarding experience. The Redlands Bowl is presenting fantastic concerts in 2021, both virtual and live. In-person concerts include classical, taiko drumming, Latin big band, the music of India and Brazil. For information and updates, visit www.redlandsbowl.org.
Founded in 1950, the Redlands Symphony has continually provided outstanding, high-quality performances for the community. Definitely make time to hear them once they are back in the concert hall again. www.redlandssymphony.com
When visiting the Smiley Library this coming July, note the display case next to the main circulation desk. It’s dedicated to classical music, and we’ll have some of our favorite books ready for you to take home.