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Notes in Advance: An Autobiography in Music


Notes in Advance: An Autobiography in Music

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    Available in PDF Format | Notes in Advance: An Autobiography in Music.pdf | English
    William Glock(Author)
Sir William Glock has been one of the strongest influences on musical life and taste in Britain this century, and is especially known as a champion of contemporary music. A student of the piano under Arthur Schnabel in the Berlin of the 1930s, Glock founded the Summer School of Music, which achieved an international reputation for the quality of its teaching of composition and performance. From 1959 to 1973 he was Controller of Music at the BBC, where he initiated the Invitation Concerts, introduced adventurous programmes into the Proms, and was responsible for the controversial appointment of Pierre Boulez as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Considering fundamental questions of composition and interpretation, public appreciation, and the future of music, Glock's revealing autobiography also recalls his relationships with such significant composers as Stravinsky, Britten, Maxwell Davies, and Birtwistle.
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Book details

  • PDF | 237 pages
  • William Glock(Author)
  • Oxford University Press; 1st ediiton edition (28 Feb. 1991)
  • English
  • 4
  • Biography

Review Text

  • By G.C. on 28 August 2011

    This book is perhaps very limited to a niche audience, to those interested in the history of the presentation of classical music in Britain via the radio (i.e. the BBC) and The Proms, particularly his own period as Controller of the Proms (1960-1973). Glock remains a notorious name to some with the caricature of someone who rammed ultra-modern, atonal music down unwilling audiences' throats during his tenure at the BBC, on both the Third Programme and The Proms. However, what the detractors forget is how conservative and hidebound programming prior to Glock was, so maybe a swing to the other extreme was needed. As if in deliberate rebuttal to that caricature of him, Glock took pains in his book to discuss his love of such classical-era composers as Haydn, Mozart and Schubert, and how experiencing such composers performed by artists like Arthur Schnabel informed his musical upbringing as a younger man. But he certainly does not avoid discussion of contemporary music, and even devotes a chapter to his collaboration with and admiration of Pierre Boulez.Glock very much minimizes discussion of his private life and his upbringing, except at the beginning with warm words about his father, for example. He summarizes his first marriage very, very briefly, but elaborates slightly more on his very happy second marriage, and has very short discussion about his one child, his daughter, who pre-deceased him aged only 34. So for Glock, in this book, it really is all about his life specifically in music. In fact, at one point in the chapter about Boulez, Glock writes something about Boulez's conducting style that could well apply to Glock's writing style here. Glock quotes Boulez, who's been accused more than once of being a "cold" conductor, as saying that Boulez does indeed get excited when conducting, but that he is not obliged to show it. In that sense, Glock clearly cared deeply about music, but did not feel obliged to show it in gushing, over-the-top prose.

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