This book is a philosophical tour through the experience of beauty: what it is, and how the composer, performer, and listener all contribute. It explores - with insight, patience, and humor - profound issues at the essence of our experience. A student performance of Beethoven's String Quartet No. 10 in E-Flat Major, known as the "Harp," serves as a point of departure and a recurring theme. For the layperson the core of the book is five dialogues between Icarus, an inquiring student intensely concerned with fulfilling his highest potential as a musician, and Daedalus, a curmudgeonly, iconoclastic teacher who guides Icarus's search. Three technical articles, geared to the music professional and academic, treat the issues in greater depth. Supplementary online audio files and musical examples. Markand Thakar is Charles A. & Carolyn M. Russell Music Director, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra; music director, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra; principal conductor, Duluth Festival Opera; and codirector of the graduate conducting program, Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.
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