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Kramer, Lawrence. WHY CLASSICAL MUSIC STILL MATTERS. Berkeley, CA: University Of California Press, 2007. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 242 pages. As New/As New.

Book-length account on subject. One of the most passionate, compelling, and accessible polemical books on the state of Classical Music in the Global Age. Published in a very small and limited print run by a University Press as a hardcover original only, it has become a sensational mainstream success. The true First Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. The strength of Lawrence Kramer's argument lies precisely in the fact that he is unwilling to make compromises (as even some of the most well-known classical artists have) to a "mass audience". He thinks, rightly, that it is condescending to them, and that the fundamental appeal of Classical Music (before and after the rise and eventual dominance of American popular music) will always be that it is the more challenging and therefore more rewarding experience, an experience that isn't just about "The Past", but one that exists simultaneously on many complex levels. It is what the idea of music has always been about (and why the great British critic Walter Pater once said that "all art aspires to the condition of music"), and Kramer puts it in a fresh and engaging perspective, in polished, non-academic prose that is richly descriptive. "Classical Music isn't necessarily all that bad off. There is still a diverse range of concert performances, and many listeners are choosing to download works from the Internet. But something still feels wrong, something Lawrence Kramer identifies as the loss of Classical Music's central role in cultural life. The reasons Kramer offers for why one ought to appreciate Classical Music go back to the high-culture argument that it 'asks its listeners to imagine a work with more fullness and complexity than most other music does', converting emotions into tangible sound yet somehow not reducing them to abstraction. The problem with writing about Classical Music, of course, is that no matter how passionately you describe a Brahms quintet, it's not the same as hearing an actual performance. Kramer is very convincing when he describes the effect a young performer's Bach sonata has on crowds at a New York subway station. Such moments of direct observation are sprinkled throughout the erudite text" (Publishers Weekly). A masterly account, this is a "must-have" title for all lovers (and would-be lovers) of Classical Music. This title remains available in multiple subsequent printings. This is the only copy of the true First Edition (full number line ending in 1) available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. All other copies available online are subsequent printings. A rare copy thus. One of the finest living writers on music. A flawless copy. . ISBN 0520250826. $70.00

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