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Samuel Barber


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About the Author

Barbara B. Heyman, a pianist, editor, and musicologist, has written and lectured extensively on Samuel Barber. She lives in New York City.


Eleven years after his death, the American composer Barber is the subject of a large-scale biography, the first since 1955 (Nathan Broder, Samuel Barber , LJ 12/15/54). Based on the author's Ph.D. dissertation, this exhaustively documented study makes extensive use of original sources, including correspondence, manuscripts, and interviews. Unfortunately, the material is quite poorly organized. The biographical narrative is constantly disrupted by lengthy, discursive discussions of Barber's compositions. Treating the ``life'' and ``works'' separately (cf. Eric W. White's Stravinsky: A Critical Survey , Greenwood, 1979, or Maynard Solomon's Beethoven , LJ 11/15/77) would have been much clearer and more user-friendly. Despite these major problems, this book is recommended for large music collections because it represents such thorough research. For others, the article on Barber in the New Grove Dictionary of American Music will suffice.-- Eugene Gaub, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.

In the sheer scope of her documentation, her book must be close on faultless. Tempo provides and authoritative commentary on this most European of American composers Michael White, Independent

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