The Richard Rodgers Reader

The Richard Rodgers Reader

4.66 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Richard Rodgers was one of America's most prolific and best-loved composers. A world without "My Funny Valentine," "The Lady is a Tramp," "Blue Moon," and "Bewitched," to name just a few of the songs he wrote with Lorenz Hart, is scarcely imaginable, and the musicals he wrote with his second collaborator, Oscar Hammerstein-Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music-continue to enchant and entertain audiences. Arranged in four sections, Rodgers and Hart (1929-1943), Rodgers and Hammerstein (1943-1960), Rodgers After Hammerstein (1960-1979), and The Composer Speaks (1939-1971), The Richard Rodgers Reader offers a cornucopia of informative, perceptive, and stylish biographical and critical overviews. It also contains a selection of Rodgers's letters to his wife Dorothy in the 1920s, the 1938 Time magazine cover story and New Yorker profiles in 1938 and 1961, and essays and reviews by such noted critics as Brooks Atkinson, Eric Bentley, Leonard Bernstein, Lehman Engel, Walter Kerr, Ken Mandelbaum, Ethan Mordden, George Jean Nathan, and Alec Wilder. The volume features personal accounts by Richard Adler, Agnes de Mille, Joshua Logan, Mary Martin, and Diahann Carroll. The collection concludes with complete selections from more than thirty years of Rodgers's own writings on topics ranging from the creative process, the state of the Broadway theater, even Rodgers's bout with cancer, and a generous sample from the candid and previously unpublished Columbia University interviews. For anyone wishing to explore more fully the life and work of a composer whose songs and musicals have assumed a permanent-and prominent-place in American popular culture, The Richard Rodgers Reader will offer endless delights.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 149.86 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 589.67g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 13 halftones, & music ex.
  • 0195313437
  • 9780195313437

Review quote

Block has assembled fascinating pieces of writing about the popular American composer of Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music....A fine combination of anecdote, music criticism, and biography. * Library Journal * Fabulous...One comes away from this volume with a solid feel for his work and for the man himself. * DC Theatre Scene * Editor Block drew on biographies, memoirs, letters, essays on the musical theater, theatrical criticism, and interviews to amass this collection...this reader depicts Rodgers as methodical, versatile, outgoing, and a family man * 'the most successful, productive, diverse, and influential American composer for the musical stage of the twentieth century.' * Block has assembled fascinating pieces of writing about the popular American composer of Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music.... A fine combination of anecdote, music criticism, and biography. * Library Journal * Just when you think The Richard Rodgers Reader is going to be academic, it turns out to be as fascinating as a good novel. It's not a whodunnit, but a how-dunnit. How did such a cranky, bourgeois guy create those soaring melodies? By letting many people pay respects or take shots, the book creates a three-dimensional portrait of a complicated and brilliant man. * Playbill Readers' Circle * A useful and informative anthology of essays, interviews, and criticism drawn from a diversity of published and unpublished sources...The Richard Rodgers Reader is like surfing the Internet. One can dip into it or read it section by section. * Mel Gussow, New York Times * A great first look for those interested in learning more about Rodgers and a must-have for the serious musical theatre scholar. * MetroBeat * Excellent. * John Lahr, The New Yorker * A comprehensive and informative overview of the life and music of Richard Rodgers...For anyone curious about the life and works of 'the most successful, productive, diverse, and influential American composer for the musical stage of the 20th Century,' Block's collection is an excellent and comprehensive introduction...the work will well reward serious readers interested in the American musical theatre and one of its greatest practitioners. * American Music *show more

About Professor Geoffrey Block

Geoffrey Block is Professor of Music History at the University of Puget Sound. The author of Enchanted Evenings (OUP 1997) and three books on Charles Ives, he is now completing a book on Richard Rodgers's Broadway career.show more

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6 ratings
4.66 out of 5 stars
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