Palestrina For All: Unwrapping, singing, celebrating
by Jonathan Boswell
This new book explores the music of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594), its character, history and ongoing appeal. It fills a serious gap - the last wide-ranging English language book for the general reader came out many decades ago.
Drawing on large samples, the book follows Palestrina's music from love poetry, through changing events in the Church Year, to the composer's record-breaking 104 Mass settings. At each stage descriptive sketches uncover some neglected treasures.
Reviews & Comments
"This wonderful, welcome, long-overdue book ... not only a powerful and easily digested distillation of Boswell's and others' research, but also an invaluable guide to programming Palestrina's music both for the liturgy and concert hall ... sets the seal on the rehabilitation of a much-misunderstood master ...teaching one how to hear, appreciate and absorb the internal workings of Palestrina's counterpoint, rather than be distracted by the line highest in pitch ...a grand demystification of both man and music ...there isn't a word too many .... It should be on the shelves of music students, choir directors, church musicians, academics, singers (both amateur and professional), and listeners." (REBECCA TAVENER, Choir And Organ, January 2020).
Historian Jonathan Boswell has brought a lifetime's fascination with the life and music of Palestrina to bear in a new book, the first accessible general guide in English to appear for several decades." (EARLY MUSIC TODAY, News, June 2019).
“So refreshing, so personal, so illluminating… I loved this book" (HARRY CHRISTOPHERS, The Sixteen). “Anyone interested in Palestrina should start with this book… I very much applaud the author" (PETER PHILLIPS, The Tallis Scholars). “Blends in a very thought-provoking fashion the academic aspects, the practical experience of music-making, hearing and 'praying', and the analysis of many important works... A very valuable contribution to the field, and it will enrich all those who engage with it” (CHIARA BERTOGLIO, Professor of Musicology, University of Bologna). ''Cannot fail to touch and stimulate the reader... It admirably illuminates the fervent response of a great musical poet both to the emotion and theology of the sacred texts, and to their liturgical context" (PATRICK RUSSILL, Royal Academy of Music & The London Oratory). "A much needed book ....it's first class" (ANDREW CARWOOD, St Paul's Cathedral and The Cardinall's Musick).
PALESTRINA FOR ALL is self-published and moderately priced. Purchase from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Paperback £6.23, €7.16, $7.49. Kindle edition £3, €3.35, $3.95.