The thirty-five BBC Music Guides, published in the 1970s, were produced 'to give the layman an overall view of the subject, showing how particular works came to be written, their significance in the general history of the genre, and how the form was developed by the composer.' Each book contains detailed examinations of important works or movements, with musical examples. The general editor of the series was Lionel Salter (1914-200), an important musical authority during most of the 20th century, whose involvement with the BBC spanned some 38 years (1936-74), finally ending his career as Assistant Controller of Music (the Controller being William Glock), and each title was produced by a well-known musical expert.
Roger Fiske (1910-1987) was an English musicologist, broadcaster, author and composer who joined the BBC in 1939, and produced educational programmes for the armed forces (1948–53) and talks on music (1953–59). He left the BBC in 1959, but was later invited to contribute this volume on Brahms' piano music to the Music Guides series.
Denis Matthews (1919–1988) was an English pianist and musicologist specialising in the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. His edition of the Mozart piano sonatas, prepared with Stanley Sadie, was very popular, and he also produced many recordings, especially of modern British piano music, and an autobiography "In Pursuit of Music" (1966). He was Professor of Music at Newcastle University (1971-1984), and in 1985 published a study of Beethoven in the Dent "Master Musicians" series. His short book (published by the BBC) on Beethoven's piano sonatas is particularly valuable.
Our little books are in excellent condition, with only minimal signs of age and wear (the spine of the Brahms volume in particular is darkened and grubby-looking, and it also has a faint stain at the top L/H edge of the text block; the Beethoven is also a little stained at the bottom R/H edge of the text block). The edges are all sharp and corners intact. The bindings are tight, and all pages are clean and clear. A very nice pair of collectible titles in a series of 35.