Enriched by biographical detail, historical background, musical examples, and many finely nuanced observations, this volume is a treasury of insight and information. Readers will find illuminating discussion of the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Sibelius, and Mahler, as well as of the most loved symphonic works of Schubert, Bruckner, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and others. We learn how to listen more sharply for Haydn's humor, to Mozart's singular combination of pathos with grace, and to the evolution of Beethoven's musical ideas in his nine symphonies. This remarkable range and variety of composers are illuminated by Steinberg's deft, inviting, and intensely personal essays, which give such a vivid portrait of each composer's personality that the reader gets an immediate sense of how the work is a direct expression of the person from whose soul and brain it has sprung. Tracing the ways in which composers have dealt with the musical challenges that have engaged them throughout the centuries, Steinberg takes us through the revolutions of expression, sound, and form that have shaped the symphony's remarkable history. Whether beginners or veterans, music lovers will listen to the symphony with enlivened interest and deeper understanding with Steinberg's masterful guide in hand.