by Helen Epstein ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 29, 1987
A delectable collection of candid profile/interviews (the majority published before) of contemporary musical personalities and institutions, from superstars to working orchestral musicians, from the politics of the prominent music festivals to the dedication of a successful record producer. Epstein (Children of The Holocaust) captures the world according to loquacious ""Lenny"" Bernstein, who, ensconced in his yearly summer teaching/conducting niche at the famed Tanglewood Music Festival, indulges in a mercurial blend of brilliant, outspoken, fascinating personal digressions. We are privy to legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz's regal pontification about the delights of old-world musicality and to his disapproval of the current crop of ""assembly line"" technicians And there's the shrewd marketing behind the ""impish,"" unconventional Irish flautist, James Galway, who relishes enticing a large slice of the general public to the classics by recording lighter ""tunes"" as bait. And speaking of bait: a charming portrait of an affable Viennese bassoon virtuoso; a profile of the renowned Juilliard Quartet; and an intriguing portrait of violinist Cecylla Arzewski, the female first-chair musician in the conservative male bastion of the Boston Symphony--all of these will reward the music lover anxious to gobble up tasty bon mots and lofty axioms by the mighty and the workaday of the classical music world. There's Vladimir Horowitz swearing never to have sneezed in his 50 years of concertizing; conductor Seiji Ozawa's revelation that conducting is hard to teach, as ""It's all in the conductor's head. . .""; pianist Rudolf Serkin's observation that his famed Marlboro Chamber Music Festival is a ""place to learn how to play second fiddle. . .a great art""; and famed Juilliard violin teacher Dorothy DeLay on the fabulous experience of watching the likes of former students such as Itzhak Perlman achieving their potential. An easy and lightweight yet informative fireside addition to the non-technical, biographical musical shelf.
Pub Date: June 29, 1987
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1987
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