The author of Moulin Youge has written another novel with its historical subject the victim of histrionic intent. M. La Mure...

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The author of Moulin Youge has written another novel with its historical subject the victim of histrionic intent. M. La Mure has taken promiscuous liberties with the basic facts of Felix Mendelssohn's life to shape a story which seems ruthlessly uninterested in authenticity. Here we meetyoung Mendelssohn embarking on an early affair for a friend's sake, going to England and living with an Italian opera singer, staying with Chopin in Paris and returning to Berlin and banking, only to dash off to Frankfurt to court Cilette- a pastor's daughter- whose ""feeling"" took them to Leipzig. After about ten years, Mendelssohn; still questioning his destiny in a small town, disheartened by his wife's lack of passion but back with her after another go at the opera star in Dresden, finds Bach's St. Matthew's Passion in a butcher shop and struggles against fanatical violence (here perjudice and anti-semitism have their turn) to perform the work his crowning achievement. This is historically incorrect; in actuality, Mendelssohn conducted the St. Matthew's Passion in Berlin in 1829; he went to Leipzig in 1835, met his wife in 1836 and married her in 1837. However while serious readers will resent this exploitation, many will find it succulent as did readers of the earlier book which was filmed with great success.

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 1955

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1955