The biographies of musical giants from Bach to Prokofieff make fine reading as Louis Blancoill, Robert Bagar, Herbert Peyser, Pitts Sanborn present perceptive, quick-moving essays that combine facts of the composers' lives with the musical fruit for which we are grateful today. The selection is wide and orthodox: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Berlioz, Tschaikowsky, Wagner, Brahms, Richard Strauss, Prokofieff. One notes that Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Sibelius are missing, among others, from the roster... However, what is offered in this well written volume will delight the student and general reader-listener alike, with an appeal reaching somewhat beyond a standard reference work. Oratorios, operas, masses, lieder are mentioned in their place along with strictly instrumental music.