COMPANION TO THE MUSE by Jacques- Ed. Barzun


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The gifted biographer of Berlioz and author of Teacher in America has edited a unique anthology of literature about music. In his scholarly foreword, Barzun pleads for greater communication between artist and layman. He feels that musical criticism should be directed towards the layman; it must offer general but precise and meaningful ideas; it must use analogy and comparison to convey its meaning. The prose which conveys the emotions and significance of music is rare. Barzun maintains that such prose should be examined in the light of history, of criticism, of anecdote, of political issues- and to these ends he has directed his selection of these writings. The result is a collection of writings from Thomas Browne to Bernard Shaw and Debussy, and the groupings fall into seven parts,-fiction, criticism, drama, politics and patronage, etc. And the end result gives the reader the musical world viewed by the musician himself. A worthwhile reference volume, a delightful and varied source of entertainment, a solid stepping stone to better understanding of this most emotional of the arts.

Publisher: Viking