ELIZA'S GALIARDO by James Gollin


Age Range: 6 - 4
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Again, as in The Philomel Foundation (1980), Gollin combines breezy, funny vignettes of professional-musician life with inept thriller plotting--though this time the storyline is a good deal less obtrusive. As before, the narrator/hero is Alan French, flute-playing leader of the Antiqua Players quintet; he's still in mutual love with gorgeous viola da gamba virtuoso Jackie (they plan marriage but don't quite get around to it). And the thin adventures begin when Alan is summoned to a New England monastery, where the English head monk shows him the sect's treasure: an Elizabethan music-book, which may have belonged to young Liz herself (as composer as well as transcriber)! Alan agrees to help play and publicize the tunes therein, of course. But soon he's being stalked by a ruthless art-dealer, a sexy bibliographer, and two crooked English cops--while the manuscript is being stolen from the monastery. So there's a treasure-hunt and a car-chase to come, with no mystery to speak of and several plot-ends left dangling. Will music-lovers mind? Not much. . . because the streetwise, deglamorized pro-musica biz is again infectiously sketched in--from transcriptions to harpsichord-moving, from pick-up rehearsals to eating-on-the-run, from name-drops (""If I have to listen to one more second violinist tell me how he and some other second violinist beat Yo Yo Ma and Peter Serkin 6-4, 6-4. . ."") to pre-performance nausea.

Pub Date: March 7th, 1983
Publisher: St. Martin's