Style notwithstanding, any visitor to Paris with an interest in music will find this guide indispensable.

PARIS

A MUSICAL GAZETTEER

An interesting and useful guide, written in a competent, but dry style.

By the reign of Louis-Phillipe, Paris was Europe's cultural capital and, like Vienna, attracted many of the greatest musicians and composers of the era. While much has been written of the musical scene in Vienna at the time, much less has been written about Paris, and Simeone, a lecturer in the Department of Music at the University of Wales, attempts to fill the gap with a well researched and comprehensive Baedeker of the city's musical scene. It includes biographies of the major composers who made Paris their home, the addresses, locations of their graves (if in Paris), and listings of all important musical locales, arranged by arrondissement and street, along with the nearest Métro stops. Also found are four walking tours and copious photographs, contemporary and historic. Simeone gives us small details that add pleasure and interest (e.g., composer Marcel Dupré, organist at Saint-Sulpice for 65 years, was also the organist at the wedding of the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson). Of Joseph Canteloube, arranger of the celebrated Chants d'Auvergne, Simeone writes, `During the early 1920s he made several pioneering music broadcasts for French radio. . . . The first of these [on Scarlatti] was broadcast on 28 January 1924 under difficult circumstances: rain was leaking through the studio roof, and an assistant had to hold an umbrella over Canteloube as he played.` Simeone is a genuine scholar of both music and Paris and he has thoroughly researched both subjects. Just the same, our pleasure would be enhanced if Simeone had been able to write in a livelier style. While his writing is clear and factual, it seldom rises above the expository. Rife with information, it is a pity that a book on such a rich topic should be written in the arid manner of a college textbook on macroeconomics.

Style notwithstanding, any visitor to Paris with an interest in music will find this guide indispensable.

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-300-08053-0

Page Count: 315

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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