Awarded an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award in 1983 for excellence in writing about music, this volume of candid conversations with the late Claudio Arrau is both a subtle portrait of one of the world's great concert artists and a vivid exploration of his unique and intensely felt beliefs about music and piano performance.
Upon its initial appearance, critical acclaim for this work included rave reviews from The New Yorker ("One of the best books about a performing artist ever written. . . . It's an enthralling, free-flowing, but shapely compound of reminiscences and of observations on music."), and New York Magazine ("Something of a miracle, a book that actually explores the life and development of a living musician by dealing seriously with important musical issues. Each chapter sets a biographical context for a conversation . . . a fascinating and valuable book.").
In addition to his conversations with Arrau, former New York Times critic Joseph Horowitz has included discussions with four renowned musicians who worked with the celebrated pianist: Philip Lorenz, Daniel Barenboim, Garrick Ohlsson, and Sir Colin Davis. The result is an eminently readable portrait of a great artist, presented in an intimate, conversational format — sure to fascinate pianists, musicians, and anyone seriously interested in music and the piano.
Joseph Horowitz is also the author of Understanding Toscanini, The Ivory Tread, Wagner Nights: An American History, and The Post-Classical Predicament.