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Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More Hardcover – 4 February 2020
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A Financial Times Book of the Year 2019Hough's writings on music are endlessly knowledgeable, illuminating, and accessible . . . Music lovers, from professional musicians to casual listeners, will find the book a delight to browse through. -- Publishers Weekly [Rough Ideas is] highly episodic, with entries ranging from a few dozen words to a few hundred. Many of them begin with questions -- the sort of things he's repeatedly asked, one guesses, by adoring audiences and sponsors over post-concert drinks and nibbles before packing his bag to move on to the next venue . . . But if the questions are sometimes routine, the answers are like Hough's playing: original, fresh, deeply considered, personal. And sometimes quirky or contrarian. We know the 10,000-hour rule to prepare for genius. But Hough shows it helps to have genius as well. -- Alan Rusbridger, The Spectator Stephen Hough's brilliance isn't limited to the concert stage or recording studio. The classical pianist, as his fans already know, is something of a polymath. This lively collection of writings gathers dozens of unfailingly perceptive, often charming, and occasionally moving reflections on the musician's craft, the symbiosis between performer and audience, Rilke, Simone Weil, Lou Reed, and the importance of practice--which allows "'the time to make mistakes and the leisure to correct them.'" --Commonweal
About the Author
- Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux (4 February 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0374252548
- ISBN-13 : 978-0374252540
- Dimensions : 14.33 x 3.73 x 21.82 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 396,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I suggest reading this book like one might partake of a multi-course dinner with good friends of varied ages, genders, professions, cultures and avocations: slowly, thoughtfully, respectfully and welcoming -- à la the conversations conjured on Steve Allen's "Meeting of the Minds."
Stephen's literary talents are as great as his musical ones. And if, as I do, you always leave his piano performances wanting more -- here's a way to linger with Hough's many thought and ideas about many diverse subjects. These small gems will keep your mind engaged all the while you're reading them and for a long time after.
By the way, I also recommend reading this in a non-traditional way: Start ANYWHERE in the book, pick an essay and read it. Thumb the pages and find another. Repeat as often as you can.
Every year I hope to find one present or artefact which will be the Perfect Present for several on my Christmas List.
Drum roll ... fanfare ... here it is for 2019; the Killer Present, found before the August Bank Horrorday.
Because of the issues I have raised above I can only give it 4 stars instead of 5. However, I would still recommend it as a worthwhile addition to your bookshelves.