(This) narrative is refreshingly efficient, and connections that have eluded single-subject biographers come to light. Music-lovers of all persuasions are likely to gain something from this well-written, thoroughly researched work. OPERA NEWS Hugh Macdonald's 'biography of a year' is positively postmodern in the way it dissolves its documentary sources into a smoothly running narrative that relishes and thereby transcends the archaic clichés of a genre in which hindsight brings multiple ironies and insights to bear. MUSICAL TIMES Macdonald writes with great fluency and grace. (...) This is a splendid effort. AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE This is a book to read and re-read, beautifully bound and printed (...) and if there were such a thing as Gramophone Book of the Year, this would be my first recommendation. GRAMOPHONE (Macdonald) is the author of books that palpably enrich and illuminate. ... (he) brings to skill that rarest skill of any serious writer on music: the ability to talk about it not as a some arcane technical discipline, but as a direct articulation of thought and feeling, and the defining activity of those who practise it. LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS (A) highly readable biography. SPECTATOR In Hugh Macdonald's highly readable Music in 1853, musical colossi are bumping into each other on almost every page. FINANCIAL TIMES (Macdonald's) detailed interweaving of the daily lives of these characters leaves an abiding impression, not just of the endless travel involved in being a working musician, but also of the importance of the railroads: the new arteries of central Europe's increasingly vigorous cultural life. SUNDAY TIMES
About the Author
HUGH MACDONALD is Avis H. Blewett Professor Emeritus of Music at Washington University, St Louis. He has authored books on Skryabin and Berlioz and has previously published Beethoven's Century: Essays on Composers and Themes with Boydell/URP.