1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Without the music, what's the point?,
This review is from: The Lives and Times of the Great Composers (Paperback)
This book is pleasant but very frothy and lightweight. It is full of gossipy anecdotes but - as other reviewers have pointed out - contains next to nothing about the actual music.
The author's distinction between fellows and cellos is all very well, but at the end of the day, we are only reading about these people because of the music they created, so the whole exercise is a waste of time unless the author tells us something about that music - how the composer came to write it, who influenced him and whom he influenced in turn, how his music changed over time, how popular it was and is now, which were his more important works, etc.
"Lives of the Great Composers" by Harold Schonberg The Lives Of The Great Composers: Third Edition gets the balance right between personal biography, anecdote and music. Plus, it's much better written.