- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; First Thus edition (26 Jun. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141028513
- ISBN-13: 978-0141028514
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Maestros, Masterpieces and Madness: The Secret Life and Shameful Death of the Classical Record Industry Paperback – 26 Jun 2008
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'Norman Lebrecht is classical music's chief mischief-maker. As full of bombast as a fairground barker, he will print what most would only hint ... [it is] a lickety-spit history of the industry from wax cylinders to MP3s.' -- Anna Picard, The Independent on Sunday
About the Author
Norman Lebrecht won the Whitbread First Novel Award for 2003 with The Song of Names. Born in London, Norman Lebrecht is Assistant Editor of the Evening Standard and presenter of lebrecht.live on BBC Radio 3. He has written eleven books about music, translated into 15 languages, and is regarded as one of the foremost cultural commentators of our time.
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Top Customer Reviews
Fortunately, we still have the 'minor' recording companies to thank for venturing into less well-known repertoite, offering honest and unhyped exposure to young musicians and, often, lowering the price at which a music lover can taste and test music that he/she has not known in the past.
Lebrecht's catalogue of 100 of his favourite recordings and 20 the 'should never have been made' is both entertaining and provocative. One can disagree with many of his nominations, but it is interesting to take issue with him. His dismissal and derision of Peter Pears as a Schubert singer verges on the vitriolic - it would have been offensive if one took it out of the context of this book, whose opinionated tone is a pleasure even when one disagrees with it.
The second half describing 100 great and 20 terrible recordings is an entertaining and well-written piece of criticism; for the most part Lebrecht's views won't ruffle the feathers of anyone familiar with Gramophone or the Penguin Guide but it is good to get some background to the recordings as well as some nice anecdotes, for example Jacqueline Du Pre bursting into tears after the first playback of her (famous and enduring) recording of the Elgar concerto and saying "That's not at all what I meant!".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Norman Lebrecht's (classic) book about the demise of the record industry is now out of print, but having located a copy,I believe it is still a great read! Read morePublished on 28 Oct. 2012 by Richard Francis
this book is a real joy - and the line about Peter Pears singing whilst critics are 'sitting in haemorrhoidal agony' is one of the funniest things i have ever seen in print and... Read morePublished on 29 July 2009 by Yenda M. Smejkal