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From Boulanger to Stockhausen

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There are wonderful gems between the covers. Serious musicians -- professionals and otherwise -- are apt to find Varga's conversational approach refreshing. Equally welcome are the many informative footntotes. The memoir, covering both personal and professional aspects of Varga's life, is as touching as it is informative. INTERSECTIONS: CANADIAN JOURNAL OF MUSIC Keeping us in touch with now-deceased public figures [Strauss, Elgar] and their memories is a significant part of this book. . . The dialogues cover a nice mix, ranging from internationally renowned musicians who have been kindly treated by posterity to those who will be known but whose standing, even when alive, was somewhat peripheral. To have Alois Haba, Ernest Bour and Hans Swarowsky in their own words makes this hardback of particular value. It all helps light up the past. The way Varga sets the scene for each interview . . . helps the reader "eavesdrop" on the conversation. Varga's own reminiscences, occupying some 100 pages, make for interesting reading. BBC MUSIC MAgazine This selection of interviews from 1966 to 2008 includes material of value for piano lovers, such as an account from the violinist Tibor Varga of Bartok's performances of Bach: Intriguing book. INTERNATIONAL PIANO MAGAZINE Covering 50 years of great music-making, [. . .] essential reading. [Five stars: highest rating] CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE A living link with the 20th century's leading composers and musicians. BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE An important document for new generations of musicians and music lovers. --Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhauskapellmeister, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig This is a book of voices. We hear great musicians speaking with fresh immediacy, each of them introduced by a pen-portrait at once incisive and sympathetic. But we hear also the intimate voice of the one who observes and listens, the author of this astonishing book, in a moving memoir of a childhood in communist Budapest and a working life promoting the music he loves. --Paul Griffiths, author of The Substance of Things Heard: Writings about Music (URP 2005) Balint Andras Varga is one of the great listeners in the recent history of music. Surging toward sound on every silent page, this book is a major document both of the century now past and of the century unfolding. --Alex Ross, music critic, The New Yorker

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