PositiveThe Times (UK)Lucid and elegant ... Picking up on Debussy’s view that music is \'a matter of colours and rhythmicised time, Walsh admires his \'refusal to be bullied by history or its debris\'...A mighty bow to draw, you may think, but long before the end of this excellent book the reader may well be won over to that view.
RaveThe Times (UK)The piano that Paul Kildea takes to be the focal point of this excellent book is what Hitchcock called a McGuffin: a striking device to get the story started. The author doesn’t know what became of the keyboard after the war, and nor does anybody else. It could be a much-loved feature of a civilised home, or it could have been cut up long ago for firewood ... This is a wonderful book about music, musicians, cultural similarities and differences, the blood and gore of revolutionary times and the compensations of high art. Kildea writes with elegance and wit, and displays the kind of scholarship that does not come simply from mugging up on a few books.