on July 29, 2010
Terry King's new, exhaustively researched and intricately detailed biography demonstrates why Piatigorsky was one of the giants of classical music from the early part of the twentieth century until his death in 1976. This book contains extensive first-person accounts by legendary figures in the music world and a great many heretofore-unpublished photographs, as well as reproductions of documents, including concert programs, letters from colleagues, publicity materials and other rarities. The narrative contains vivid descriptions and accounts of many other great artists with whom Piatigorsky collaborated, including Heifetz, Milstein, Horowitz, Rubinstein, Furtwaengler, Rachmaninov, Hindemith, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, Celibidache and many, many others. The authenticity of the historical accounts in the book, based almost exclusively on primary source material, is beyond dispute. That alone would make this one of the most authoritative works on any musician available today. But King has also included sections containing the recollections of the man by colleagues and students (many of whom are today well-known artists in their own right today) that give dimension and to the vivid character of an extraordinary artist and human being. This book is a must for any serious lover of classical music.
on September 5, 2010
This handsome, admirably researched biography of one of the two greatest cellists in the 20th century, is also a joy to read. Terry King, the author, was a pupil, teaching assistant and protege of Piatigorsky. He had the full cooperation of the Piatigorsky family as well as input from friends and colleagues. Pages and pages of wonderful vignettes, playbills, photos and letters, many never in print before. Fascinating tales of Piatigorsky's association with the big names in 20th century classical music: Bartok, Stravinski, Rachmaninov, Horowitz, Schnabel, Heifitz, Milstein, Szigeti, Casals, Furtwangler, Klemperer, Koussevitzky and hordes of others. What a life and what a wonderful human being! A real Horatio Alger story too. Or, maybe a Dickens novel, especially Piatigorsky's early days in pre-revolutionary Russia and the early USSR. The book is beautifully organized and is in tight sections which make it easy to put it down (though you don't want to) and pick it up easily where you stopped. A model of what a biography of classical musicians should be.
on October 18, 2010
Terry King's biography of Gregor Piatigorsky is extremely well-researched.
King cronicles Piatigorsky's life from a struggling artist to a musical legend. The combination of twentieth-century European history, the struggles of Piatigorsky, and the accounts of other artists of his time is woven into a fascinating story.
This compelling book probes into the charismatic, inspirational personality of Piatigorsky, set against a background of one of the most tumultuous times in our history.