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Great Composers: Reviews and Bombardments by Bernard Shaw Hardcover – July 1, 1978
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He is a great read on Mendelssohn whom he disparages partly by contrast with Verdi, for whom his enthusiasm, as one dramatist's for another, is obviously deep as well as strong. (Please do not take me as endorsing such views as 'ratings'.) The great phrases and sayings are scattered broadcast over the pages of this book of selections, one that has lodged firmly in my solar plexus being from his obituary on Rossini -- 'I will not say "God rest his soul" for he had none'. In the final reckoning Shaw's writings on music are great entertainment, nowhere better than on the English professorial school -- how do we know that Dr Parry is a great composer? - because Dr Stanford and Professor Mackenzie tell us. And who is Dr Stanford to say? - well, he is vouched for by Professor Mackenzie and Dr Parry. And what are Professor Mackenzie's credentials? - they come from the irrefutable testimony of Dr Parry and Dr Stanford. One detail I don't understand is why the immortal review of Parry's 'Job' is printed without its immortal caption 'A Bad Oratorio'.