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Seeking the Infinite Paperback – August 31, 2011
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About the Author
Dr. Frederick E. Harris, Jr., is music director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Wind Ensemble and Festival Jazz Ensemble. He has recorded for the Innova, Albany, and Half Note labels. Dr. Harris’ first book, Conducting with Feeling, was published by Meredith Music in 2001. He lives on Cape Cod with his ornithologist and artist wife, Becky, and their daughter, Abbie.
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Alas, the prose isn't distinguished, nor half-as-good, as Osborne's or Heyworth's, but the facts are all there as well as an attempt to explain the driving force of Skrowaczewski's musical aspirations. There's also a good selection of photos and a complete discography.
Actually, I feel uncomfortable describing S, as a "minor conductor" because I think his Bruckner cycle is one of the very best available. Strange how he and Tintner, another "minor", recorded such superb Bruckner, the latter late in life after an unjustly obscure career--and come to think of it, Tanya, Tintner's widow, also wrote a long biography of her ambivalent husband that's better written than the book under review.
Still, I'd suggest anyone who likes Skrowaczewski's. Bruckner and Beethoven recordings (not to mention Ravel, Bartok, and Shostakovich) buy this biography because I think you'll find it entertaining and informative..
This extensive review of the long life of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, from Poland via Paris to Minneapolis, Manchester and Tokyo, is the result of long and painstaking research by Dr Frederick Harris. It will give readers a truly deep perspective of the underlying character of this fine musician, whose approach to all that he performed always showed devotion and personal commitment to the composer. It is highly commended.
Dr J D Park
Manchester, United Kingdom