DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Guide | A Musical Reading List For The Labour Day Weekend

By Robin Roger on September 4, 2020

Image of Glenn Gould used under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

Even for adults, the Labour Day Weekend has a “back to school” feeling, so we include a book about learning in this list in addition to others to offer some consolation for the onset of autumn.

With Your Own Two Hands: Self-Discovery Through Music by Seymour Bernstein

As Ludwig Van’s recent report made clear, studying music is extremely beneficial to the brain. Always a worthwhile pursuit, it’s even more essential during the pandemic to safeguard your smarts. Long before the scientific studies began accumulating data to prove this, Seymour Bernstein understood the impact of studying piano on the whole human being. His book is a good place to start while you aren’t able to have lessons in person, and a worthwhile resource at any time. Watching Ethan Hawke’s documentary about the charming pianist, Seymour: An Introduction is a great prelude to the text.

Parallel Play by Tim Page

The memoir of this Pulitzer Prize winning music critic whose writing appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and other publications, is a frank description of growing up as a misfit in an era when eccentric children with obsessive interests and aberrant social behaviour were unjustly expelled, rejected and humiliated by their families and communities. The illumination provided by being diagnosed at age 45, with a form of autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome, allowed him to put his suffering into perspective, and to produce this thoughtful reflection on his atypical life, ten years after the diagnosis.

Glenn Gould: A Life in Pictures by Malcolm Lester, Yo-Yo Ma, and Tim Page

Tim Page, who forged a friendship with Glenn Gould, before the Asperger diagnosis existed, concurs with the posthumous view that Gould suffered from the same condition. But his understanding of Gould’s genius goes much further and deeper, as he makes clear in the introduction to this treasure trove of pictures of Gould. With a foreword by Yo-Yo Ma and captions by Malcolm Lester, literary advisor to the Glenn Gould estate, this is a perfect volume to peruse on the weekend before Gould’s birthday on September 11.

The Partnership: Brecht, Weill, Three Women and Germany on the Brink by Pamela Katz

Kurt Weill’s greatest talent was as a composer but his second greatest talent was for attracting stellar collaborators including Ira Gershwin, Ogden Nash, Maxwell Anderson and most famously Bertolt Brecht. This rich and vivid description of the life and times of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill provides the cultural, political, and romantic background to one of the most significant musical collaborations of the 20th century. The central role played by three women who supported, inspired and performed their work — Brecht’s wife, his mistress and Weill’s wife — is fully acknowledged and documented for the first time.

The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy

The charismatic composer, Albert Sanger, at the centre of this 1924 novel, is the father of seven neglected children who live with him in an isolated Alpine compound. (He is modeled after Augustus John, the British artist who was rumoured to have fathered 100 children). Composers, acolytes, and musicians flock to his chaotic family retreat, where his daughter forms a maniacal devotion to the junior composer Lewis Dodd. A pre-Nabokov depiction of an underage woman’s passion for a mature man, told from the perspective of the willing nymph, the novel has generated three movie adaptations and a stage play.

#LUDWIGVAN

Want more updates on classical music and opera news and reviews? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for all the latest.

Robin Roger

Robin Roger is a psychotherapist who emphasizes the importance of learning new things as part of developing and maintaining mental wellness.She is a committed amateur pianist as well as a writer, book reviewer and frequent contributor to Ludwig Van.
Robin Roger

Robin Roger

Robin Roger is a psychotherapist who emphasizes the importance of learning new things as part of developing and maintaining mental wellness.She is a committed amateur pianist as well as a writer, book reviewer and frequent contributor to Ludwig Van.
Robin Roger
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical Music Livestreams You Absolutely Need To See This Week (November 2 – 8)

By Joseph So on November 2, 2020

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of November 2 – 8.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

LEBRECHT LISTENS | A Look At Nadia Boulanger As Composer

By Norman Lebrecht on October 30, 2020

A new album pays tribute to influential teacher Nadia Boulanger, who counted Copland, Philip Glass and many other luminaries among her students.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

THE SCOOP | Tapestry Opera Launches Program Addressing Gender Imbalance In Classical Music

By Michael Vincent on November 10, 2020

Toronto’s Tapestry Opera has partnered with organizations across Canada to launch an innovative national conducting fellowship for female-identifying musicians.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.