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London - A Musical Gazetteer
by Lewis Foreman and Susan Foreman

Illustrations: 100 illustrations
Number of Pages: 352
Paperback
ISBN 0 300 10402 2
PRICE: £15.99
PUB DATE: 31 Mar 2005

I fully expect this book to have a long shelf-life in London.

It is the sort of book that will have a strong draw on niche market tourists on their own or somebody elseís cultural tour or pilgrimage.

It is not however an easily pocketable guide. The format is large paperback and the pages are not crowded with print. The book has a luxuriance which is belied only by the small print index; surely a mistake for those who are trying to trace people and places.

This compact and convenient guide to music in London features the sites where music flourishes or flourished. It details where leading musicians have lived or performed in the city - from Handel's house to Berlioz's rooms, from concert halls and recording studios to cathedrals and churches. It provides historical information on opera houses and theatres, recital rooms, conservatories, museums, libraries, galleries, graves, memorials and statues, orchestras, music publishers, and places of musical interest in the greater London area. The book includes biographical accounts of some 125 composers and musicians who inhabited or visited the city.

The authors provide interesting musical walks, an historical overview and the most thorough account yet published of musical compositions evoking London. Highlights within the text present information on many topics such as the music Wagner conducted in London in 1855, the organists and choirmasters of the cathedrals, and recording sessions of Gershwin and Stravinsky. With maps, bibliography, web addresses, information on transport and access and an extensive index, this unique confection is enhanced with many striking illustrations.

Indispensable to a world of lovers and addicts of London as well as to those researching classical musical subjects of one sort or another. Itís a book you can rely on too; the credentials of the authors are clear enough from their bibliography but many of us will know or know of Lewis Foreman well. There are times when he seems to be the dynamo that has driven the renaissance of British music.

Rob Barnett

see also review by Colin Scott Sutherland

 


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