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 else’s 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 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
Indispensable to a world of lovers and
addicts of London as well as to those
researching classical musical subjects
of one sort or another. It’s 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.
review by Colin Scott Sutherland