Pianist Dmitry Paperno--born in Kiev, in what is now Ukraine, in 1929--wrote this memoir in order to tell the world about his teacher at the Moscow Conservatory, the great Alexander Borisovich Goldenweiser. And he succeeds, memorably and movingly. He also tells us about life in the Soviet Union as a boy during World War II, as a student in Stalin's terrors, and as a young soloist when even being permitted to play concert tours abroad was no Shield against overcrowding and official suspicions at home. He gives his readers an inkling of life as an emigrant, and the hardships of a very different kind he and his wife and daughter faced when they came to the United States in 1976. Among the most valuable aspects are his discussions on the nature of being a musician, and what that involves in terms of work, commitment and sheer talent. First published in Russian, Paperno's book now appears in a new English edition that retains its Russian flavor. An epilogue brings events up to The present; happily, he seems to have adjusted to life in the West, although His concert career has been brought to an end by physical problems with His hands. This is a book with a great deal to offer anyone with an interest in classical music or life in the Soviet Union. As useful adjuncts to the book, it should be noted that Paperno has Several compact discs in print on the Cedille label. Some of his finest recordings from his days as a Soviet Artist have just been remastered and rereleased to accompany the publication of this book. Called Recordings of a Moscow Pianist, it includes fine renditions of Liszt, Chopin and Brahms, and helps to illustrate some of his points about making music. In fact, one could wish the publisher had included a copy of the disc with the book. --Sarah Bryan Miller
The rich musical life of Moscow is displayed in these memoirs where formidable Russian pianists take the world by storm, revealing by their virtuosity and musicianship the continuation of a great pianistic tradition. Dmitry Paperno was a witness to a golden age of the piano, when the celebrated schools of Moscow produced a stream of great pianists - Gilels, Richter, Ashkenazy - and he tells his, and their, stories here. HARDCOVER.
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