Goodbye Russia: Rachmaninoff in Exile

Product Details
$29.95  $27.85
Pegasus Books
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author
Fiona Maddocks is the classical music critic at the Observer. She was founding editor of BBC Music magazine and chief arts feature writer for the London Evening Standard, and has written for numerous other publications. She is the author of Hildegard of Bingen: The Woman of Her Age; Harrison Birtwistle: Wild Tracks--A Conversation Diary with Fiona Maddocks; and Music for Life.
"Fiona Maddocks draws on archival materials including newly translated ones, as she paints a riveting portrait of the Russian composer's struggles to adapt to a new life outside his beloved homeland. A fan's affectionate ode to Rachmaninoff, Goodbye Russia provides a spirited tour through the evolution of his music while he was in exile, as well as a glimpse of the cultural history of classical music in the early to mid-20th century in the U.S." --BookPage
"An entertaining and humanising portrait of a shy, stiff, kindly giant of a man who channelled his emotions into his music. Maddocks has eschewed a cradle-to-grave approach. By presenting a series of snapshots from different angles, she avoids the deadening chronicling of the successive concert tours that were a feature of Rachmaninoff's life . . . delightful."--Rupert Christiansen, The Literary Review
"Classical music critic Maddocks details in this captivating biography the fascinating and traumatic life of Russian composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff. Maddocks provides an up-close portrait of an influential musician and the shifting cultural climate in which his legacy was shaped. Classical music lovers will be engrossed."--Publishers Weekly
"Fiona Maddocks provides an extremely insightful and thoroughly readable appraisal of the trials and tribulations that [Rachmaninoff] faced during this problematic period Five stars *****"--BBC Music Magazine
"The man that emerges from Maddocks's account is reserved, if not shy, surprisingly partial to fast cars and speedboats and consumed with a longing for Russia."--David Mills, The Sunday Times
"Orbiting Rachmaninoff is a motley cast of characters, both celebrated and unknown. It is one of the triumphs of the author's meticulous research that she brings them to life with such vitality, from the heights of Prokofiev's rivalrous ambition to the loyal piano technician from the Bronx who followed "Rocky" from performance to performance."--The Financial Times
"Fiona Maddocks's Goodbye Russia is a superb portrait of the misunderstood composer . . . Maddocks is a deft narrator. She dissolves into her story, surfacing only in wry asides and a tender, precise arrangement of material that builds to a deeply moving climax."--Alexander Coghlan, The Sunday Telegraph
"A genial story, well told."--The Spectator
"An engaging account of resilience and regeneration, of fast cars and slow cooking, of a man who struck roots wherever he went in untouched corners of the human soul. Fiona Maddocks quietly reframes Rachmaninoff's context as a man of the world--belonging not to Russia or America but to civilization as a whole, basking in its inventions and distractions, balancing life's joys and sorrows in his ever-enduring concertos."--The Wall Street Journal
"In Maddocks's gentle recounting, Rachmaninoff--a livid presence in absentia in Soviet Russia--was by 1940 celebrated but passe in the United States. To this familiar overview, Maddocks adds a trove of anecdotes and documents. The picture that emerges of Rachmaninoff in exile is by no means insular."--The American Scholar