Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible

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Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
6.38 X 9.26 X 1.44 inches | 1.38 pounds

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About the Author

Alan Rusbridger has been the editor of the Guardian since 1995. Born in Northern Rhodesia, he was educated at the University of Cambridge and lives in London.


"This wonderfully illuminating and entertaining chronicle shows Mr. Rusbridger's incredible dedication and energy in pursuing the mastery of an iconic Chopin piano work. He is an amateur of the piano in the way that we all should be--he truly loves the music and the instrument. I am inspired by his example." --Emanuel Ax

"This is not only the diary of a sixteen-month challenge but also an extended essay on beauty, memory, and performance; on time and how we use it; on work and what we do it for. A wonderful book." --Sarah Bakewell, author of How to Live: or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer

"Music is not just for professionals. It is a universal art form--to be treasured, shared, and enjoyed by amateurs. Play It Again is the inspiring story of how an exceptionally busy editor makes the time in his life for the piano--and one piece in particular, the fearsomely difficult Chopin G minor Ballade No. 1. If it encourages others to find the space for music, I, for one, would be extremely happy." --Daniel Barenboim

"This captivating book masquerades as the journal of a magnificent obsession, but you soon realize that it's wider-ranging than that, and far more endearing. The story pivots on a feeling that many of us share: a deep and abiding love of music coupled with a daydreamer's challenge to master one truly great work. With an exegetical discussion of Chopin's masterpiece, Alan Rusbridger insists we step inside the music with him and consider the score with the probing mind of a dedicated amateur. A remarkable tour de force." --Thad Carhart, author of The Piano Shop on the Left Bank

"In this dazzling, dizzying memoir, one of the world's leading newspaper editors tells of learning to play Chopin's formidable Ballade No. 1 in G minor against a backdrop of phone hacking and WikiLeaks espionage. The day-to-day counterpoint of piano practice and breaking news is a compositional feat in itself: you have the impression of a wide-awake, fearless mind." --Alex Ross, author of The Rest Is Noise