A Devil to Play: One Man's Year-Long Quest to Master the by Jasper Rees

By Jasper Rees

within the days sooner than his 40th birthday, London-based journalist Jasper Rees trades his pen for a French horn that has been amassing dirt within the attic for greater than twenty-two years, and, on a lark, performs it on the annual competition of the British Horn Society.

regardless of an embarrassingly bad functionality, the adventure conjures up Rees to embark on a frightening, weird and wonderful, and finally profitable trip: to come back to the competition in a single year's time and play a Mozart concerto—solo—to a wide paying viewers.

A satan to Play is the genuine tale of an not likely midlife situation spent conquering 16 toes of wrapped brass tubing generally considered as the main tricky device to grasp, in addition to the main treacherous to play in public. it's the background of man's first musical tool, a compelling trip that strikes from the partitions of Jericho to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts membership Band , from the looking fields of France to the center of Hollywood. And it's the account of 1 man's mounting musical obsession, advised with pitch-perfect wit and an indisputable charm—an endearing, inspiring story of perseverance and fulfillment, relayed masterfully, one side-splittingly off-key be aware at a time.

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Extra info for A Devil to Play: One Man's Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra's Most Difficult Instrument

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I have to play the Romanze. Out loud. Now. There is no point in equivocating about nerves. If I don’t get up and play, I will lose an astonishing amount of face. Even more face than if I do get up and play. It’s an emergency. I have no alternative. To hand is the New Person’s mother, who is a pianist. I’ve got the accompaniment in my case. We have played through it a couple of times, round at her place. She takes her seat at the piano. “And here’s something I prepared earlier,” I announce over the hubbub.

I got up to five hundred at one point. I was always out of breath, so that didn’t work, so I had that operation where they cut your stomach in half. And I got a hundred and fifty pounds out of that. So now I’m three-fifty. Half that fucking stomach weighed a hundred and fifty pounds, goddammit! ” Another man mountain I meet is Lowell Greer, the most distinguished soloist in America on the early, so-called natural horn. He is an extremely tall and, despite the heft of his stooping frame, soft-spoken man with a thick beard and dark pebbly eyes.

Vegetius added a cautionary note for anyone involved in musical signaling as part of military maneuvers. “These rules,” he warned direly, “must be punctually observed in all exercises and reviews so that the soldiers may be ready to obey them in action without hesitation according to the general’s orders either to charge or halt, to pursue the enemy or to retire. ” No one has ever put it better: practice—or die. “30/6/75. ABIDE WITH ME. Pg 14. ” I made my concert debut on Music Open Day. The music classroom was in an annex of the church round the corner from the school.

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