Customer Reviews for

Sonata Mulattica

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted June 20, 2009

    If you read only one new poetry book this year, this one should be it!

    Dove, already known as one of our greatest contemporary poets, has surpassed herself with this amazing feat. In a series of carefully crafted poems, she recreates the life of George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower, son of a black father and a white German-Polish mother, who grew up in the late 18th century on the Esterhazy estate in Hungary, where the estate's resident composer and "bandleader", Franz Joseph Haydn, recognized the child's talent on the violin; Bridgetower was just 5 years old at the time. At the age of 9 his father took him to Paris (mere months before the Revolution), where he became an instant sensation; even Thomas Jefferson attended one of his concerts (fact), and Dove, in her moving poem "What Doesn't Happen", imagines Jefferson being accompanied by the teenage Sally Hemings (fiction, most likely). Bridgetower Sr., who bills himself as an "African prince" (he descended probably from black Caribbean slaves), then tries his and his son's luck in England, where little George comes under the tutelage of the fun- and arts-loving Prince of Wales (later King George IV.). In Dove's poems London (and Bath and the seaside resort town of Brighton) of the late 18th century really come alive, and I bet many of the poems, like the villanelle (kind of) "Black Billy Waters at His Pitch", would also be appreciated by readers who are not terribly versed in reading verse (excuse the pun). In 1802/1803, George Bridgetower -- now by all accounts an extremely good-looking young adult of mixed race -- takes leave from the English court to first visit his mother and brother in Dresden (!), and then to continue his travels on the Continent by looking up Ludwig van Beethoven in Vienna. Beethoven, who is about to go deaf, is taken with Bridgetower's talent on the violin. He interrupts his work on the "Eroica" and, in red-hot inspiration, writes one of his greatest shorter masterpieces for his new friend: the Sonata No. 9 in A major, op. 47. Bridgetower premieres it in a morning outdoor concert, with Beethoven at the piano, to great acclaim on May 24, 1803; Beethoven, at one point, even jumps up from the piano to embrace his "lunatic mulatto". What happens then -- the falling out between the two -- has only been recorded as a "saucy remark" George, apparently a success with the ladies, makes over a girl. Ludwig, infamously unlucky in love, takes offense, severs his friendship with the young man he had just called his "dear fellow", tears up the sonata's original dedication and rededicates it to the violinist Rudolphe Kreutzer, who actually despises and never plays it. Dove, in an ingenious stroke, treats the end of the relationship with a verse play in the middle of the book, which gives the tragic moment a farcical twist that works remarkably well. Bridgetower, his "tail tucked", returns to England, where gets a degree in music from Cambridge and plays the violin in the royal orchestra while living to the ripe age of 80. (He dies in poverty, though.) Amazingly, even after her hero's great moment in Vienna, Dove manages to tell the rest of his life and times in gripping, beautiful poems, followed by 7 (seven!) stunning epilogues, the last one ("The End, with MapQuest") her own contemporary reflection, in which she addresses both Bridgetower and Beethoven and asks the latter: "Ah, Master B, little great man, tell me: How does a shadow shine?&

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1