- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted February 8, 2004
Musical Complexity: Metaphor for Life's Experiences
The Student Conductor is as complex as the Brahms' Second Symphony. There is much about conducting that the student, Cooper Barrow, knows, but is afraid to realize in performance. The story is a trip thorough his understanding of the symphony and the down and dirty world of professional conducting. It is also a metaphor for his struggles with understanding his own demons, and the demons of others who are still haunted by their past. Cooper Barrow's past seems benign when compared to the complex and mysterious histories of his teacher, Herr Ziegler, and the beautiful oboist Petra Vogel. The tight story can be read in one setting, but I found myself rereading, often outloud, passages that were masterfully crafted and joyfully fitted for the plot. However, the reader must be prepared for the ambigious ending. Just as the music of Brahms can often be ambigious and open to many interpretations and levels of understanding, so is the ending. I reread it several times with the end result that I was as confused as ever. It finally occurred to me that the ambiguity was perfect for the story; as in music, life has few endings that are nice and tidy. The naive American caught in a changing landscape of post-cold war Germany finds that his perspective about music, life, love, and the past is forever altered. If you know music, especially if you are a professional or student musician, you will find that much of the story accurately reflects the isolated agonies and joys of learning and performing music...and living life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 12, 2003
Shattering, Beautiful, Musical.
If this novel did not have a masterfully intricate plot, intriguingly human characters, and the liquid, powerful feel of absorbing a symphony in bed, I would read it for the language. The language is such that occasionally I was stopped in the middle of an established rhythm to find myself rereading a sentence, struck by how perfectly it expressed itself. My only warning to a potential reader would be to wait until you're willing to spend some time with it. With work piling up on both sides, I sat down for a break with this book and read it in its entirety within the span of an afternoon, evening, and night. Having finished, I wanted to sit down with the author - or any of his characters - over coffee. Well written, Mr. Ford.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 19, 2003
A recommended book for music lovers
The Student Conductor was an excellent book. It was written in an eloquent fashion, and it inspired me to look into music more often. As a writer myself, i can say that this is an well thought out book for a brand new author. The main character, Cooper Barrow, is everything i could ever imagine in a man. Someone who works with music and is a gentleman. In this story, i could see myself being Petra Vogel, the women he falls in love with. As i read this book, i began to imagine myself in it more and more. I know music lovers around the world will adore this book. Note: This book deals greatly with music. I recommend this book for people who are familiar with music, otherwise you might not fully understand the meaning and jist of the book. Also content is for Mature Teen to Adult.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.