One Finger Too Many

One Finger Too Many

Hardcover(1 ED)


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One Finger Too Many by Alfred Brendel, Richard Stokes

This deceptively slight volume is proof that not only good but excellent things often come in small packages. A master of the piano, Alfred Brendel here turns in a deft performance as poet, building fantastic little "word machines" of extraordinary tensile strength. We are drawn immediately into a fun-house world of suspicious but wondrous goings-on: The supernumerary index finger of the pianist in the title poem, we're told, sometimes pointed out "an obstinate cougher in the hall/or emerged from beneath his tailcoat/beckoning a lady in the third row." Elsewhere, Beethoven, disguised as Salieri, poisons a sleeping Mozart and skulks away clutching, forever, Mozart's greatest possession—the key of C minor. And the conceptual artist Christo wraps the Three Tenors on the balcony of La Scala.

These constantly surprising poems enchant even as they sting, revealing the light (and dark) side of Alfred Brendel, one of the world's greatest musicians. His followers will have to have this book, but so will anyone
who enjoys readable poetry touched by a divine madness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375502934
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/23/1999
Edition description: 1 ED
Pages: 68
Product dimensions: 5.46(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Alfred Brendel was born in 1931 in Moravia. He is one of this century's most widely respected pianists and classical recording artists. Among Mr. Brendel's numerous awards are honorary doctorates from London, Oxford, and Yale universities. He has also published two collections of essays about music. One Finger Too Many is his first book of poetry in English.

Richard Stokes teaches languages at Westminster School, London. His most recent book is A French Song Companion, written with Graham Johnson. His translation of Wagner's Parsifal will premiere soon at the English National Opera.

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