Pianist Madeleine Forte's story is one of obstacles and successes, of extraordinary talent, and of a long and fascinating life of international study and performance.
Born in Vichy-controlled French Algeria during World War II, she began learning to play the piano at an early age and was soon performing publicly. She made her debut in Vichy at thirteen while studying with Alfred Cortot and Wilhelm Kempff.
As a young woman, she went to boarding school in Algiers and Paris, continuing her musical studies. She married young, and the marriage fell apart not long after the birth of her first son, Yann. As she continued to travel, studying and performing, she struggled to establish herself as a professional artist. She studied with Rosina Lhévinne and Martin Canin in New York, married again, and became a professor of music at Boise State University. Her second marriage brought another son, Olen, and lasted fourteen years. After her second divorce, she moved to Connecticut, where she met Allen Forte, her third husband. They collaborated on several artistic projects and performed all over the world.
This memoir tells the story of how a little girl with a big talent overcame myriad challenges and found the courage to achieve artistic success and personal happiness.
"At a time when national styles have all but dissolved into a generalized international goulash, Forte's gorgeous tone and sensuous line evoke classic French pianism ... her Maurice Ravel holds its own against interpretations by many of her more celebrated peers, from the chaste simplicity of the Sonatine to the virtuosic 'Gaspard de la Nuit,' in which no prisoners are taken and no notes are dropped."
-The New Yorker
"Madeleine Forte is another master of the French School ... She plays Debussy in a manner that would do her old master Cortot proud, with a clear-eyed vigor, pearlescent tone, and attention to detail that does not belie the emotional content of the music but only makes it more coherent."
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.35(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A dazzling story of a true artist and pianist, Madeleine Forte. What makes this book extraordinary is the author's gift for depicting her contemporary friends and musicians ( who happened to be some of the most famous pianists and teachers who ever lived such as Cortot, Kempff and Rosina Lhevinne) with brutal honesty and charm. It is also a story about a difficult journey an artist must take, a journey of accidental choices and realities one must accept, and one's struggle to make the best of the least desirable situations and times, a story about a strong spirit who never gives up her needs to create and share her soul and music with the world. Fascinating and inspirational. A MUST not only for musicians!
Madeleine Forte's autobiography/memoir, Simply Madeleine, is a heartwarming and immensely interesting account of the life of a woman who lived and worked on four continents in a number of countries. Anyone interested in classical music and the life of a musician during the latter half of the 20th century will be fascinated with this book. The list of musicians that Madame Forte interacted with reads like a veritable who's who of some of the most prominent musical personalities of that era. One doesn't need to be a classical music aficionado to enjoy this book. There are so many other aspects of it that will entrance the reader, giving particular insights into the lives and fortunes of ordinary and extraordinary people during wartime and the years following when the world was open to all kinds of possibilities that a young French woman took advantage of to her own benefit. Simply Madeleine is a memoir of passionate self-revelation that the reader will follow with increasing enthusiasm. An added feature: the wonderful photos that are included, each one worth the proverbial "thousand words."