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Linda

Utah Granny who loves to knit, golf, do genealogy, cook, garden, read and be with family. Yes, I am a Mormon and glad to be.

Holladay, UT, United States | Member Since 2007

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  • The Secret Piano: From Mao's Labor Camps to Bach's Goldberg Variations

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Zhu Xiao-Mei
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (76)

    Zhu Xiao-Mei was three years old when she saw her first piano. Soon after, the child began to play, developing quickly into a prodigy who immersed herself in the work of such classical masters as Bach and Brahms. Her astonishing proficiency earned her a spot at the Beijing Conservatory at the tender age of 11, where she began laying the foundation for a promising career as a concert pianist. But in 1966, with the onset of the Cultural Revolution, life as she knew it ended abruptly.

    Vira says: "Music, Philosophy, and Life"
    "Touching and Sad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As the other reviewers have said Zhu Xiao-Mei had a great love for music and a determined need to grow in her art but her avoidance of affection for her family is sad. She loved her grandmother when a child but was alienated from her through the political situation in China. Her family was untrusting of each other as a result of the despotic where total loyalty to the state was demanded. They were not allowed to show physical love or sorrow even in a long term departures. The book was all about her need for music. She wasn't able to work on her human relationships as hard as she worked on her art. She didn't mention what happened to her husband of convenience or any other love relationships. The book would have been more interesting if she hadn't been so guarded but she was so brainwashed as a child it was probably impossible to express her deep feelings.

    Watch her on you tube playing the Goldberg variations they are amazing as she has such little hands to be able to play so well and with such tender feelings. Number 7 is my favorite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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