In this spellbinding novel, written in Albania and smuggled into France a few pages at a time in the 1980s, Ismail Kadare denounces with rare force the machinery of a dictatorial regime, drawing us back to the ancient roots of tyranny in Western Civilization. During the waning years of Communism, a young worker for the Albanian state-controlled media agency narrates the story of his ill-fated love for the daughter of a high-ranking official.
"Three Stories, Each Unique"
A slave determined to gain freedom, a widow battling poverty and despair, a man of God grappling with spiritual and worldly troubles, and a former Confederate soldier seeking a new life. They lived in the South during 1865 - a year that saw war, disunion, and slavery give way to peace, reconstruction, and emancipation. Between January and December 1865, these four people witnessed, from very different vantage points, the death of the Old South and the birth of the New South. Civil War historian Stephen V. Ash reconstructs their daily lives, their fears and hopes, and their frustrations and triumphs in vivid detail.
"Excellent audio book"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the most astonishing child prodigy in the history of music, is felt by many people to be the greatest composer who ever lived. Dominated and shaped by a highly intelligent but frustrated and ambitious father, his story sees the development of a unique genius, from precocious and often endearing childhood to liberated fulfillment, unexpected poverty, and a tragically early death. Generously illustrated by Mozart’s music, from his fifth to his final year, this portrait-in-sound reveals a fascinating yet elusive character, drawing richly on the words of the composer himself and those who knew him.
"Mozart, oh Mozart"
Brahms is one of the best loved yet most controversial of all the Romantics. Almost uniquely, his works have never suffered the slightest period of eclipse. Profoundly emotional yet governed by an iron discipline, the music, like the man, is a fascinating, entertaining, often deeply moving blend of opposites. He had a gift for friendship and a capacity for love far beyond the ordinary, yet no man could be ruder or more hurtful.
This 19th century French thriller tells of the mysterious Erik, grotesque and elusive "phantom," who hides himself from the world in the labyrinthine bowels of the Paris Opera and entices with his angelic voice the beautiful opera singer Christine. Her abduction prompts a dramatic search not only for her, but also for the truth about her strange captor.
Set against the music we know and love, Mozart, Beethoven, and many more come alive through their correspondence. Poignant, funny, revealing, informative and so often direct and honest, these letters offer a fascinating insight into the personalities that created our Western musical tradition.