A Devil to Play: One Man's Year-Long Quest to Master the - download pdf or read online

By Jasper Rees

ISBN-10: 0061626619

ISBN-13: 9780061626616

ISBN-10: 0061725064

ISBN-13: 9780061725067

within the days sooner than his 40th birthday, London-based journalist Jasper Rees trades his pen for a French horn that has been amassing airborne dirt and dust within the attic for greater than twenty-two years, and, on a lark, performs it on the annual competition of the British Horn Society.

regardless of an embarrassingly terrible functionality, the event evokes Rees to embark on a frightening, strange, and finally successful trip: to come to the pageant in a single year's time and play a Mozart concerto—solo—to a wide paying viewers.

A satan to Play is the genuine tale of an not likely midlife trouble spent conquering 16 toes of wrapped brass tubing extensively considered as the main tricky device to grasp, in addition to the main treacherous to play in public. it's the historical past of man's first musical software, a compelling trip that strikes from the partitions of Jericho to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts membership Band , from the looking fields of France to the guts of Hollywood. And it's the account of 1 man's mounting musical obsession, instructed with pitch-perfect wit and an indisputable charm—an endearing, inspiring story of perseverance and success, relayed masterfully, one side-splittingly off-key notice at a time.

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Additional resources for A Devil to Play: One Man's Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra's Most Difficult Instrument

Sample text

He muses. “It was an accident, I suppose. I had played violin, rather precociously, commencing at the age of four years, learning by rote, as my ability to read anything was not yet developed. At six years, I had an accident with the left hand. My mother pleaded with the doctors not to amputate. They complied, but the left hand has always been clumsy, or at least that’s my excuse. When entering the seventh grade, at twelve years of age, I was required to be in the school band. Picking out an instrument was pure accident.

No puffing: that was a golden rule. The idea, I was told, was to produce a buzzing sound. What it actually produced, at least to start with, was saliva. I irrigated the carpet. After a few buzzes, he whipped out a small metal mouthpiece from the case and made me blow through it until my face started to settle into the right shape. Then he attached the mouthpiece to the horn. The initial task of any horn student is to send out a search party and look for a middle C. It’s the note that’s easiest to find.

A prize captured from the barbarian enemy, it found itself trudging along one of those roads that increasingly led to Rome. When the defeated hordes were paraded through the streets of the city, one of the spoils of victory displayed to the baying populus was this vanquished instrument of terror. As the republic became an empire, the instrument tasted further defeat when Julius Caesar subdued Gaul and Claudius subordinated Britain. The karnyx is still being depicted as booty on the column erected in Rome in honor of Trajan’s victories over the Dacians early in the second century ad, more than three hundred years after the events described by Polybius.

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A Devil to Play: One Man's Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra's Most Difficult Instrument by Jasper Rees

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