A new book and some articles:

Shadow and Light

tippett photo In the heat of the Italian Mezzogiorno,  I've been drafting the outline of the first comprehensive biography of one of the two greatest British composers since the Second World War. I find it difficult to believe that no-one has yet undertaken the task but there are reasons. Ian Kemp wrote an impressive and exhaustive book in the 1980s but it's a musicological study and only 50 or so pages are devoted to his life and times. Tippett's autobiography Those Twentieth Century Blues was published twenty years ago and it has touching and revealing moments, particularly when he writes candidly about his sexuality but it's light years away from a full narrative of his life. So here is the introduction to the outline - the book is long overdue.  

July 31, 2011 No Comments > Read More

Wandering Jew: The Search for Joseph Roth

Vulitse Josefa Rota Wandering Jew: The Search for Joseph Roth by Dennis Marks Published on 3rd November 2011 by Notting Hill Editions To buy a copy visit: http://www.nottinghilleditions.com/books/show/168     "I am a vagabond. I have no friends, no relations. My solitude is immense, unbearable." (Letter to Benno Reichenberg) He was born at the turn of the last century on the dusty edge of Eastern Europe where the Empire of the Hapsburgs dissolved into the Empire of the Romanovs. He died forty four years later in a Paris sanatorium, round the corner from the Deux Magots, a rootless, stateless alcoholic. In between he wrote fifteen novels and novellas and some of the most potent and evocative journalism of the 1920’s and 30’s.    

June 24, 2011 6 Comments > Read More

The Search for Sepharad

interior el transito This book was due to be published at the end of 2008. It is developed from his Radio 3 series broadcast five years ago and is a journey through a hidden history – the story of the Sephardic Jewish diaspora. It is now being rewritten to focus on one particular aspect of the tale - the story of Sephardic Jews in the Ottoman Empire. It describes an alternative world where the conflict between Jew and Moslem was the exception rather than the rule. It conjures up centuries of commerce – intellectual, political and economic - between a migrant people and their hosts. It tells of ancient alliances between Moslem and Jewish societies across the trade routes of the Mediterranean, following in the tracks of the Jewish communities which took root there in the between the birth of Islam and the two world wars which redrew the maps of modern Europe and Asia.

April 26, 2007 3 Comments > Read More

Janacek’s Gypsy Love

ian bostridge cd3 The story has haunted me for nearly thirty years. It is a tale of forbidden love and multiple deceptions, of obsession, inspiration and betrayal. It concerns a great artist, an attractive woman and a mystery that has puzzled scholars for three generations. In 1917, the Czech composer Leos Janacek met and fell in love with a young Jewess Kamila Stösslova. He was sixty three and she was twenty five. He was locked in a loveless marriage; she was the contented mother of two little boys. After decades of neglect, he had at last become something of a celebrity. She was ...

March 13, 2007 No Comments > Read More