The University of Wisconsin Press
Music / Biography
Grace Notes for a Year
Stories of Hope, Humor and Hubris from the World of Classical Music
"The book is instructive, to be sure, but it is also as much fun as a barrel of organ-grinders."
This irresistible collection of stories is perfect for anyone interested in a fresh perspective on what it means to be a human being who creates art. Grace Notes for a Year sheds light on the fragile and perilous process of inspiration, composition, and performance required to create classical music, whether the final product is a masterpiece or a mess. Each page of the book corresponds to a different day of the year and features a true story about a famous figure in musical history. These delightful anecdotesinspirational, informative, and often hilariousdisprove the myth of the artist as untouchable. Instead, Norman Gilliland exposes in them human vulnerability we can all relate to. From Beethoven to Wagner, these artists suffered from poverty, spent lazy days in bed, had scandalous love affairs, and often failed in their creative endeavors as often as they succeeded.
"This is a moving and revelatory portrait of 'ordinary' working people's quest for beauty, and, in this case, classical music and musicians who find themselves worthy of it."Studs Terkel
"Grace Notes for a Year is a delightful collection of musical trivia, except that it really isn't so trivial. Recounted in a lively fashion by Norman Gilliland, the vignettes provide fascinating glimpses behind the façade of official music history; they show composers and performers, sometimes thought of as cardboard heroes, to be flesh-and-blood human beings with everyday concerns." Peter Schickele
Norman Gilliland has hosted weekday classical music broadcasts since 1977, beginning in Florida and continuing in Wisconsin. He is the creator of Grace Notes, which has become a daily feature on a number of public radio stations nationwide, and is the author of Midnight Catch, and an historical novel, Sand Mansions, also distributed by the University of Wisconsin Press. He lives in Madison, WI.
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LC: 2001119571 ML
408 pp. 6 x 9
Paper $19.95 t
Distributed for NEMO Productions, Madison, Wisconsin
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Updated May 22, 2012© 2012, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System