Norman Lebrecht

Maestros, Masterpieces and Madness
  • Maestros, Masterpieces and Madness

  • Inflated egos. Corporate insanity. Slave labour. Sexual excess. Dazzling genius. Welcome to the world of classical recording.

    Maestros, Masterpieces and Madness is a sparkling exposé of the strange truth and sheer brilliance behind the classical music recording industry. Leading music critic Norman Lebrecht charts its rise since the great Caruso’s first gramophone bestseller of 1902 and predicts the industry’s imminent doom in the face of schmaltzy crossover albums and new technology. From the imperious Karajan to the perfectionist Toscanini and charismatic Bernstein, the leading figures are all here, depicted in witty, incisive pen portraits.

    Including Lebrecht’s own selections of 100 recorded masterpieces and twenty that should never have been made, this is a compelling story of flamboyant maestros, lifelong alliances, disastrous personality clashes and entrepreneurial masterstrokes.

Norman Lebrecht won the Whitbread First Novel Award for 2003 with The Song of Names. Born in London, Norman Lebrecht is Assistant Editor of the Evening Standard and presenter of on BBC Radio 3. He has written eleven books about music, translated into 15 languages, and is regarded as one of the foremost cultural commentators of our time.

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