A Devil to Play: One Man's Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra's Most Difficult Instrument (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 6, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
18 Reviews

In the days before his fortieth birthday, London-based journalist Jasper Rees trades his pen for a French horn that has been gathering dust in the attic for more than twenty-two years, and, on a lark, plays it at the annual festival of the British Horn Society.

Despite an embarrassingly poor performance, the experience inspires Rees to embark on a daunting, bizarre, and ultimately winning journey: to return to the festival in one year's time and play a Mozart concerto—solo—to a large paying audience.

A Devil to Play is the true story of an unlikely midlife crisis spent conquering sixteen feet of wrapped brass tubing widely regarded as the most difficult instrument to master, as well as the most treacherous to play in public. It is the history of man's first musical instrument, a compelling journey that moves from the walls of Jericho to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, from the hunting fields of France to the heart of Hollywood. And it is the account of one man's mounting musical obsession, told with pitch-perfect wit and an undeniable charm—an endearing, inspiring tale of perseverance and achievement, relayed masterfully, one side-splittingly off-key note at a time.

  

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

User Review  - Carmen - Goodreads

I thought this book was very boring. It is about a man who plays French horn in school, then gives it up. 22 years later, inexplicably, he takes it up again. There is no apparent reason for this. For ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Jim - Goodreads

A cheeky story of one man's obsession with the French horn. Jasper takes us along on his year-long odyssey to the stage, while giving us an interesting crash course on the history of the instrument. From the Bible to Beowolf, Mozart to the Beatles and Hollywood, it's all here. Read full review

Contents

Exposition
1
In the Beginning Was the Horn
21
The Ipso Factor
41
Who Is This Bethover?
59
Ass Ox and Fool
117
Hold It Like a Man
155
Without Fear of Death
185
The Act Youve Known for All These Years
249
The Pass Door
279
Bibliography
305
Index
313
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

A journalist with two decades of experience, Jasper Rees has written for The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, the Evening Standard, and The Times. He lives in London.

Bibliographic information