They come from experts in the field — Tim Page, a former New York Times music critic, and Donald Manildi, curator of the International Piano Archives at the University of Maryland.
‘A Lasting Record’ is the eerie and tragic story of William Kapell (pictured), America’s best home-grown pianist , who died in an air crash in 1953 after an arduous Australian tour for the ABC. Fairly recently — and found only by accident — amateur recordings of Kapell’s concerts in the Melbourne Town Hall proved his genius. They were cut by Roy Preston, the head of Myer’s cosmetics counters, an eccentric music -lover.
Tim Page called ‘A Lasting Record’ ‘fascinating’, a book that was ‘scholarly, impassioned and good storytelling’. Donald Manildi found the book ‘difficult to put down’. It offered ‘much interest both to pianophiles and to the more general readers’. My research had been ‘diligent’, he added, and the book contained a ‘wealth of vivid detail’.
‘A Lasting Record’ should be in any good Australian bookshop and costs a cent under $30, even cheaper online. And it’s out as an e-book.