US experts compliment my book

31 Jan

img038I’ve had two terrific and unsolicited American assessments of my book ‘A Lasting Record’, which is released officially in Australia tomorrow.

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.


One Response to “US experts compliment my book”

  1. Gordon Evans 13 February, 2013 at #

    I read your book “A Lasting Record” within three days of purchasing it. It brought up many memories for me. I was a schoolboy at the time of Kapell’s death, and although I was not a concert goer then, the accounts of his demise affected me. I did not hear any of his broadcasts as I was not a keen listener to the ABC except for the English comedy shows on Sunday nights. However, I was very familiar with the 18th Paganini variation because it was used by MGM in 1953 as the theme music for a movie called ‘The Story Of Three Loves’, and there was much airplay of this on commercial radio. On page 183 of your book, the account of the PMG department’s role with the ABC is incomplete, and you might have been misinformed. The PMG did much more than supply outside lines. At the time, national broadcasting was achieved by an uneasy marriage between the two bodies; the ABC supplied the talent and all the arrangements that went with it, and the PMG provided all the technical facilities. PMG engineers designed and built the studios and PMG technicians operated the equipment for broadcasts. It was a clumsy business, which was changed after the introduction of television. For TV, the ABC formed its own technical department, and, shortly after the commencement of TV, the ABC took over the technical functions for radio as well. I remember it well because I was a PMG engineer who tried to transfer to ABC radio, was selected for a position, but could not take it up as the bureaucracy would not permit it.

    I never met Roy Preston, but I knew the late Peter Inglis and other members of the sound recording institute.

    Thank you for writing such an interesting and moving book.

    Gordon Evans

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