Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Music in the House of Wittgenstein

This looks to be a great read.

I've long admired Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy (at least his later work), and I've been intrigued by Paul Wittgenstein, a pianist who lost his right arm in World War 1, who nonetheless went on to pursue an international concert career. Many great composers of the last century composed works for him -Ravel, Prokovieff, Britten, Korngold, and many others.

So it was with no small interest that I cam across mention of a new book titled "The House of Wittgenstein" in the Times Review.

"Alexander Waugh's rich and wide-ranging study, The House of Wittgenstein, weaves together the stories of many of Ludwig's siblings and other relatives, but at its core is the biography of the pianist Paul Wittgenstein...Paul, the closest sibling in age to Ludwig, had some of his younger brother's qualities: asceticism, an iron will, an inability to dissemble, and a sometimes comical unawareness of how the world worked."
Read the rest here.

It's going straight to the top of my reading list for this fall.

Check out this remarkably comprehensive website dedicated to music for the left hand. The site also includes a biographical sketch of Paul Wittgenstein -to whom the site is dedicated.

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