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Rhapsody

by Robert Ford

1989, West Germany. For an American student conductor, his Svengali-style tutor and his East-German girl-friend, it is the winter of the soul. Will the fall of the Berlin Wall trigger their regeneration? If you love music and are stimulated by moral issues, this passionate and highly literate story is for you.

Extract

Seated on the tram home - the blessed, dry heat building up between stops - the feeling grew, the rush forward into space. A gaping suspension of the kind left open for miles by a composer like Mahler or Bach. The stubborn appoggiatura. Gutsy, painful and stupendous. In one mystifying act, Ziegler had handed him back his life - ninety minutes on the podium with Brahms' Second and a completely fine, fine orchestra - and now Barrow could not remember why he had ever left it, left New York, left Julliard and the possibility, the certainty, of success at the one thing he'd ever loved.

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