Long one of the most important editors of music books in any language, Claire was a vice president at W. W. Norton & Company for many years, and initiated, inspired, and shepherded enormous numbers of books, many of them now legendary. She later remained active as one of the principals of Pendragon Press, founded by her and her husband, and fellow francophile, Barry S. Brook. After his death she continued the work with her brother, Robert Kessler. She was a refreshing fixture at all annual meetings of the American Musicological Society. A student of Nadia Boulanger, she was an excellent practical musician and published composer — as well as being a great hostess and welcome guest. I will always remember with gratitude both her and her husband for their interest in and kindness to me at times when they saw more promise in me than I detected in myself. Claire involved herself in many of my projects and saw that Pendragon Press published my recent book; Professor Brook (whom I never ventured to call Barry) directed me to people and ideas that have helped me lead a satisfying life in music. May they both rest in peace.

Just Got the First Copy!

March 16, 2012

From the back of the book:

At the age of 24, already a rising star of Barcelona’s musical life, Xavier Montsalvatge’s composing was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. When the war ended he quickly achieved critical and popular success in works that merged an attractive polytonality with rhythms and melodies derived from the Catalan experience in Cuba. But the spread of his music was seriously impeded by the policies of Francisco Franco’s decades-long dictatorship, which privileged a uniform cultural viewpoint throughout Spain. The regime persecuted representatives of Montsalvatge’s Catalan culture, forbidding many of its millennium-old manifestations and endeavoring to stamp out its very language. Despite this, Montsalvatge became one of Barcelona’s most influential cultural forces through his music and his music journalism. Now, a century after his birth and a decade after his death, as increasing worldwide attention is being focused on the large and attractive Montsalvatge catalogue, this first biography from outside Montsalvatge’s home circle introduces the man, his culture, and the breadth of his compositions to an international audience. It is a compelling story from one of the least-illuminated corners of 20th-century history.

If you should want a copy of your very own, they can be had here.

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