Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible :
The Guardian editor's account of a remarkable musical challenge during an extraordinary year for news
As the editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger's life is dictated by the demands of the twenty-four-hour news cycle. It is not the kind of job that leaves time for hobbies. But in the summer of 2010, Rusbridger determined to learn, in the course of a year, Chopin's Ballade No.1 in G minor, one of the most beautiful and challenging pieces ever composed. With passages that demand feats of memory, dexterity, and power, even concert pianists are intimidated by its pyrotechnical requirements.
Rusbridger's timing could have been better. The next twelve months witnessed the Arab Spring and the Japanese tsunami and were bookended by The Guardian breaking two major news stories: WikiLeaks and the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. It was a defining year for The Guardian and its editor
In Play It Again, Rusbridger recounts trying to carve out twenty minutes a day to practice, find the right teacher, the right piano, the right fingering - even if it meant practicing in a Libyan hotel in the midst of a revolution. He sought advice from legendary pianists, from historians and neuroscientists, and even occasionally from secretaries of state. But was he able to conquer the piece?
A book about distraction, absorption, discipline, and desire, Play It Again resonates far beyond the realm of music, for anyone with an instinct to "wall off a small part of . . . life for creative expression."NOTE: This is a Scratch and Dent book and may have noticeable dents, scratches and various other cosmetic issues as well as torn or missing dust jacket. These items are only guaranteed to be structurally complete and readable and therefore are sold as is.
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