Snippet: Xavier Güell’s “Memory’s music” – on seven composers

Xavier Güell, La música de la memoria [Memory’s music], 2015, 479 p.

The publisher’s summary:

La Música de la Memoria is a novel that narrates in first person the confessions of Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Wagner and Mahler. Their witnesses of life and creation are braided in a bow that follows with a passionate throb the course of the whole 19th century until reaching the dawn of the 20th. It’s the age of Romanticism where the life and death, love and loneliness, joy and desperation of its protagonists clear up in a convulsive whole, creating situations that could all have been true.

Written by the director Xavier Güell, a connoisseur of the lives and works of the composers that star in the book, La Música de la Memoria enables music lovers and general readers to intimately get to know seven of the greatest musical geniuses of all times.

And at the same time it asks fascinating and decisive questions: who was Beethoven’s «immortal love»? Was Schubert gay? Why did Schumann accept his wife Clara’s love of Johannes Brahms? Why did Liszt end up within the Catholic Church? Did Mahler want to burn his Tenth Symphony? As Oscar Wilde said, «music is the art that is most nigh to tears and memories.»

The book has received a lot of attention and a very positive reception by the critics.

SOURCE: Galaxia Gutenberg; review by J.E. Ruiz-Domènec, “Cultura/s”, La Vanguardia, May 9, 2015, pp. 8 – 9 (printed edition).

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