A Devil to Play: One Man’s Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra’s Most Difficult Instrument by Jasper Rees

bookshelves: published-2008, under-500-ratings, radio-4x, spring-2015

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from May 16 to 25, 2015


Description: In the days before his fortieth birthday, London-based journalist Jasper Rees trades his pen for a French horn that has been gathering dust in the attic for more than twenty-two years, and, on a lark, plays it at the annual festival of the British Horn Society.

Despite an embarrassingly poor performance, the experience inspires Rees to embark on a daunting, bizarre, and ultimately winning journey: to return to the festival in one year’s time and play a Mozart concerto—solo—to a large paying audience.

1/5: The author and journalist embarks on ‘One Man’s Struggle with the Orchestra’s Most Difficult Instrument.’ Read by Nicholas Boulton.

2/5: The scale of the ambition dawns on him

3/5: to America.

4/5: school days and a disasterous performance

5/5: the big performance

Rees seems to prefer looking backwards, rediscovering his Welsh roots, and revisiting his school day horn lessons.

2.5* Bred of Heaven: One man’s quest to reclaim his Welsh roots
2.5* A Devil to Play

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