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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

An Equal Music

This is a novel about a String Quartet group. Now, novels that revolve around the theme of Classical Music are as rare as their film counterparts, so every offering should be prized and given wide exposure. As it is, I read this a few years back following my encounter with the great "A Suitable Boy", Vikram Seth's unqualified masterpiece, one of the key novels of the 1990's. Well, the Quartet theme of this novel is quite apt, just like it's real life manifestation, the feeling is intimate, personal, and shows high contrasts between the group's players.

While Seth isn't a trained musician, he does state in his foreword his long-abiding love of classical, and has some close friends who are bona-fide performers. The portrayal of the modern artist is convincing in the day-to-day details, and will entrance anyone who has had the experience of learning an instrument.

The usual mythology of Classical Music is in abundance - we have lost manuscripts, impending deafness, immortal Beloveds - you know the score.

Verdict? not a Great work, more like a middling opus, good craftsmanship, but not inspired. You can check it out you know where, by clicking here.