Rhapsody by Robert Ford

Rhapsody

Robert Ford

1989, West Germany. For an American student conductor, his Svengali-style tutor and his East-German girl-friend, it is the winter of the soul. Will the fall of the Berlin Wall trigger their regeneration? If you love music and are stimulated by moral issues, this passionate and highly literate story is for you.

Extract

Seated on the tram home - the blessed, dry heat building up between stops - the feeling grew, the rush forward into space. A gaping suspension of the kind left open for miles by a composer like Mahler or Bach. The stubborn appoggiatura. Gutsy, painful and stupendous. In one mystifying act, Ziegler had handed him back his life - ninety minutes on the podium with Brahms' Second and a completely fine, fine orchestra - and now Barrow could not remember why he had ever left it, left New York, left Julliard and the possibility, the certainty, of success at the one thing he'd ever loved.

Parallels
  • An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
  • The Invention of Dr Cake by Andrew Motion
  • The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard

Books with similar mood

Florida

Lauren Groff

Long Black Veil

Jennifer Finney Boylan

Endgame

Ahmet Altan

Nowhere People

Paulo Scott

Private Life

Jane Smiley

The Second Life of Samuel Tyne

Esi Edugyan

The Dream of Scipio

Iain Pears

Sunset Oasis

Bahaa Taher

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

Such Small Hands

Andrés Barba

Mistress

Anita Nair

The Story of You

Julie Myerson

Soul

Andrey Platonov

Maya

Jostein Gaarder

The Wasting Game

Philip Gross

The Blind Assassin

Margaret Atwood

Beast

Paul Kingsnorth

Thus Bad Begins

Javier Marías

My Dearest Jonah

Matthew Crow

South of Centre

Andrea Carter

The Good Muslim

Tahmima Anam

From the Mouth of the Whale

Sjon -

Gold Dust

Ibrahim al-Koni

The English Years

Norbert Gstein

Tricks of the Light

Alison Fell

Austerlitz

W G Sebald

The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches

Gaetan Soucy

The Lost Souls' Reunion

Suzanne Power

Red Dust

Gillian Slovo

The Insult

Rupert Thomson

Horse Latitudes

Jay Merrick

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Ocean Vuong

Tirzah and the Prince of Crows

Deborah Kay Davies

The Forgetting Time

Sharon Guskin

I Am Forbidden

Anouk Markovits

Stabat Mater

Tizanio Scarpa

The Spanish Bow

Andromeda Romano-Lax

The Gift of Rain

Tan Twan Eng

Cosmopolis

Don DeLillo

Sex and Genius

Conrad Williams

My Phantom Husband

Marie Darrieussecq

When We Were Orphans

Kazuo Ishiguro

The Lake

Daniel Villasenor

Once Upon a River

Diane Setterfield

Istanbul Istanbul

Burhan Sönmez

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid

Eve Out of Her Ruins

Ananda Devi

Sea Lovers

Valerie Martin

The Buried Giant

Kazuo Ishiguro