Music & Silence Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Nov 2001
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Music and Silence is a wonderful, joyously noisy book." - Steven Poole, The Guardian She is the best historical novelist of her generation. She evokes the past with sensuality, wit and superb sleights of hand." - A. N. Wilson, Evening Standard The delicacy of this haunting, mythical novel is beautifully complemented by the three-voice narration and the intermittent Dowland and Byrd. It creates the mesmerising, unhappy worlds of Christian IV's Denmark, where his musicians play unseen in chilly cellars, and of crazed Count O'Fingal's Ireland, where he pursues a tune heard in his dream. - Rachel Redford, The Observer Rose Tremain is an even more arresting and atmospheric writer than Zafon, and much better at intricate plots. Her Music and Silence is told from three points of view, made more vivid on audio by the use of three narrators: Michael Praed, who projects the eccentric but guilt-haunted King Christian IV of Denmark (1577-1648), Alison Dowling, horrid as his strident, sex-obsessed consort Kirsten, and Clare Wille as the gushingly romantic Francesca, Countess O'Fingal. Linking them all is the lute player Peter Claire (cue apt Naxos lute music by Dowling and Byrd) and his ill-fated affair with Emilia, Kirsten's companion. - Christina Hardyment, The Times English lutenist Peter Claire performs in the royal orchestra of King Christian IV's 17th-century Danish court, stirring the hearts of the principal women in this novel. Royal family dynamics are interwoven with love and lust as Claire catches the eye of the king and achieves a far-flung influence on a number of fronts - his political clout reaches from a widowed Irish countess of Spanish origins to the workers in the Scandinavian silver mines. Chapters are interspersed with delicate lute chords, and the alternating voices of the readers animate the narrative of each of the main characters. Feminine and breathy, Alison Dowling and Clare Wille give velvety, expressive voices to the female characters' tales. Michael Praed's strong, unaffected speech depicts the intensity and desperation of the characters he portrays. Mortal danger and the prospect of tragedy build as the narrators deliver their spirited array of voices. - A.W. A(c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPTEMBER 2009] --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From the Back Cover
"The best historical novelist of her generation. She evokes the past--with sensuality, wit and superb sleights of hand." - A. N. Wilson
"Lyrical, voluptuous--splendid--A sumptuous drama lit by the glamorous torchlight of the courtly past." - Sunday Times
"Historical fiction so epic in scope and so moving and imaginative that the reader lives a second life." - Time Out
"Superb--a wonderful, joyously noisy book." - Guardian
"Tremain's achievement in Music & Silence is extraordinary--A narrative as funny as it is compelling." - Daily Telegraph
"Magnificent--shot through with Tremain's unique blend of psychological acuity and charm." - The Times--This text refers to the Audio CD edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Peter, the English lutenist, finds himself cast as the King's "angel" when King Charles becomes moody and distressed by his personal loneliness and the impending poverty of his kingdom. At the same time Charles is perilously besotted with the charms of an adulterous Kirsten. Not particularly kingly, Charles IV is rather a sad lump, much in need of aid in any form; he receives this help through the gracious character of Peter Claire.
Then there is Emilie, Kirsten's lady, who wins Peter's heart at their first meeting. But this is not an easy romance, as Queen Kirsten has chosen Emilie as her most trusted lifetime companion. When Kirsten is inevitably banished from the Court for her outrageous misdeeds, she takes Emilie to live in the country as well, now Kirsten's only friend and solace. A durable soul with misplaced loyalty, Emilie becomes an unknowing pawn to the selfish woman's whims.
Will the King find happiness and riches sufficient to support his faltering economy? Will Peter and Emilie be forever lost to one another through Kirsten's machinations? By design, the novel moves from place to place, scene to scene, with seemingly unrelated characters. They are, in fact, all moving toward the resolution of the carefully woven plot, and precise detail lends an appealing ambience to the Court. The answers fall gracefully in line in this meticulously manicured maze where the author remains in control throughout.
The tales of the various personalities in this novel are expertly woven and while there is hate and destruction, there is also kindness, true love and some sweet (albeit late) revenge. The reviewer who wrote that this was the stuff of fairy tales has it right. Although this is a fairy tale, it is so well written that the reader can hear the sweet calm of the chamber players' music, can smell the virgin forests in which King Christian and his dear boyhood friend, Bror learn about life and loyalty, and can rejoice in the few moments of true passion in this novel. A wonderful tale of old, very well written, with an excellent story
The book's central character is Peter Claire, an English lutenist, who, in 1629, arrives at the palace of King Christian IV of Denmark to join the royal orchestra. Things are not quite what Peter expected, however, and he is more than surprised when he learns the king requires his orchestra to perform in a freezing cellar, among a group of squawking hens, while the orchestra's exquisite music floats up to the Vinterstue via a series of trapdoors and pipes.
Although Peter Claire is the central figure in this novel, there are many others whose stories are no less important. One of these stories belongs to Kirsten Munk, wife of Christian IV and the "almost Queen" of Denmark. Kirsten despises music and chooses to spend her time either dreaming of the Swedish Count Otto or frolicking with him, whichever the case may be.
Kirsten's favorite lady-in-waiting, Emilia Tilsen, also plays a very important role in this magical book, for Emilia Tilsen and Peter Claire fall in love at first sight on the grounds of Rosenborg, the palace that Christian built for his unfaithful wife. But will Peter's and Emilia's love be allowed to blossom or will it wither on the vine? When the adulterous Kirsten is banished from court, she takes Emilia with her, thus jeopardizing the young girl's future happiness with the English lute player.
Music and Silence is also the story of the beautiful Irish countess, Francesca O'Fingal, a Bologna-born Italian beauty whose husband, Johnny, is the subject of a metaphorical subplot. We learn his story from Francesca via her notebook, aptly named, "La Dolorossa.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I am very happy with the book I have purchased though Amazon. It arrived on time and it was in good condition , as advertised. Thank you.Published 11 months ago by Anamaria
This book weaves together separate stories of people who rise and fall from power, who have tremendous voice and then none, and vice versa. The book is lyrical, lovely ... Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2014 by Kellie Garrett
I loved reading this book. It is thoughtful,sexy and divine all at once. I found myself underlining bits of insightful wisdom and wishing the story and characters could go on... Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2002 by Lois Minsky
Rose Tremain has developed into a first-rate historical novelist. <Restoration,> which she wrote a decade earlier, was her first strictly historical novel and <Music and... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2001 by Bruce Kendall
Setting the stage in a cellar in the midst of 17th century Denmark, a somewhat deranged monarch assembles some of Europe's best musicians to entertain him year round. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2001 by An 11-year old reader
I am not really sure why i like this book so much. It is an interesting setting, 17th centurty Denmark, and i always enjoy a good flash of a unique historical setting. Read morePublished on June 23 2001 by Yogi Trout Bear
I would never read a novel in "historical romance" genre, which is what I assumed _Music and Silence_ was when I first saw it in paperback while living in the UK last... Read morePublished on June 7 2001