Sam Leith

Books Podcast: music, doomed love, and Nazis with Paul Kildea

Books Podcast: music, doomed love, and Nazis with Paul Kildea
Text settings
Comments

It’s a first for the Spectator Books podcast this week: music! We’ve temporarily dispensed with our usual intro jingle to allow this week’s guest, Paul Kildea, to play us in. Paul’s new book Chopin’s Piano: A Journey Into Romanticism is a fascinating and unusual piece of non-fiction that sheds light on Chopin’s life and music, and on their afterlife, as its author pursues an Ahab-like pursuit of the piano on which he composed his Preludes in Majorca. I spoke to Paul at the Royal Overseas League in London, so that with the help of their instrument, he could punctuate our conversation with some musical illustrations of his points. Bitter musical disputes, doomed love, George Sand and Nazis: this one, I think, has it all.