Vladimir Feltsman presents insights drawn from a lifetime of devotion to music: as a student, a teacher, a performer, and a recording artist. Beginning with his early days studying the piano in the Special School for Music in Moscow, he writes compellingly about his experience of becoming a professional musician and passing along what he learned to the next generation. Along the way, he sheds fascinating light on what it was like to pursue his vocation in the former Soviet Union, including eight years of artistic exile after he was refused permission to emigrate.
In addition to these personal reflections, the book reproduces the highly informative “liner notes” Feltsman provided for many of the recordings in his extensive discography, ranging from Bach’s Goldberg Variations to the 20th-century compositions of Soviet Russia’s “forgotten” composers.
A final inclusion is the text that Feltsman, a renowned Bach specialist, wrote to accompany a performing edition of The Well-Tempered Clavier, offering both an expansive overview and detailed analysis of each of the preludes and fugues.