Fernando: Beethoven of the Guitar. Book I: Youth, Celebrity, & War

by Lou Marinoff

Historical fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Fernando: Beethoven of the Guitar. Book I: Youth, Celebrity, & War

A rich and vibrant masterpiece based on the greatest guitarist-composer of his time.

‘Fernando: Beethoven of the Guitar’ by Lou Marinoff is an interesting historical piece. Using fictional threads to “connect the dots” of a very real life, this book is both informative and entertaining and the first in a trilogy that shines a light on guitarist-composer Fernando Sor. The story flows through the famed Spanish composer’s early life, patronages, his participation in the Napoleonic Wars and his escape to France. 

Because Fernando became such a notable figure in Spain at the time, this is not just the story of one man. The author has skilfully woven the macrocosm of Spanish history and Napoleon’s many wars and ambitious plans for Spain into the story of this classical composer. I think, because of the author’s ability to weave in so much detail about the wider context and setting for the first part of Sor’s story that it would appeal to history fans, classical music fans, art historians and those who enjoy reading historical fiction. As the author says himself “where history is mute, creativity can speak” and in ‘Fernando’ creativity is an apparently seamless (to a layperson anyway) restoration on a brilliant though perhaps not well-known musical figure. 

‘Fernando’ is cleverly and artfully written. The storyline is fluid and manages to engage while ever expanding to create a rich and vibrant masterpiece based on the greatest guitarist-composer of his time.

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Fernando: Beethoven of the Guitar. Book I: Youth, Celebrity, & War Synopsis

Fernando: Beethoven of the Guitar portrays the incredible life and enduring legacy of Fernando Sor (1778-1839), the greatest guitarist-composer of his era, and the first to elevate the guitar from the taverns of Spain to the concert halls of Europe. Book I of this trilogy recounts Fernando’s enchanted childhood in Barcelona and Montserrat, his meteoric rise to fame in Madrid, his friendship with Francisco de Goya, and his patriotic response to Napoleon’s diastrous invasion of Iberia.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781954968066
Publication date: 22nd April 2021
Author: Lou Marinoff
Publisher: Waterside Productions
Format: Paperback
Primary Genre Historical fiction
Other Genres:

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Lou Marinoff Press Reviews

Beautifully written and meticulously researched … a fascinating account of the amazing life of Fernando Sor, the greatest virtuoso and composer in the history of music for guitar.

— Santiago del Rey, Editor and Translator, Barcelona

A magical and wondrous tale, and a treat for the senses, restoring Fernando Sor to his rightful position as a ‘son of Spain’ who took the guitar to unimaginable heights.

— Michèle de Gastyne, President, Musique Universelle Arc-en-Ciel, Paris

Both an act of love and an act of homage, this romantic historical novel reveals Marinoff as a spellbinding storyteller. The sheer range of reference is immense; a truly inspiring read.

— Colin Clarke, International Classical Music Critic, London

Fernando is a tour de force. So vivid is the style, Marinoff’'s great love and affinity for Sor are evident throughout. Bravo on an engrossing account of this fascinating genius!

— Maestro Cesare Civetta, Founder and Music Director, Beethoven Festival Orchestra, New York

All classical guitarists know how important Sor was to their world, but this book goes far beyond that … a most enjoyable and informative read for people from all walks of life.

— Peter McCutcheon, Professor of Classical Guitar, The University of Montreal

A delightful embroidering of a history, through a Europe you probably didn’t know much about, with a level of gusto that is unlikely to be equaled. Hats off to Marinoff for this astonishing book!

— Jan Narveson, Ph.D., O.C., Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Waterloo, and President, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society

A rare triumph that combines historical fiction with philosophical romance. Lou Marinoff offers us a virtuoso performance, entwining music, mystery, and metaphysics in a gripping tale.

— Makarand R. Paranjape, Ph.D., Professor of English Literature, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla

Marinoff conveys the spirit, manners, and social conditions of a past age with realistic detail and fidelity, framed in beautiful prose … a welcome and exceptional gift.

— Juan Carlos Mercado, Ph.D., Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies, Center for Worker Education, The City College of the City University of New York

Lou Marinoff, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at The City College of New York, and an internationally bestselling author. He publishes scholarly works, popular philosophy books, and fiction.

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781954968066
Publication date: 22/04/2021
Format: Paperback

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