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Stories from A Book of Liszts

Variations on the theme of Franz Liszt

By John Spurling

Read by Jonathan Keeble and Jilly Bond
Piano – János Balázs
For audio clips, click Read more >>> below

Readings and music to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Franz Liszt.

John Spurling’s highly original novel, A Book of Liszts (Seagull Books May 2011), celebrates the extraordinary life of Franz Liszt – composer, conductor and virtuoso pianist – whose incomparable skill and personal charisma dazzled audiences all over Europe, from London and Paris to Berlin, Moscow and even Constantinople.

In an exciting collaboration with the Palace of Arts – Budapest, readings by Jonathan Keeble and Jilly Bond, accompanied by a new recording of 15 of Liszt’s piano works performed by the prize-winning Hungarian pianist, János Balázs, and recorded at the Palace of Arts – Budapest, bring the romantic and passionate genius vividly alive.

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A Journey through Italy

in the company of Dickens, Hazlitt,
Twain, and other travellers

Compiled by Martyn Wade
in collaboration with Catriona Oliphant

Read by Rachel Bavidge, Jilly Bond, Bertie Carvel,
Gunnar Cauthery, Jonathan Keeble, and Peter Marinker

For audio clip, click on Read more >>> below

‘Italy is the country to which a person borne down by care, or overworked by business, should resort. Its climate will serve as an anodyne to induce the required repose; and the happy faces that on every side present themselves will dispose to cheerfulness.’

Marguerite, Countess of Blessington – The Idler in Italy

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A Journey through France

in the company of Dickens, Thackeray,
Twain, and other travellers

Compiled by Martyn Wade
in collaboration with Catriona Oliphant

Read by Jilly Bond, Bertie Carvel, Gunnar Cauthery,
Jonathan Keeble, Peter Marinker, and Patience Tomlinson

For audio clip, click on Read more >>> below

‘Nous voilà! We are at Paris! The diligence has been travelling with extraordinary speed. The postilion cracks his terrible whip, and screams shrilly. The conductor blows incessantly on his horn; the bells of the harness, the bumping and ringing of the wheels and chains, and the clatter of the great hoofs of the heavy snorting Norman stallions, have wondrously increased within this, the last ten minutes; and the diligence dashes gallantly forward. What a capital coach! We will ride henceforth in it, and in no other!’

Thackeray – The Paris Sketchbook

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