I have been an ardent fan of classical music for almost 70 years now. For all of it, I have been so completely absorbed with the handful of composers and selected compositions that I grew up with, I never bothered to expand to others. I have no intention of abandoning those composers now, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Bach, Wagner and Verdi being among them. But after reading Robert Stove's book on Franck, for what may be the first time I have been forced to regret not having been exposed to his music, beyond his symphony, which I have always loved. Stove's book has, in fact, made me wonder just how much I have missed of the larger field of classical music.
Beyond that, I must say that there was much of the human emotion and drama that should hold the interest of any reader, even those who, like myself, have very limited knowledge of the fundamentals of music. I am a listener only, but despite the technical material in the book, I could hardly go a page without alighting on something that held my interest. Some of those interesting morsels involved the purely human, but others, the vicissitudes of the composer, including adverse reviews or opinions. I do enjoy music history, and the book is worth reading for that aspect alone. And finally, I also enjoy good writing, and this book is very well written indeed. There are, in fact, many reasons why almost anyone would find much to enjoy between the covers of this fine work.