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Sleeping in temples

Sleeping in temples

Tomes, Susan, author

In several decades as a distinguished classical pianist, Susan Tomes has found that there are some issues which never go away. Here she takes up various topics of perennial interest: how music awakens and even creates memories, what 'interpretation' really means, what effect daily practice has on the character, whether playing from memory is a burden or a liberation, and why the piano is the right tool for the job. She pays homage to the influence of remarkable teachers, asks what it takes for long-term chamber groups to survive the strains of professional life, and explores the link between music and health

Hardback, Book. English.
Published Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2014
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – One available in Main Collection 781.7/TOM

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00278573 Main Collection 781.7/TOM Standard Available


Statement of responsibility: Susan Tomes
ISBN: 184383975X, 9781843839750
Physical Description: 256 pages ; 23 cm
Subject: Chamber music; Music.; Musicians.; Musicians


  1. Prelude
  2. Giving People Memories
  3. The Right Tool for the Job
  4. Play the Contents, not the Container
  5. Temps Perdu
  6. Raw Materials
  7. 'Interesting things happen when you deny people the consolation of technical excellence'
  8. Plugged In
  9. Fashion Parade
  10. Enigma Variations
  11. Old People
  12. What is Interpretation?
  13. Bullfrogs
  14. The Iceberg
  15. Starting and Beginning
  16. Light and Heavy
  17. Music hath Charms
  18. Coda


Those bewitched by Tomes's three previous books can prepare for bewitchment all over again ... Fascinating and revealing insights into the business of being expected to memorise music in the solo context ... Editor's Choice (Five Stars) CLASSICAL MUSIC(Susan Tomes's) penetrating intelligence is refreshing in a discourse often reduced to cliché and lazy generalisation ... One has only to think of Tomes's exceptional playing to understand why her faith still burns bright. (Four stars) BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE Sleeping in Temples is a captivating reverie of a book. INTERNATIONAL PIANOA book that exudes the same warmth and passion for her subject, and life in general, that shines through her much-admired work as a solo and ensemble pianist. THE SCOTSMANIt is exactly these kind of insights that can give audiences a sense of the musician as human ... And it's exactly why candid books like Sleeping in Temples are so necessary.THE HERALDI don't usually 'judge a book by its cover', but in this case the cover is a lovely place to's beautiful and credited as a photograph by the author, Susan Tomes. Initially unsure whether the book would be a group of lectures, anecdotes or theories, I ended up feeling I had had a few wonderful conversations, full of humour and insight, a very rewarding read...This is not a solid, solemn book. Anything but. LONDON CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY NEWSLETTERThere is a clarity and directness to this book that opens it to music lovers and makes it useful for performers. The writing is full of vivid anecdotes and Tomes proves herself to be a master storyteller throughout.Tomes's dedication to her art is a message to us all. SCOTTISH JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCEStimulating, insightful, full of ideas and passing anecdotes ... on events drawn from her long career, Tomes brings to the page the same care, fastidious attention to detail and immaculate phrasing that she brings to her keyboard-playing. GRAMOPHONE(Tomes) has put in print many of the important thoughts that are in the forefront of a performer's mind and in doing so has left a legacy for the next generation to read and explore. Recommended. CHOICEChristmas Books Choice, BBC MUSIC MAGAZINETop Ten Books of the Year, CLASSICAL MUSICOne of the Books of the Year, Sheena MacDonald - THE HERALDRecommended by Alex Ross, THE REST IS NOISE BLOG