The Music Monster: A Biography of James William Davison, Music Critic of The Times of London, 1846-78
Davison was not known for pulling any punches in his assessments of new music; he once described Liszt's music as "hateful fungi." This biography of his life includes numerous excerpts of his writings about Beethoven, Berlioz, Bizet, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Verdi, Wagner, and others. As an example, this excerpt (from page 38) offers some insight into the conducting technique of Richard Wagner: "This short, spare man, capacious of forehead, has the oddest way with the baton....Wagner's reading of Mendelssohn's music may be signalised in a sentence -- Get to the end as quickly as possible."
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