Here’s a book I enjoyed. Why Handel Waggled His Wig is a about six great composers written for children by the brilliant cellist, Steven Isserlis. It follows on from his equally fun-style Why Beethoven Threw The Stew.
Isserlis is a great cellist and he writes as he plays, boldly and brassily. We are told his pieces have been examined for authenticity by a team of eminent musicologists. Was that really necessary?
The composers in Handel’s Wig are: Handel, Haydn, Dvorak, Schubert, Faure and Tchaikovsky. Plenty of variation and eccentricity there.
Kate Kellerway writes for Guardian Unlimited: “From the moment I started this book, I was entertained and laughing aloud. If, like Handel, I had an enormous white wig with which to react, I would definitely be waggling it enthusiastically right now. Steven Isserlis is a gifted cellist, but there is no reason at all to assume that he can, therefore, write. But this is the thing; as a writer, he turns out to be a natural, although not exactly normal.”
The book is published by Faber.