Title: The Young Reader's Guides to Music (III): Nutcracker & Swan Lake
Author: William Appleby & Frederick Fowler
Illustrator: Audrey Walker
Year: 1961
Binding: Hardback
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Book Condition: Like New
Jacket Condition: N/A


Description: Two of Tchaikovsky's most famous ballets are retold in this rare and charming book. Each of the stories ends with a chapter entitled The Music, which – apart from containing extracts from the ballet in the form of a musical score – provides a fascinating insight into the transition from story to ballet. Some of the musical instruments used are also described, as are the various extracts. For example: "From beginning to end [the 'Chinese Dance'] goes, 'pom-pom, pom-pom, pom-pom, pom-pom' on the bassoons, reminding you of a Chinaman waddling about." Note the derogatory adjective used to describe a Chinese native!

Illustrated throughout with beautiful b&w drawings which really capture each story's essence. Pastedowns and endpapers feature scenes from each of the two stories in blue monochrome.

Glazed pictorial boards are in superb condition: spine and corners are straight. Does not appear to have been issued in a dust jacket, as the price of '8s. 6d. net' is printed on the rear cover. Internally, the book is effectively in the same condition in which it left the publisher 50 years ago! The pages are crisp, clean, very tightly bound, and there isn't so much a speck of foxing to be found. Only the gutter has a hint of tanning; the pages themselves are white.

A fine collector's copy.

Measures 21.5 cm × 15.5 cm (8.6″ × 6.2″). 8vo. 57 pp.

Price: £30.00

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