Wladyslaw Szpilman - The Pianist - Orion Publishing Group

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    • ISBN:9780753814055
    • Publication date:31 Dec 2002
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    • ISBN:9781780222684
    • Publication date:08 Dec 2011

The Pianist

By Wladyslaw Szpilman
Read by Laurence Dobiesz

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'You can learn more about human nature from this brief account of the survival of one man throughout the war years in the devastated city of Warsaw than from several volumes of the average encyclopaedia' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY.The bestselling memoir of a Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw against all odds.

The bestselling memoir of a Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw against all odds.

'We are drawn in to share his surprise and then disbelief at the horrifying progress of events, all conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close... riveting' OBSERVER

On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside - so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.

Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, THE PIANIST is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.

'The images drawn are unusually sharp and clear... but its moral tone is even more striking: Szpilman refuses to make a hero or a demon out of anyone' LITERARY REVIEW

Read by Laurence Dobiesz

(p) Orion Publishing Group 2018

Biographical Notes

Wladyslaw Szpilman was born in 1911. He studied the piano at the Warsaw Conservatory and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. From 1945 to 1963 he was Director of Music at Polish Radio, and for many years he also pursued a career as a concert pianist and composer. He lived in Warsaw until his death in 2000.

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  • ISBN: 9781409185116
  • Publication date: 09 Aug 2018
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: W&N
Vivid and anguished . . . compulsive reading — Richard Overy, Sunday Telegraph
You can learn more about human nature from this brief account of the survival of one man throughout the war years in the devastated city of Warsaw than from several volumes of the average encyclopaedia — Gerald Jacobs, Independent on Sunday
We are drawn in to share his surprise and then disbelief at the horrifying progress of events, all conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close . . . riveting — Lisa Appignanesi, Observer
This memoir of a Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw is one of the most powerful accounts ever written — Sunday Tribune
A compelling, harrowing masterpiece — Independent
A book so fresh and vivid, so heartbreaking, and so simply and beautifully written, that it manages to tell us the story of horrendous events as if for the first time . . . His account is hair-raising, beyond anything Hollywood could invent . . . Everything that has been most horrific in life in 20th-century Europe is encompassed in this exquisite memoir — Daily Telegraph
What really stays with the reader is the chilling, almost naive immediacy with which the story is told . . . The Pianist is an icy, nerveless but remarkably readable memoir that takes us as close as we are ever likely to travel to the day-to-day reality of living through terror — Sunday Times
The images drawn are unusually sharp and clear, but its moral tone is even more striking: Szpilman refuses to make a hero or a demon out of anyone — Literary Review
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