Waterside Productions Announces Lou Marinoff's New Book "Fernando: Beethoven of Guitar"
A virtuoso composer, performer, and singer, as well as a devoted teacher, Fernando elevated the guitar from the taverns and street corners of Spain to the most prestigious concert halls and palaces of Europe. He was patronized by royalty, lionized by music-lovers, adored by women, and idolized by guitarists.
Fernando's gifts were first revealed at age five, when his parents took him to the Italian opera. He later taught them its arias from memory, correctly disentangling the harmonies. This led to his musical instruction in the famed Benedictine monastery on the "magic mountain" of Montserrat.
At age seventeen Fernando composed an opera in the Italian style, Il Telemaco, which was performed to great acclaim in Barcelona. This led to his sponsorship by the Duchess of Alba, the richest and most ravishing woman in Spain. A guest in her Madrid palace, he met and befriended the immortal painter Francisco de Goya. Fernando was commissioned to compose for a host of Spanish Grandees. But he soon became enmeshed in the intrigues of the decadent Bourbon court, and its jealous Queen.
Napoleon's 1808 invasion of Spain, and the ensuing Peninsular War, devastated the country and derailed everyone's lives. Fernando fought bravely against the French, and wrote popular patriotic songs, but he also embraced the values of the Enlightenment. When reactionary King Ferdinand VII was restored to the throne in 1813, thousands of Spanish liberals, including Fernando, were exiled. So he eloped with his childhood sweetheart Joaquina, and moved to Paris.
Thus concludes Book One of the trilogy.
This novel resuscitates the dry bones of history by adorning them with human flesh and blood; it animates otherwise bland facts with a pounding heartbeat and a surging pulse; it restores remote events to an all-embracing immediacy; it revivifies long-dead names with vibrant personalities and enduring passions. Fernando takes the reader on a political, artistic and romantic thrill-ride, seamlessly weaving history, biography, and musicology with inventive literary fiction.