The Ensemble

The Ensemble

A Novel

eBook - 2018
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"A riveting look inside the world of classical musicians and an intimate study of friendships." —Marie Claire"Pitch-perfect." —PeopleThe addictive novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of classical music and their complex relationships with each other, as ambition, passion, and love intertwine over the course of their lives.Jana. Brit. Daniel. Henry. They would never have been friends if they hadn't needed each other. They would never have found each other except for the art which drew them together. They would never have become family without their love for the music, for each other.Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; on the viola is Henry, a prodigy who's always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest and an angry skeptic who sleeps around; and on first violin is Jana, their flinty, resilient leader. Together, they are the Van Ness Quartet. After the group's youthful, rocky start, they experience devastating failure and wild success, heartbreak and marriage, triumph and loss, betrayal and enduring loyalty. They are always tied to each other - by career, by the intensity of their art, by the secrets they carry, by choosing each other over and over again.Following these four unforgettable characters, Aja Gabel's debut novel gives a riveting look into the high-stakes, cutthroat world of musicians, and of lives made in concert. The story of Brit and Henry and Daniel and Jana, The Ensemble is a heart-skipping portrait of ambition, friendship, and the tenderness of youth.
Publisher: 2018
ISBN: 9780735214781
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Pâtissier
May 31, 2019

So-so. Relatively well-written but the prose is a bit laboured, like the product of someone who has taken creative writing classes (as she has). I read "Educated" after this. Now there is a natural, born writer!!

l
Lindaleyva
Apr 19, 2019

If you like Chamber music, each section of this book has a list of the works that this fictional group is preparing to perform during the period addressed in the story. They are all fabulous works, worth listening to.

DPLjennyp Jul 26, 2018

One of my favorite reads of this year. Gabel's insights on human-nature are far beyond her years.

b
brangwinn
Jul 07, 2018

This was an interesting look into the classical musical world and the dedication it takes to make a quartet work as a team. If you’ve read my other reviews, you know that I don’t have much patience for people who “just need to get on with their lives”, but as I pondered the four people in this novel I realize I’ve never had the passion about something, and their passion for music is foremost in their lives.

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WoodneathAngie
Jun 21, 2018

I loved following the ups and downs of this string quartet--each with their own temperaments and talent levels. Through it all, there is an undercurrent of whether the group will achieve success, and if they'll stay together. I've never been a musician, but this book gave such insight into the musicians' experience--the way it changes your body, the joy, the monotony, the pain, the moments of transcendence.

x
xiaojunbpl12
Jun 21, 2018

Brilliant debut!
Music can only be felt, no linguistic equivalent. But the author took the challenge well, turned into an advantage, reached for the sublime, in her lyrical style, plot structure, full-fleshed characters, romantic realism, spanning over two decades, a symphony of our time.

The book may have a higher barrier for ones who don’t play/love/know classical music. The members of the quartet maybe considered selected privileged few, reclusive in their own music haven.
I wish the book could be popular.

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