Susanna Poldauf: Philidor - A unique
relation between Chess and Music
Susanna Poldaufs book "Philidor
- A unique relation between Chess and Music has
enjoyed some success, judging by the reviews in the
press and internet. And after all, it is a good read,
no doubt about that. Rather an informative than a scientific
one, it offers a well balanced view on Philidors
life as well as his musical and chess work. One hardly
gains new insights but we are informed about what we
actually know about the great player and musician who
played an important role in the history of both fields.
Unfortunately the book sometimes lacks
of accuracy, in particular when Poldauf tries to generalize
she occasionally jumps too easily to conclusions.
But all these are minor defects. The
real strength of this little book is to give an interesting
picture of the chess masters life and times and
to show very convincingly that chess during this epoch
had been as much a part of general cultural life as
music, maths, philosophy and the arts. Not only does
Philidor come alive but so do a number of other important
and well-known historical celebrities: Mozart, Euler,
Leibniz, Diderot and Rousseau, even the chess automaton,
to name just a few.
It is a must for everyone who is interested
in the wider world of chess.