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1953 is a time when orchestral groups refused women even the chance to audition, but then a forward-looking modern music quartet needs a last-minute substitute, accomplished cellist to play a difficult piece composed by their pianist. They hire Irena, the only woman musician at a classical music festival. Years later in the memory unit of a nursing home, Irena recalls her unsettling relationship with the group’s enigmatic composer when she receives the sonata he left her in his will. She relives the four days she spent with him, the difficult aftermath of their affair, and the few other times she saw him during her life. As her mind shuts down, she re-experiences the intense joy she felt performing music and her struggle to enter a male-dominated world. Set against the backdrop of the 1950s when composers like John Cage were revolutionizing classical music, The Music Book celebrates the mystery of music, love, and life itself, alongside a woman’s passionate fight to do the one thing that makes her feel most alive—perform the music she loves.
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