“Polio destroyed every tool a pianist must have except heart and mind. With legendary dedication, Miss Rosenberger overcame her musical death sentence. The insight and understanding she gained through her ordeal is apparent in the high quality of her musicianship.”
Praise for To Play Again
To Play Again reveals [Carol Rosenberger’s] subsequent path back to the keyboard, even when doctors warned she should simply try to live a ‘normal’ life. To Rosenberger, life without the piano is unthinkable, and how she managed to not only play again, but also succeed as a recording and concert pianist, is a harrowing and inspiring story. The prose contains emotive descriptions of the physical and mental strain of the illness…the descriptions of cultural life in Paris and Vienna are fascinating, particularly the anecdotes about Rosenberger’s work with Nadia Boulanger. Throughout, the underlying theme is one of friendship — the book is dedicated to Rosenberger’s friend Amelia Da Costa Stone Haygood, with whom she went on to launch the record label Delos — and the reader is struck by the impact of these positive relationships on Rosenberger’s pianism.
Rosenberger is now 85, and her post-polio accomplishments have included recording and university-level teaching. She chronicles it all in this memoir, which is gracefully written. … Her story should be experienced and her resilience applauded.”
a responsive devotion to music, regardless of self-sacrifice and comfort—burns inside Rosenberger.
a powerful memoir…so riveting and beautifully written, I couldn’t put it down.
This is a remarkable memoir on several levels…If you love the arts at all, this is a must-read.
Rosenberger’s style of writing is instantly accessible.… The sheer honesty of Rosenberger’s writing is breath-taking, the pain held within her experiences, both physical and emotional, always palpable, yet never self-pitying…we trace a remarkable pianist’s ‘Winterreise’ through illness and beyond.
In passages of precise, personal writing—the kind that holds a reader’s empathy—Rosenberger’s book brings us face to face with artistic crisis as experienced first-hand. … But what can be summarized in a few lines doesn’t come close to the emotional journey her book takes us on. … The audience for this book is likely to be music lovers, and they will respond to how physical, artistic, and spiritual recovery are merged in Rosenberger’s healing.
Rosenberger has written a moving and at times heartbreaking chronicle of her achievements, offering inspiration and hope to those confronted with the seemingly insurmountable.
In addition to being one of the finest pianists of her generation, Carol Rosenberger is also one of the most eloquent—as her new book triumphantly attests. Hers is an important and inspiring story and she tells it superbly.
Carol Rosenberger’s book, To Play Again, is a very touching and remarkable story of a great artist, her battle with paralytic polio at age twenty-one, and her triumph over the disease. It is beautifully written with great sensitivity and should be an inspiration to all that are exposed to this rich life of music and much beyond.
Any reader seeking insight into how the art of music can intertwine with a truly courageous life saga need look no further. Carol Rosenberger’s To Play Again is a gripping journey through time, place, and emotion that will have you marveling at her indefatigable determination to attain her dreams against the most formidable odds.
Carol’s story is one of courage in the face of so many challenges. Just as she starts her concert career in earnest she has to learn all over again how to play and how to live. An amazing story of resilience and accomplishment.
Carol Rosenberger is a unique artist whose career spans surprising excursions, useful detours and welcome extensions. She has always been smart, tough, honest, funny, authoritative, and eminently compelling. Happily, her memoir, To Play Again, illuminates all of these qualities.
Select Recording Reviews
Water Music of the Impressionists
Critic’s Choice, Gramophone
All Time Great Recording, Billboard
Best Classical Compact Disc, Stereo Review
“Defines the state of the art in piano recordings.”
Beethoven: Sonatas Opus 57, Appassionata, and Opus 111
“A splendid, large-scale recording. Carol Rosenberger is a formidable talent, and her performance of these Beethoven piano sonatas is powerful and intense.”
“Performance: 10. Sound: 10. Rosenberger is absolutely marvelous.”
Mozart and Beethoven: Piano and Wind Quintets
“Rosenberger’s playing sparkles with wit and intelligence, as does that of her colleagues.”
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major
“Rosenberger’s playing is poetic as it is brilliant . . . remarkably impressive.”
“Serene renditions of contemplative piano pieces . . . perfect for late-night listening. . . . Dreamy in every sense of the word.”
A Concerto Collection
“Hanson’s concerto is one of his most attractive pieces. Rosenberger has fun with the piece and plays it for all it is worth. Schwarz shares her enthusiasm . . . a brilliant, exciting performance.”
A Concerto Collection
“Rosenberger brings to these three nocturnal movements (Nights in the Gardens of Spain) improvisatory, introspective subjectivity.”