The six books in competition for the Prix de la Ville de Deauville 2018. The winner will be announced on March 24 and the prize awarded on Saturday April 14 during the Festival.

Maestro - Mercure de France
"It is so much joy, those first three chords that make my whole room resound, the phrasing that takes flight, the triplets that slide and carry me with them beyond the garden, the score bordered with a green, baroque border. On it, one reads the name of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This name, I repeat it in my head, it makes only one and very long word, hard to say, same as Azay-le-Rideau. Volfgangamadéoussemozare, Volfgangamadéoussemozare.
At the age of nine, Cécile discovered the music of Mozart, and it was a revelation. Some children invent imaginary friends, others worship fictional characters. For little Cecile, the greatest hero is called Mozart! She loves him without sharing and like a god.
Now a journalist, Cecile's passion remains intact. She now has an intimate knowledge of Mozart's work. The day she has to interview a famous conductor, she doesn't know that her life will change. On the other end of the phone, the maestro's voice disturbs her, just as Mozart's music had disturbed and enchanted her years before... But does one fall in love with a voice, even with a great maestro?
Maestro is Cécile Balavoine's first novel.

Erik Satie's umbrellas - Joëlle Losfeld Editions
In 1901, Erik Satie was thirty-four years old. With no resources and no professional future, he abandoned Montmartre and the Chat Noir inn for a squalid suburban room where, stuck between two out-of-tune pianos and fourteen identical umbrellas, he drank as much as, or more than, he composed. A critical observer of his contemporaries, the man portrayed by Stéphanie Kalfon is also a brilliant and whimsical creator: he condemns the lack of originality of the musical society of the time, and his refusal of the rules earns him the incomprehension and rejection of his teachers at the Conservatory.

Un amour de Mille-Ans - Gallimard
Sen-nen - a Japanese first name whose meaning will only be revealed later - is married to Mathilde, a French woman. A former professor of French literature at a university in Tokyo, Sen-nen now lives in Paris with his wife, who is suffering from a serious illness that forces her to stay in her room. Both music lovers, they met during a music course in France. Long before that, in Paris, Sen-nen had made the momentous encounter of a singer, Clémence, who sang Suzanne in The Marriage of Figaro. Dazzled, he attended all the performances and became friends with her. Years later, when he had lost sight of her, he received a message from Clémence: The Marriage was to be staged again at the Opera, in the original production that she was responsible for supervising. Mathilde lets her husband go to meet the past, for a long conversation in which music and love will play a central role.

In this garden that we loved - Grasset
The Reverend Simeon Pease Cheney was the first modern composer to record all the bird songs he heard during his ministry in his parish garden in the 1860s and 1880s.
He noted down to the drops of water from the watering can on the pavement of his yard.
He recorded even the peculiar sound the hallway coat rack made when the wind blew through trench coats and pilgrims' jackets in winter.
I was bewitched by this strange parsonage that suddenly became sonorous, and I began to be happy in this garden obsessed with the love this man had for his missing wife.

The Spouses' Room - Gallimard
Nicolas, in his forties, is a music composer. One day, his wife Mathilde learns that she has a serious breast cancer that requires intense chemotherapy. As Nicolas prepares to leave his work behind to care for her, Mathilde urges him to finish the symphony he has begun. She tells him that she needs to register her forces in a joint combat. Nicolas, transfigured by this vital issue, plays every evening to Mathilde, on the piano, in their bedroom, the room of the spouses, the symphony that he writes to help her to heal.
Inspired by his own experience with his wife while writing his novel Cinderella ten years ago, Éric Reinhardt delivers here a striking meditation on the power of beauty, art and love, which can literally save lives.

Show me your hands - Grasset
"My hands, I want to show them to you. White, veiny, nothing extraordinary.
It is with the modesty of great artists that Alexandre Tharaud, the leading pianist of his generation, talks about his profession. Recollection after recollection, he shares with us his doubts, his deepest convictions, his most intimate habits.
What are the differences between Bach and Ravel, in contact with the public? Between the dressing room of Boston's Symphony Hall and that of Vienna's Musikverein? Between the audience in Tokyo and the one in Paris? What is the feeling of the keys under the fingers?
In the course of the answers, a man emerges who devotes every measure of his life's score - every note, every silence, every sigh - to music.


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