If you know nothing about Danish composer Carl Nielsen's music, this is not the place to start. Hear something first. Most composers don't lead especially interesting lives. We are interested mainly in their music. I'd start with the Helios Overture. If it intrigues you, go on to other pieces, like the symphonies, and only then if you want to know about the man, start here. It's as good a place as any. Lawson has the advantage of a dearth of biographies on this composer, due in large measure to the family's refusal to release many of the composer's papers. A Nielsen fan of forty years, I knew most of this stuff. The big revelations had to do with his marriage, which suffered strains. You can read all about it. Other than that, it's mainly a recital of Nielsen's career, and you can get most of the essentials from an encyclopedia article. The best thing about the book, as far as I'm concerned, is its handsome production. The photos of Nielsen the boy, which face the title page, are absolutely extraordinary.