Stradivari’s Genius: Five Violins, One Cello, and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection

Random House #ad - Then there’s the davidov cello, fashioned in 1712 and lovingly handed down through a succession of celebrated artists until, in the 1980s, it passed into the capable hands of Yo-Yo Ma. Mysteries and unanswered questions proliferate from the outset–starting with the enigma of Antonio Stradivari himself.

In this fascinating book, toby faber traces the rich, multilayered stories of six of these peerless instruments–five violins and a cello–and the one towering artist who brought them into being. Blending history, and an abiding passion for music, biography, meticulous detective work, Faber embarks on an absorbing journey as he follows some of the most prized instruments of all time.

From the salons of vienna to the concert halls of New York, from the breakthroughs of Beethoven’s last quartets to the first phonographic recordings, Faber unfolds a narrative magnificent in its range and brilliant in its detail. In the course of his long career in the northern Italian city of Cremona, he created more than a thousand stringed instruments; approximately six hundred survive.

Stradivari's Genius: Five Violins, One Cello, and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection #ad - Paganini supposedly made a pact with the devil to transform the art of the violin–and by the end of his life he owned eleven Strads. A great violin is alive, ” said Yehudi Menuhin of his own Stradivarius. In the pages of this book, the intrigue, the passion, Faber invites us to share the life, and the incomparable beauty of the world’s most marvelous stringed instruments.

Tis god gives skill, but not without men’s hands: He could not make Antonio Stradivari’s violins without Antonio. George eliotantonio stradivari 1644—1737 was a perfectionist whose single-minded pursuit of excellence changed the world of music.


Antonio Stradivari: His Life and Work Dover Books on Music

Dover Publications #ad - Leading appraisers of fine musical instruments agree that in the art of making violins, no one has ever gone beyond the achievement of Antonio Stradivari. Expert violin-makers and critics of superior violin craftsmanship, these men had unique opportunities to examine and compare almost all of the great examples of Italian violin-making.

The larger divisions of the book concern the ancestry of Stradivari; his violins, viols, and violoncellos; his aims in relation to tone; his materials; his varnish; his construction; his labels; the number of instruments he made; the growth of their reputation. That is the book published in 1902 by the three Hill brothers of the London violin-making firm.

The incomparable visual beauty of his instruments and the infinite variety and magnificence of tone of which they are capable have by this time passed into the realm of legend. Collectors have paid many thousands of dollars for one of Stradivari's violins. It is strange, but true, that only one book really delves into the life and art of this famous Italian craftsman.

Some of the topics discussed under these main headings are: stradivari's apprenticeship to Amati; comparison of his work with that of Amati; the tone of the pre-1684 Stradivari violin; changes between 1684 and 1690; distinguishing characteristics of many existing violins, violas, their specific location, and cellos, etc.

Antonio Stradivari: His Life and Work Dover Books on Music #ad - Erroneous views concerning stradivari's material; his preference for the wood of certain trees in given years; the mystery of the ingredients of Stradivari's varnish; the effect of varnish on tone; the measurements of Stradivari's instruments; the time spent by Stradivari in making a violin; the years of greatest production; the largest number dating from one year; estimate of the total number made; an estimate of the actual sum he charged for an instrument; the introduction of Stradivari instruments into France and England; the first revelation of their supreme merit; and many other interesting topics.

Musicologists, violinists, historians of culture, makers of instruments, and those who count themselves simply as music lovers will find this to be an extremely interesting and informative account.


The Violin Maker: A Search for the Secrets of Craftsmanship, Sound, and Stradivari

HarperCollins e-books #ad - How does a simple piece of wood become a violin, a brooklyn craftsman, commissions Sam Zygmuntowicz, the king of instruments? Watch and find out as Eugene Drucker, a member of the world–renowned Emerson String Quartet, to make him a new violin. Marchese takes readers from start to finish as zygmuntowicz builds the violin, to the cutting of the back and belly, from the first selection of the wood, through the carving of the scroll and the fingerboard, to the placement of the sound peg.

As he tells this extraordinary story, journalist John Marchese shares the rich lore of this beloved instrument and illuminates an art that has barely changed since the Renaissance. A stunning work of narrative nonfiction that's also a finely crafted, loving homage to the instrument that most closely approximates the human voice.

The Violin Maker: A Search for the Secrets of Craftsmanship, Sound, and Stradivari #ad - Though much of the story takes place in the craftsman's museum–like Brooklyn workshop, there are side trips across the river to the rehearsal rooms of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln center, and across the world. Stops on the itinerary include cremona, the magical city where Antonio Stradivari and a few of his contemporaries achieved a level of violin–making perfection that has endured for centuries, Italy, as well as points in France and Germany integral to the history of the violin.


Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust-Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind's Darkest Hour

Harper Perennial #ad - A stirring testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of music, Violins of Hope tells the remarkable stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, and the Israeli violin maker dedicated to bringing these inspirational instruments back to life. The violin has formed an important aspect of jewish culture for centuries, Yehudi Menuhin, both as a popular instrument with classical Jewish musicians—Jascha Heifetz, Itzhak Perlman—and also a central factor of social life as part of the enduring Klezmer tradition.

For many, and, the violin provided comfort in mankind’s darkest hour, in at least one case, helped avenge murdered family members. For some musicians, the instrument was a liberator; for others, it was a savior that spared their lives. But during the holocaust, the violin assumed extraordinary new roles within the Jewish community.

Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust-Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind's Darkest Hour #ad - Above all, the violins of the Holocaust represented strength and optimism for the future. In violins of Hope, music historian James A. Grymes tells the amazing, horrifying, the renowned israeli violinmaker who has devoted the past twenty years to restoring these instruments in tribute to those who were lost, and inspiring story of the violins of the Holocaust, and of Amnon Weinstein, including 400 members of his own family.

Juxtaposing tales of individual violins with one man’s harrowing struggle to reconcile his own family’s history and the history of his people, it is a poignant, affecting, and ultimately uplifting look at the Holocaust and its enduring impact.


The Violin: A Social History of the World's Most Versatile Instrument

W. W. Norton & Company #ad - As congenial to reels, churches, by pros and amateurs, delta blues, it has been played standing or sitting, men and women, lumber camps, in bars, even concentration camps, alone or in groups, and indie rock as it is to solo Bach and late Beethoven, ragas, adults and children, concert halls, at virtually any latitude on any continent.

Despite dogged attempts by musicologists worldwide to find its source, the violin’s origins remain maddeningly elusive. The life, and travels of a remarkable instrument and the people who have made, played, sold, times, and cherished it. A 16-ounce package of polished wood, and air, the violin is perhaps the most affordable, portable, strings, and adaptable instrument ever created.

The Violin: A Social History of the World's Most Versatile Instrument #ad - But it was already the instrument of choice for some of the greatest music ever composed by the end of its second. By the dawn of its fifth, an a-list trophy, and social mobility, it was established on five continents as an icon of globalization, modernization, and a potential capital gain. In the violin, dealers, david schoenbaum has combined the stories of its makers, and players into a global history of the past five centuries.

From the earliest days, to stradivari and the golden age of cremona; vuillaume and the Hills, Schoenbaum lays out the business, when violin makers acquired their craft from box makers, politics, who turned it into a global collectible; and incomparable performers from Paganini and Joachim to Heifetz and Oistrakh, and art of the world’s most versatile instrument.

By the end of the violin’s first century, people were just discovering its possibilities. The instrument surfaced from nowhere in particular, in a world that Columbus had only recently left behind and Shakespeare had yet to put on paper.


The Cello Suites: J. S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece

Grove Press #ad - Winner of the mavis gallant prize for non-fiction and the mcauslan first book prize, pablo Casals’s discovery and popularization of the music in Spain in the late nineteenth century, The Cello Suites weaves together three dramatic narratives: the disappearance of Bach’s manuscript in the eighteenth century, and Siblin’s infatuation with the suites in the present day.

The ironies of artistic genius and public taste are subtly explored in this winding, entertaining tale of a musical masterpiece. Publishers weekly   “siblin’s writing is most inspired when describing the life of Casals, showing a genuine affection for the cellist, who .  .  . In pursuit of his musicological obsession, politics, Siblin would unravel three centuries of intrigue, and passion.

One fateful evening, journalist and pop-music critic eric siblin attended a recital of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites—an experience that set him on an epic quest to uncover the mysterious history of the entrancing compositions and their miraculous reemergence nearly two hundred years later. Used his instrument and the suites as weapons of protest and pleas for peace.

The Cello Suites: J. S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece #ad - Booklist, starred review. An award-winning journey through Johann Sebastian Bach’s six cello suites and the brilliant musician who revealed their lasting genius. The search led siblin to barcelona, just thirteen and in possession of his first cello, where Casals, roamed the backstreets with his father in search of sheet music and found Bach’s lost suites tucked in a dark corner of a store.


Violin-Making: A Historical and Practical Guide Dover Books on Music

Dover Publications #ad - Charming in its style and cultivated in its research, it covers every detail of the process, from wood selection to varnish. More than 200 diagrams, engravings, and photographs complement the text. Author edward heron-allen served an apprenticeship with Georges Chanot, a preeminent nineteenth-century violin maker.

. A fascinating history of the instrument precedes discussions of materials and construction techniques. Originally published in 1884 as violin-making, amateur and professional, theoretical and Practical Treatise on the Science and Art of Violin-Making for the Use of Violin Makers and Players, As It Was and Is: Being a Historical, this volume has enlightened and informed generations of performers and players alike.

Violin-Making: A Historical and Practical Guide Dover Books on Music #ad - The knowledge, and experience heron-allen acquired in the master's shop are reflected in this book, which was the first to combine the history, theory, skill, and practice of violin-making. This classic guide offers an accessible initiation into the mysteries of violin-making.


Tycho and Kepler: The Unlikely Partnership that Forever Changed our Understanding of the Heavens

Transworld Digital #ad - Both espoused theories that seem off-the-wall to modern minds, but their fateful meeting in Prague in 1600 was to change the future of science. Set in one of the most turbulent and colourful eras in European history, when medieval was giving way to modern, Tycho and Kepler is a double biography of these two remarkable men.

. The extraordinary, unlikely tale of tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler and their enormous contribution to astronomy and understanding of the cosmos is one of the strangest stories in the history of science. Kepler was a poor, devoutly religious teacher with a genius for mathematics. Brahe was an arrogant, extravagant aristocrat who possessed the finest astronomical instruments and observations of the time, before the telescope.


Johannes Brahms: A Biography

Vintage #ad - Among the characters in the book are two great cities: the stolid north German harbor town of Hamburg  where Johannes grew up, music-mad Vienna, where Brahms the self-proclaimed vagabond finally settled, which later spurned him; and glittering, fickle, to find his sweetest triumphs and his most bitter failures.

Yet he lived with a relentless loneliness and a growing fatalism about the future of music and the world. The brahms that emerges from these pages is not the bearded eminence of previous biographies but rather a fascinating assemblage of contradictions. This is a book rich in secondary characters as well, enemy of wagner and apostle of brahms, including robert schumann, the malevolent genius Richard Wagner; and Eduard Hanslick, self-lacerating violinist; the extraordinary musical amateur Elisabet von Herzogenberg, on whose exacting criticism Brahms relied; Brahms's rival and shadow, tormented personality, declining into madness as he hailed the advent of a new genius; Clara Schumann, the towering pianist, and great love of Brahms's life; Josef Joachim, the brilliant, at once the most powerful and most wrongheaded music critic of his time.

Johannes Brahms: A Biography #ad - Unique to this book is the way in which musical scholarship and biography are combined: in a style refreshingly free of pretentiousness, Jan Swafford takes us deep into the music--from the grandeur of the First Symphony and the intricacies of the chamber work to the sorrow of the German Requiem--allowing us to hear these familiar works in new and often surprising ways.

This is a clear-eyed study of a remarkable man and a vivid portrait of an era in transition. At the same time, he was the golden boy of his teachers, poised between the emotionalism of the Romantics and the rigors of the composers he worshipped--Bach, who found themselves in awe of a stupendous talent: a miraculous young composer and pianist, Mozart, Beethoven.

Ultimately, backward-looking artist who inspired musical revolutionaries of the following generations, Johannes Brahms is the story of a great, yet who was no less a prophet of the darkness and violence of our century. A biographical masterpiece at once wholly original and definitive.


Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt #ad - Throughout, swafford offers insightful readings of Beethoven’s key works. Swafford then tracks his subject to vienna, capital of European music, romantic rejection, where Beethoven built his career in the face of critical incomprehension, crippling ill health, and “fate’s hammer, ” his ever-encroaching deafness.

Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph #ad - His magnificent new biography of ludwig van Beethoven peels away layers of legend to get to the living, breathing human being who composed some of the world’s most iconic music. Swafford mines sources never before used in English-language biographies to reanimate the revolutionary ferment of Enlightenment-era Bonn, where Beethoven grew up and imbibed the ideas that would shape all of his future work.

More than a decade in the making, this will be the standard Beethoven biography for years to come.  . Jan swafford’s biographies of charles Ives and Johannes Brahms have established him as a revered music historian, capable of bringing his subjects vibrantly to life.


Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment

Harper Perennial #ad - A stirring declaration of faith, it represented ‘as stark a rebuke of his beliefs and world view as an absolute monarch has ever received, ’ Gaines writes. In what may have been one of history's crueler practical jokes, Frederick challenged ‘old Bach’ to a musical duel, asking him to improvise a six-part fugue based on an impossibly intricate theme possibly devised for him by Bach's own son.

Bach left the court fuming, he used the coded, but in a fever of composition, alchemical language of counterpoint to write ‘A Musical Offering’ in response. It is also one of the great works of art in the history of music. Set at the tipping point between the ancient and the modern world, wars and conquest, the triumphant story of Bach's victory expands to take in the tumult of the eighteenth century: the legacy of the Reformation, the birth of the Enlightenment.

Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment #ad - In one corner, a godless young warrior, Voltaire’s heralded ‘philosopher-king’, the It Boy of the Enlightenment. In the other, a devout if bad-tempered old composer of ‘outdated’ music, a scorned genius in his last years. The sparks from their brief conflict illuminate a turbulent age. Behind the pomp and flash, prussia's frederick the Great was a tormented man, son of an abusive king who forced him to watch as his best friend probably his lover was beheaded.

Brimming with originality and wit, ‘evening in the Palace of Reason’ is history of the best kind – intimate in scale and broad in its vision.