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

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Random House Publishing Group, 2012. máj. 9. - 288 oldal
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“’Tis God gives skill, but not without men’s hands: He could not make Antonio Stradivari’s violins without Antonio.”
–George Eliot

Antonio Stradivari (1644—1737) was a perfectionist whose single-minded pursuit of excellence changed the world of music. 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. 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, biography, meticulous detective work, and an abiding passion for music, Faber embarks on an absorbing journey as he follows some of the most prized instruments of all time. Mysteries and unanswered questions proliferate from the outset–starting with the enigma of Antonio Stradivari himself. What made this apparently unsophisticated craftsman so special? Why were his techniques not maintained by his successors? How is it that even two and a half centuries after his death, no one has succeeded in matching the purity, depth, and delicacy of a Stradivarius?

In Faber’s illuminating narrative, each of the six fabled instruments becomes a character in its own right–a living entity cherished by artists, bought and sold by princes and plutocrats, coveted, collected, hidden, lost, copied, and occasionally played by a musician whose skill matches its maker’s.

Here is the fabulous Viotti, named for the virtuoso who enchanted all Paris in the 1780s, only to fall foul of the French Revolution. 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. 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.

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. “A great violin is alive,” said Yehudi Menuhin of his own Stradivarius. In the pages of this book, Faber invites us to share the life, the passion, the intrigue, and the incomparable beauty of the world’s most marvelous stringed instruments.
 

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STRADIVARI'S GENIUS: Five Violins, One Cello, and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection

Felhasználói ismertető  - Kirkus

Lackluster history of an illustrious instrument maker.Even people who can't tell Bach from Brahms know that Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) was the greatest violinmaker ever. Here, first-time author ... Teljes értékelés elolvasása

Stradivari's genius: five violins, one cello, and three centuries of enduring perfection

Felhasználói ismertető  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Faber, a first-time author and scion of the publishing house Faber and Faber, has written a captivating account of the often tangled histories of six celebrated Stradivarius instruments. These complex ... Teljes értékelés elolvasása

Tartalomjegyzék

INTRODUCTION
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
AFTERWORD
Appendix One
Appendix Two
Appendix Three

Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND SOURCES
PICTURE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Copyright

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Gyakori szavak és kifejezések

A szerzőről (2012)

Born in Cambridge, England, in 1965, TOBY FABER now lives in London with his wife and daughter. He was previously managing director of his family’s renowned publishing firm, Faber and Faber. This is his first book.

Bibliográfiai információk