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Eugenia ZukermanAs Faber's lively book shows, there can be no doubt that this eccentric genius had an enormous impact on the musical history of the Western world.
— The New York Times
“A celebration of six instruments and the master craftsman who made them . . . [Faber] brings to the subject an infectious fascination with Stradivari’s life and trade. . . . He writes with clarity and fluency.”
“An extraordinary accomplishment and a compelling read. Like strange totems that cast an irresistible spell, these instruments bring out the best and the worst of those who would own them, and Faber deftly tells the stories in all their rich and surprising detail.”
–Thad Carhart, author of The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
“As Faber traces the history of these standout strings, many engrossing subplots emerge. . . . A worthy contribution to the ongoing legend of Stradivari.”
–Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Fascinating, accessible, and enjoyable.”
–Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring
|Ch. 1||Five violins and one cello : the Messiah, the Viotti, the Khevenhuller, the Paganini, the Lipinski, and the Davidov||3|
|Ch. 2||"The incomparably better violins of Cremona" : the Amati dynasty||12|
|Ch. 3||"He was a genius already" : the origins and development of Antonio Stradivari||25|
|Ch. 4||"His costume scarcely every varied" : Stradivari's golden period, decline, and death||45|
|Ch. 5||"So singular and so beautiful" : the violins of Giuseppe Tartini and Paolo Stradivari||60|
|Ch. 6||"My violin should realize a large sum" : Viotti and his Strad||72|
|Ch. 7||"To the virtuosos of violins" : Prince Khevenhuller, Count Cozio, Joseph Bohm, and Tarisio||91|
|Ch. 8||"The turning-point in the history of virtuosity" : Paganini, showman and dealer||104|
|Ch. 9||"I have 80,000 Francs on me" : Vuillaume and the hotel of delights||121|
|Ch. 10||"Unveiled in all its intact glory" : the Messiah makes its mark||132|
|Ch. 11||"Find his majesty's soloist" : Charles Davidov and his cello||137|
|Ch. 12||"An immense reserve of strength" : Marie Hall, the hills, and the Edwardian era||148|
|Ch. 13||"No matter what the price" : four Strads go to America||164|
|Ch. 14||"What can we sell this as?" : violin dealers and the postwar world||184|
|Ch. 15||"The sound kept on coming and coming" : the Davidov, the Paganini, the Khevenhuller, the Viotti ... and the Marie Hall||198|
|Ch. 16||"A run-of-the-mill Strad" : interpreting the Messiah||210|
Posted March 8, 2013
EVAN TUTHILL -- BLOCK 7 -- MR. VAN
Stradivari's Genius is the logical, illuminating, somewhat compelling story of five instruments masterly crafted by the one Stradivarius.
I was wedged (by lack of topical books) to read Stradivari's Genius. I don't really like the violin or the way it sounds, but after reading about
the journey from Stradivari to Yo-Yo Ma, I was intrigued as to the creation of the violin and gained respect for the art-forms violins
encompass; whether they be of craft or creativity.
The use of logical appeal in the book was much appreciated for somebody who does not respect the violin. It definitely opened me up to
the culture more than I was.
And finally, the lineage that was recounted gave me a greater reverence for the solidity of the violin's past. I actually also interviewed a
violin maker as part of the English project that i read this for, and the history i had divulged assisted me greatly in making a connection
with the luthier, proving the relevance and accuracy of the book.