London music critic Morreau has produced a fine account of the life and legacy of cellist Emanuel Feuermann. Born in 1902 into a poor Jewish family in Austria, Feuermann was thought by many to be a better cellist than Pablo Casals, but his life was cut short at the age of 39 during a somewhat mysterious botched operation. As a youth, Feuermann struggled to find a place in his father’s heart and in the world of the Reifenbergs of Cologne, upper-class Jews who had been baptized and whose youngest daughter Feuermann eventually married. Morreau is especially good at describing Feuermann’s cultural milieu and the uncertainties and complexities inherent in climbing the social ladder. In fact, because the cellist married outside of his caste,
his parents and his wife’s parents never met, and the book’s one drawback is that Morreau does not examine as completely as one would like the extent to which her subject consciously put aside
his birth family. The book includes a chapter on Feuermann’s writing, teaching, and performing, as well as two chapters on his recorded legacy. Three appendixes (listing Feuermann’s fees, instruments and strings, and known recordings) round out the text.
Seymour Itzkoff’s Emanuel Feuermann, Virtuoso: A Biography (1979) contains many interesting sidelights, but Morreau’s account is fully attributed and will be the standard biography.
Emanuel Feuermann, virtuoso. A biography
Seymour W. Itzkoff
Feuermann, Emanuel, 1902-42, Austrian-born virtuoso cellist.
He appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 11 and later (1917-23) taught at the Cologne Conservatory. From 1929 until 1933, when he fled to Switzerland, he taught at the Berlin Hochschule. His concerts in Europe
and the United States established him as one of the world’s greatest cellists.
In 1938 he emigrated to the United States and joined the faculty
of the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, in 1941.
French Cello Sonatas – 1871-1939
The years between the end of the Franco-Prussian War and the start of World War II witnessed a renaissance of French instrumental music and an evolution from
the elegance of Saint-Saens to Debussy’s revolutionary style and beyond. This study surveys 97 published cello sonatas and 30 unpublished sonatas written by French composers during this period. Sensbach presents the historical background for each piece and provides biographies of the composers, as well as the biographies of cellists and pianists of the period. For each sonata there is a brief description of the movement and the technical aspects that cover the form, style and level of difficulty for the performers. Where possible there are also excerpts of original reviews and comments from composers’ letters. This book should be of interest to those interested in the music
of Debussy and Ravel, and of the European cultural history of the time.
From Budapest to Bloomington
Janos Starker and the Hungarian Cello Tradition
Anna Dalos, Melinda Berlász, Janos Starker, János Breuer, Peter P. Jacobi
Janos Starker’s childhood and youth, his development as an up-and-coming young artist in his native country, and his meetings with many important musicians provide a unique view of the influential Hungarian cello tradition
in the early 20th century. As an emigrant to the USA, he bridges the old world and the new, where his international reputation as a soloist and great teacher is firmly established.
In German and English
Studies of some of the world’s best instruments as featured in TheStrad
Every generation of violin makers has sought to analyse and understand
the classic forms, and, for the past 121 years, the violin world’s leading experts have assessed the latest research into the finest instruments in the pages of The Strad.
Great Instruments includes 15 authoritative and beautifully illustrated articles from the past ten years, which provide unique insights into some of the world’s most celebrated stringed instruments.
Andrea Amati, Violin, c.1566 (P142)
Brothers Amati, Cello, c.1600 (P208)
Henry Jaye, Viola, 1619 (P207)
Jacob Stainer, Tenor viola, c.1650 (P212)
Antonio Stradivari, ‘Viotti’ violin, 1709 (P144)
Antonio Stradivari, ‘Titian’ violin, 1715 (P210)
Antonio Stradivari, ‘Messiah’ violin, 1716 (P214)
Domenico Montagnana, Violin, 1717 (P146)
Pietro Giacomo Rogeri, Cello, 1717 (P211)
Antonio Stradivari, ‘Kruse’ violin, 1721 (P145)
Guarneri ‘del Gesù’, ‘Plowden’ violin, 1735 (P215)
Carlo Bergonzi, Violin, 1736 (P206)
Guarneri ‘del Gesù’, ‘Cessole’, ‘Teja–Ferni’ violin, 1736 (P213)
Domenico Montagnana, Cello, 1740 (P143)
Nicolas Lupot, Violin, 1808 (P209)
Gregor Piatigorsky – The Life and Career of the Virtuoso Cellist
Forced to provide for his family from the age of 8 and thrown out of his home into a bitter Moscow winter at age 12, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky began his career as an archetypal struggling artist, using secondhand and borrowed instruments.
When the October Revolution forced his escape to Warsaw, he enjoyed initial success with the Warsaw Philharmonic. Relocating to Berlin a few months later, he again struggled in poverty before eventually emerging as solo cellist with
the Berlin Philharmonic. Settling in the United States during World War II, Piatigorsky continued a brilliant career that cemented his place as one
of the twentieth century’s greatest musicians.
This all-embracing chronicle of Piatigorsky’s tempestuous life and career finally
reveals the full life story of a musical legend.
Grisha – The Story of Cellist Gregor Piatigorsky
This books tells the story of a struggle between father and son, both aspiring musicians. While the father fails in the musical world of Tsarist Russia, his son becomes a world famous cellist. For Gregor Piatigorsky, success meant escaping the grip
of his father, surviving the murderous Russian pogroms, fleeing from
the Bolshevik Revolution and twice escaping the Nazi Holocaust. It also meant falling in love with the daughter of the Baron de Rothschild, the wealthiest family in Europe. While Piatigorsky found fame and fortune as a musical artist and entertained presidents, kings and emperors, he was still a man without a country. As World War II destroyed everything he had ever known, Piatigorsky found sanctuary at Windy Cliff, an abandoned castle in Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York.
In 1942, he achieved his dream of becoming an American citizen and finally stopped running.
Inner Game of Music
Barry Green, W. Timothy Gallwey
The battle that many musicians, of whatever level, have to face is an inner one – against nervousness, self-doubt and fear of failure. In this highly successful book,
first published by Pan in 1987, musician Barry Green explains the basic principles
of ‘natural learning’ that make up the Inner Game methodology, and shows how to apply them to reach a new level in the learning and performing of music.
With special features on ensemble playing, improvisation and listening skills, and with exercises that help intonation, artistic phrasing and technique,
The Inner Game of Music is invaluable to performers, students, teachers
and anyone with an interest in music.
Jacqueline du Pré – A Biography
A strong, compelling, and compassionate book (Boston Globe) about the acclaimed and
ill-fated cellist who died at the age of forty-two.. Carol Easton, who knew
Jacqueline du Pré well, draws on this friendship to create a moving and insightful portrait of a singularly complex person.
Jacqueline du Pré (the subject of the recent film Hilary and Jackie ) was the music world’s golden girl, with what appeared to many to be a fairytale career and storybook marriage to Daniel Barenboim. But away from her cello, du Pré was achingly human. As a child, she was isolated by her phenomenal talent. As an adult, she was confined to the rarefied, insular concert world. And during the last fifteen years of her life,
she lived in the inexorably shrinking world of the invalid, as multiple sclerosis took its toll.
The Baltimore Sun said, Carol Easton tells this extraordinary story with feeling befitting du Pré’s own.
Jacqueline Du Pré
This biography of the cellist Jacqueline du Pré, who died in 1987 after a long struggle against multiple sclerosis, has been written with the full support of her husband,
the musician and conductor Daniel Barenboim. At first sight it could be seen as something of a counterweight to books critical of Barenboim written by Du Pre’s brother and sister in particular A Genius in the Family. But while Barenboim does present his side of the story – in relation to both du Pré’s illness and the strains it put upon their marriage – Elizabeth Wilson has in fact presented a balanced portrait of du Pré not only as a woman but also as an artist. And this is the book’s real strength.
Wilson, a cellist herself, knew du Pré in her playing days and has paid as much attention to the music as to the off-stage emotional dramas. Since she burst upon the music scene as a phenomenally talented 16-year-old, du Pré’s fame and her tragic life story has made the task of stripping the myth from the reality no easy task. In fact Elizabeth Wilson has done a professional job in unravelling
du Pré’s enigmatic life and legacy, but most of all she reminds us that du Pré became famous
in the first place because of her genius as a musician.
Joys and Sorrows – Reflections
Pablo Casals, Albert E. Kahn
Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe,
a moment that will never be again and what do we teach our children?
We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital
of France. When will we also teach them what they are?
We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven.
You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel.
And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel?
You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.
Joys and Sorrows is out of print but is published on www.cello.org.
Just Play Naturally - Vivien Mackie in Conversation with Joe Armstrong
An account of her study with Pablo Casals in the 1950′s
and her discovery of the resonance
between his teaching and the principles of the Alexander Technique
Just Play Naturally by Vivien Mackie, in conversation with Joe Armstrong, goes very deep into the creative process by recounting the steps by which Pablo Casals taught Mackie, as a young woman, to go beyond all her formal training in order to become
a real musician, and it goes on to show how an artist, in this case a performing artist, may continue going deeper all the rest of her life.
The dialogue between Vivien the cellist and Joe the flautist, both of whom are skilled an devoted teachers of the Alexander Technique, cold profit any practitioner of the arts, but it penetrates beyond art into life itself. This book illustrates the evolution of a sense of rhythm, of a connection
to the breath, of the ways in which the self combines the resources of the mind and the body,
of motion and stillness, of pitch and meter. Even more than the above, this book tells how to change your life, how to get
in touch with the reality beneath learned experience. Peter Davison, Poet, Editor
I find Just Play Naturally extraordinary moving – and important account of artistic discipleship,
dedication, communion – as well as a deepening revelation of the Alexander Technique.
Rosanna Warren, Poet, Professor of Comparative Literature, Boston University
I think that this is a most valuable addition to the list of books concerning the F. Matthias Alexander Technique.
It describes the experiences encountered by an accomplished musician in making practical application of the Technique,
but it also reveals the extent to which one of the greatest musical artists of our time, Pablo Casals, thought and worked
in accordance with the similar principles. Readers will learn much from this book about an approach
to study and performance from which all students could benefit.