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Paperback Violin Dreams [With CD] Book

ISBN: 0547086008

ISBN13: 9780547086002

Violin Dreams [With CD]

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

"A rapturous, witty, and passionate memoir ... Violin Dreams is not only the story of a man becoming an artist, it's a history of twentieth-century music." -- John Guare, Tony Award-winning playwright Arnold Steinhardt, for more than forty years an international soloist and the first violinist of the Guarneri String Quartet, brings warmth, wit, and fascinating insider details to the story of his lifelong obsession with the violin, that most seductive...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

a valuable, ennobling book

Violin Dreams, on the surface, is a simple book, recounting Arnold Steinhardt's life as a violinist from his first days of playing, up to his career as first violin of the Guarneri Quartet - the quartet, by the way, from whom I first "learned" the Beethoven quartets. The book also tells of Steinhardt's lifelong quest for the "perfect" violin. But this is only the surface of the book. Intentionally or not, Steinhardt's very simple prose conceals a sub-stratum of deep feeling, musical insight, and a man's search for meaning in his own life. As a sports professional, I found Steinhardt's confrontation of the possible loss of his ability to play at all deeply moving. What are we, when the thing we have lived for is taken away? If we are nothing without our profession and our tools, then we are nothing with them - as Steinhardt points out. Arnold Steinhardt, it turns out, is a great deal more than just his violin. He grows increasingly curious about the music behind the music - repeatedly, we return to the Bach Partita for Violin solo No. 2 in D minor, from which the chaconne becomes a touchstone of Steinhardt's "journey towards music", as Victor Gollancz once memorably put it. He travels to wonderful places such as Machu Pichu (on foot, which says something about the man). He pays homage to the luthiers of Cremona. He grows through friendships with some of the world's great musicians, and from friends less musically exalted. And each journey brings Steinhardt, and the reader, closer to music, and to something both basic and ennobling. At the end the book, I was taken by surprise at how emotionally engaged I had become. John Steen has pointed out that the real purpose of the critic is to make us hear music better and to lead us to deeper engagement with it. Away from his violin, this is exactly what Arnold Steinhardt has done with this book. I loved it, am buying multiple copies to give to musical friends, and recommend it heartily. Now back to practicing, with no hope of every playing at Mr. Steinhardt's level, but with an increased love of the instrument, and of making music.

the life of a violinist

As an old friend and colleague of Mr. Steinhardt, it was a special treat to read this, his second book. He combines the autobiographical story of his development as a top-notch violinist, with interesting facts about the violin. One can glimpse the wonderfully good-natured, modest person behind the scenes, and place him both with the long line of great violinists on whom he drew, and the current generation of great musicians with whom he interacted. I just sent the book to a good friend to read, and recommend it to anyone who is interested in music.

Arnold Steinhardt's "Violin Dreams"

This is the second of Steinhardt's autobiographical books, following "Indivisible by Four". Both books are warm personal accounts of the life of a gifted American musician who remains throughout an honest human being without pretense. Considering the wonderful contributions he has made to music and to the teaching of music, it is a pleasure to read more details written in his own conversational style. This book, with the accompanying CD of the Bach D-minor Chaconne, is a treasure.

Humanity wins!

This eminently readable book is a beautiful insight into the mind of one of America's most outstanding musicians and, coupled with the idee fixe of the great Bach Chaconne for Solo Violin it moves freely through centuries of great violins and a lifetime of contacts with many outstanding musicians of yesteryear. It is both inspiring and heartwarming!

A powerful and fine account.

A cd of the author playing Bach's Partita in D Minor forty years ago at the beginning of his career and recently on his Storioni violin accompanies VIOLIN DREAMS, a blend of memoir and violin history which recounts the author's affection for the instrument. From his first violin and early teachers to his rise to professional status, his journey accompanies a survey of the history and backgrounds of the world's great violin makers in a powerful and fine account. Diane C. Donovan California Bookwatch
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