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Famous Violinists of To-day and Yesterday   By: (1856-1953)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: OLE BULL]

Famous Violinists of To day and Yesterday

By

Henry C. Lahee

ILLUSTRATED

Boston The Page Company Publishers

1899 L.C. PAGE AND COMPANY (INCORPORATED)

Ninth Impression, February, 1912 Tenth Impression, January, 1916

THE COLONIAL PRESS C.H. SIMONDS CO., BOSTON, U.S.A.

PREFACE.

In "Famous Violinists" the writer has endeavoured to follow the same general plan as in "Famous Singers," viz., to give a "bird's eye view" of the most celebrated violinists from the earliest times to the present day rather than a detailed account of a very few. Necessarily, those who have been prominently before the public as performers are selected in preference to those who have been more celebrated as teachers.

It was at first intended to arrange the chapters according to "schools," but it soon became evident that such a plan would lead to inextricable confusion, and it was found best to follow the chronological order of birth.

The "Chronological Table" is compiled from the best existing authorities, and is not an effort to bring together a large number of names. If such were the desire, there would be no difficulty in filling up a large volume with names of the violinists of good capabilities, who are well known in their own cities.

HENRY C. LAHEE.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE

PREFACE ix

I. INTRODUCTORY 11 II. 1650 TO 1750 30 III. 1750 TO 1800 60 IV. PAGANINI 104 V. 1800 TO 1830 135 VI. OLE BULL 172 VII. 1830 TO 1850 204 VIII. JOACHIM 244 IX. VIOLINISTS OF TO DAY 261 X. WOMEN AS VIOLINISTS 300 XI. FAMOUS QUARTETS 345

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE OLE BULL Frontispiece ARCANGELO CORELLI 30 NICOLO PAGANINI 104 CAMILLO SIVORI 154 MARTIN PIERRE JOSEPH MARSICK 238 JOSEPH JOACHIM 244 EMIL SAURET 264 MAUD POWELL 340 FRANZ KNEISEL 362

FAMOUS VIOLINISTS OF TO DAY AND YESTERDAY.

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTORY.

There is no instrument of music made by the hands of man that holds such a powerful sway over the emotions of every living thing capable of hearing, as the violin. The singular powers of this beautiful instrument have been eloquently eulogised by Oliver Wendell Holmes, in the following words:

"Violins, too. The sweet old Amati! the divine Stradivari! played on by ancient maestros until the bow hand lost its power, and the flying fingers stiffened. Bequeathed to the passionate young enthusiast, who made it whisper his hidden love, and cry his inarticulate longings, and scream his untold agonies, and wail his monotonous despair. Passed from his dying hand to the cold virtuoso, who let it slumber in its case for a generation, till, when his hoard was broken up, it came forth once more, and rode the stormy symphonies of royal orchestras, beneath the rushing bow of their lord and leader. Into lonely prisons with improvident artists; into convents from which arose, day and night, the holy hymns with which its tones were blended; and back again to orgies, in which it learned to howl and laugh as if a legion of devils were shut up in it; then, again, to the gentle dilettante , who calmed it down with easy melodies until it answered him softly as in the days of the old maestros; and so given into our hands, its pores all full of music, stained like the meerschaum through and through with the concentrated hue and sweetness of all the harmonies which have kindled and faded on its strings."

Such, indeed, has been the history of many a noble instrument fashioned years and years ago, in the days when violin playing did not hold the same respect and admiration that it commands at the present time... Continue reading book >>




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