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Fritz Kreisler : Love's Sorrow, Love's Joy

Biancolli, Amy

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ISBN 10: 1574670379 / ISBN 13: 9781574670370
Published by March 1, 2003, Portland, Or., 2003
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

453 pages, b&w photographs and frontispiece, sheet music end paper. Light edge wear to dust jacket. Else a very clean, tight copy. Record # 451988. Bookseller Inventory # 451988

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Fritz Kreisler : Love's Sorrow, Love's Joy

Publisher: March 1, 2003, Portland, Or.

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler has been described as "the last, best ambassador of 19th-century Vienna to a 20th-century world." A prodigy with no formal instruction on the violin after the age of 12, he brought to the musical stage a warmth that made him a uniquely beloved celebrity.


In this post-Heifetz age, in which virtuoso violin playing is identified with perfection of execution, it is difficult to comprehend that within living memory the reigning king of violinists was a man who detested practice, loved to drink and gamble, was benignly casual about the truth when it suited him--sometimes passing off his own music as the obscure work of little-known 18th- and 19th-century composers, or embellishing anecdotes--and felt that too-precise execution of a musical work robbed it of its soul. Indeed, this would seem to be the profile of some legendary jazz player, not a giant of the classical repertory. Yet Fritz Kreisler--a onetime piano prodigy whose first career sputtered out after he lost the novelty of youth--as an adult dominated the practice of the violin during the years between the two world wars. His expressive and emotional style of playing enabled him to make contact with audiences in a way that earlier masters of the 19th century could not. Sadly, as related here by Amy Biancolli, the public remembers Kreisler today more for his pleasing violin compositions than his influence on performance technique, even if some of the greater violinists know better.

This well-written, positive biography is intended to remedy that neglect. It puts Kreisler's place in history and his importance in terms of performance practice into greater perspective. Though she is not entirely able to put the reader emotionally in touch with the vanished milieu of imperial Vienna, Biancolli does provide a well-rounded, late-20th-century perspective on the career of the great violinist, and includes an excellent discography to help the reader become better acquainted with the performances of this likable figure. --Sarah Bryan Miller

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