During the Protestant revolution in Europe, a new kind of music emerged, one that ultimately sought to recognize the deceased and to individuate the sense of loss and grief. But the tradition was virtually wiped out by the Great Funerary Purges of the 1830s and 40s. Kriwaczek tells the fascinating story of this beautiful music, condemned by the Catholic Church for political as much as theological reasons, and of the mysterious Guild of Funerary Violinists that, yes, defends its secrets in our time. This is unquestionably one of the strangest books any publisher has ever risked publishing. Discussing the evolution of European culture, musical forms and society's changing attitudes to mortality and the emotional effects of music upon the soul, this is a dark and magical history.
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Exposed by the New York times as a "brilliant hoax," this imaginative volume of fiction is presented as a scholarly history of a secretive art form: "the rise, flourishing, and ruthless suppression of a tradition of [solo] violin music played at funerals." It includes detailed fictional biographies of real or invented persons, alleged "period" illustrations, and elaborate musical scores. --Compiled from the New York times Oct. 4, 2006 article and online reviews.From the Publisher:
The extraordinary history of the almost lost tradition of the Funerary Violin-and of the mysterious guild guards its secrets
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