By Arnold Steinhardt
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780618368921, 255pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 2006
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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 and stunningly beautiful instrument. His story is rich with vivid scenes: the terror inflicted by his early violin teachers, the sensual pleasure involved in the pursuit of the perfect violin, the charged atmosphere of high-level competitions. Steinhardt describes Bach's Chaconne as the holy grail for the solo violin, and he illuminates, from the perspective of an ardent owner of a great Storioni violin, the history and mysteries of the renowned Italian violinmakers.
Violin Dreams includes a remarkable CD recording of Steinhardt performing Bach's Partita in D Minor as a young violinist forty years ago and playing the same piece especially for this book. A conversation between the author and Alan Alda on the differences between the two performances is included in the liner notes.
Arnold Steinhardt is the author of Indivisible by Four: A String Quartet in Pursuit of Harmony. He is the first violinist of the acclaimed Guarneri String Quartet and performs as a soloist all over the world.