Violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler was a most beloved musician, bringing to the musical stage a grace and warmth that were unmatched during his prime. Born in 1875, he was the last, best ambassador of nineteenth-century Vienna to a twentieth-century world. Nurtured in the rich musical environment of that European capital, Kreisler had a middling career as a prodigy, never attaining the early celebrity of a young Heifetz or Menuhin, and he even abandoned the violin for several years while exploring other pursuits. Yet Kreisler was to become the most influential musician among string players the world over. This lively portrait by a perceptive critic brings back to life a musical giant of the first half of the twentieth century, examining important themes and events of his life and his views on politics and art as well as on music and musicians. It reveals a man whose gift was a unique ability to communicate joys and sorrows to an adoring world through music.
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