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The Adventures of a Cello [Hardcover]

Alvaro Mutis , Carlos Prieto , Elena C. Murray

RRP: 17.99
Price: 17.82 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Oct 2006
In 1720, Antonio Stradivari crafted an exquisite work of art - a cello known as the Piatti. Over the next three centuries of its life, the Piatti cello left its birthplace of Cremona, Italy, and resided in Spain, Ireland, England, Italy, Germany, and the United States. The Piatti filled sacred spaces, such as the Santa Cueva de Cadiz, with its incomparable voice. It also spent time in more profane places, including New York City bars, where it served as a guarantee for unpaid liquor tabs. The Piatti narrowly escaped Nazi Germany in 1935 and was once even left lying in the street all night. In 1978, the Piatti became the musical soul mate of world-renowned cellist Carlos Prieto, with whom it has given concerts around the world. In this delightful book, Mr. Prieto recounts the adventurous life of his beloved 'Cello Prieto,' tracing its history through each of its previous owners from Stradivari in 1720 to himself.He then describes his noteworthy experiences of playing the Piatti cello, with which he has premiered some eighty compositions. In this part of their mutual story, Prieto gives a concise summary of his own remarkable career and his relationships with many illustrious personalities, including Igor Stravinsky, Dmitry Shostakovich, Pablo Casals, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. To make the story of his cello complete, Mr. Prieto also provides a brief history of violin making and a succinct review of cello music from Stradivari to the present. He highlights the work of composers from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, for whose music he has long been an advocate and principal performer. Thus, "The Adventures of a Cello" offers not only the first biography of a musical instrument but also an inviting overview of cello music and its preeminent composers and performers.

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"Music as a great adventure of mind and body: this is what Carlos Prieto gives us in this spirited book." Carlos Fuentes "Like Rostropovich, Carlos Prieto is a true champion of the cello. A creative artist, scholar, and storyteller, Carlos has been a prolific contributor to the flow of music throughout the western hemisphere, premiering compositions of some of the greatest contemporary composers and helping to nurture and develop an entire generation of Latin America's most talented musicians. I am privileged to know him as a colleague and honored to call him my friend." Yo-Yo Ma

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and different 19 Sep 2007
By K. Collier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I loved this book and you don't have to be a cello enthusiast to enjoy reading it. Some parts are a bit slow but the good stuff makes up for it. Prieto has a personable writing style and obvious emotional attachment to his cello that is infectious. He structures the story well - his path to cello stardom is unusual and offers life lessons to people of all ages. He draws the reader in early with the tension behind "How did HE end up with a Strad cello???" The book is kind of a smorgasbord of music trivia/ commentary, including and engaging (if informal) overview of the great composers from the past to the present (much better than the historical overview in The Cambridge Companion to the Cello). Lastly, he is also of an age where his own life story is begins to offer a window into an era gone by. Sr. Prieto will be on your "dream dinner party" list after you read this. Buy the book and pass it on...!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cello players and classical music enthusiasts will relish this affectionate survey. 5 Nov 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In 1720 the elderly violin maker Stradivari made a masterpiece: it was known as the 'Red Stradivari', but it wasn't a violin - it was a cello. Under its new name, the Piatti, it left Italy on a tour, to eventually become the author's key to success. Here is the history of Piatti, from its creation through its different owners. Cello players and classical music enthusiasts will relish this affectionate survey.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cellist's encyclopedia 20 April 2007
By L. L. Duncan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Prieto's fascinating account of his famous cello's life is just the base upon which he gives a wealth of information about cellos, cellists, the cello literature, performances, and the world of the classical musician. Cellists and anyone appreciating cello music will find many portions they can use or be amused by.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chelo Prieto Buys a Plane Ticket 1 Jun 2011
By Imre Sutton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a highly personal and very candid narrative of being a cellist, concertizing all over the world, encouraging composers to write cello concertos and other pieces, knowing other musicians including cellists, etc. The book contains chapters focusing on the author's career, including lists of programs for different cities in different years. It also explores the history of the Stradavarius the author owns -- the Piatti cello. The author named his cello and has some stories of the cello traveling like a person. Another section recounts the history of cello music. The book has numerous photos of the author with instrumentalists such as Yo-Yo Ma, various composers, conductors and others. It was written in Spanish and ably translated. The new edition also contains a CD at the back -- Prieto's performances. A fine addition to a well conceived, written, and published volume. Imre Sutton, Prof. Emeritus, Geography; Cal. State Univ., Fullerton
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical Cello Story 8 May 2008
By J. Q. Fraser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a facile read...an entertaining and enlightening account of the "life" of a priceless Stradivari cello since its "birth". Along the way we learn briefly of the various characters who played a significant role in the cello's life history. The first part of the book gives a review of famous stringed instrument makers and the construction of these instruments. Ideal for either the interested "aficionado" or professional musician.
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