3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Careful: Roth's opinions dominate the book,
By A Customer
This review is from: Violin Virtuosos Paganini to 21st Century (Hardcover)It is, of course, admirable that Roth takes great effort to write articles of so many violinists. It can be used as a reference to dates and such information. But still, the book could have been more rightly named "WHAT ROTH THINKS ABOUT VIOLINIST from Paganini to the 21st century". As Mr Perng writes in the above customer review, Roth seriously does have biases. If you agree with Roth, good. If you disagree, that's when the trouble starts.
For instance, also as Mr Perng has pointed out, Roth worships Heifetz. Being strong admirer of Milstein (I cannot say I hate Heifetz though), I must say this. Roth writes to say why Heifetz was more famous (or played better,as Roth strongly suggested) that Milstein. But those points were exactly those which made Milstein renowned for! They are Milstein's straightforward musical approach, aristocratic tone, "more people seem to want to play like Heifetz than Milstein", and most of all, Milstein's refusal to play music that was popular (or that "sell") which happened to be what he didn't like. How many artistes will stand up for such a belief these days? These reasons were those that made people like me, and especially the Viennese (who by the way, hate Heifetz)admire him! With such comments, Roth can frustrate the reader.
But with superb pictures and select discography (careful of his comments - use them only as a guide), I found it still all right to buy the book.