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4.0 out of 5 starsBought the CD - Got the Book Free
Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2010
In truth, I bought the book for the enclosed CD but to my surprise, found the book a good read. Prieto is a truly remarkable man - MIT trained engineer, executive, musician and writer, with a truly remarkable instrument - the Piatti cello. The history of stringed instruments is well told as is the history of the Piatti instrument. Anecdotes about composers and musicians are entertaining and many of them new. The section about the cello repertoire is superb and will generate a long list of new must-listen-to music for many readers (the CD helps shorten that list). Only in the center section where Prieto details (and I mean details) his tours in diary format does the book drag. You can skip that part and miss little other than the ego stroking (and impressive) list of Prieto's commissioned, dedicated and premiered works.
3.0 out of 5 starsI Wanted the Cello to Tell its Own Story
Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2013
I bought this book because I am in the process of buying an 18th century cello for my son, a young cellist. I wanted to be inspired by the history of the Piatti Strad, to imagine the life of an instrument through the illustrious example of Carlos Prieto's renowned cello. In fact, I was inspired. I loved the part of this book that dealt with the instrument itself; from its maker to its eccentric owners and unlikely travels, I was mesmerized. I even found several historical tidbits about people or places associated with my son's cello. Unfortunately Mr. Prieto, apart from his outstanding musicianship, is a generator of lists. Lists, though valuable in a limited sort of way, are often not very interesting. Prieto's lists are not more exciting or engaging because they were generated by a musical genius and the book suffers as a result. Prieto's comments on the political atmospheres of the countries he visits with his cello are equally uninteresting. My knowledge of Spanish and Latin American classical music and composers, however, has been vastly improved and for this I am grateful. I would have liked to enjoy the acquisition of that knowledge a tiny bit more than I did.
5.0 out of 5 starsChelo Prieto Buys a Plane Ticket
Reviewed in the United States on June 1, 2011
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
5.0 out of 5 starsCello Players (And Others) Will Enjoy This Book
Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2008
My husband, a professional cellist, received this book as a gift. He enjoyed it immensely. He has sent at least 5 of them to other cellist friends--some professional, some who just love to play. All reports from those who have received this gift have been wonderful. Highly recommended to those who play... and those who don't... there's a lot of interesting information about the instrument, the musicians who play and teach, and the world of music.
Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2013
Great storytelling, but the book is uneven, as it tries to do too many different things. The best part is the second part, the real adventures of the Piatti Strad. Must read by al cellists and good read for other string players.
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars"Look at ME" I would not recommend this book
Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2015
He seems kind of arrogant.. all about him.. I've read other autobiographies that are not all about Me, Me, Me..ie, "Look at ME" I would not recommend this book. (However that being sai,; Pgs 3-75: Brief history of early luthiers and their instruments. Pgs 76-218: self-indulged autobiography of Carlos Prieto. Pgs 221-281: well researched listing by era and country of many major composers, musings and their works.)
Carlos Prieto's life is an affirmation of the reason we have music and a study of one of its great exponents. The story of the Piatti is an added bonus. The book contains a CD. You can read of Prieto's life and listen to him playing the Piatti. A definite read.
NO doubt you will love this book as much as I did! (I am reading it again!!!) He tells a lot of stories of his travels and concerts and his wonderful experiences as a musician around the world - and the cello is also honoured in a beautiful way!