Carl F. Flesch is the son of the famous German violinist Carl Flesch (1873-1944) and grew up in the Berlin of the 1920s and 30s. He thus came into almost daily contact with some of the foremost musicians of the century - Furtwangler, Kreisler, Schnabel, Heifetz, Thibaud - including, of course, his father's pupils - Rostal, Haendel, Neveu, and many others. And do you also play the violin?' was a question he was frequently asked as he grew up, and it explains his intention in writing this book: he had, in his words, a ringside seat' to observe these musicians from close quarters and writes about the men and women behind the famous names; examining, often with some humour, the relationship between teacher and pupil, the pressure on public performers, life as the child of a famous parent, and the effect on German musical life of the Nazis' accession to power.
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