I discovered My Viola and I, the autobiography of Lionel Tertis, in the library at Magic Mountain. It's a charming read with great anecdotes of musical life in the last century and including sections on the design of his own model and his physical problems that led him to stop playing. And there's a whole section at the end with playing advice: 'Long hair and locks over the right or left eyebrow are nauseating to look at and utterly useless in furthering musical capability.'
I discovered this tirade in a seminal string pedagogical work: 'It is most regrettable that our present-day instrument-makers take so little trouble with the finish of their work. (Most instrument-makers, it is true, work nowadays merely for their bread, and in one respect cannot be blamed. People demand good work and pay little for it.) And what is more, each works away according to his own notions and his fancy, without justification for either one or the other... They all
I've been raiding the library of the Magic Mountain library and came across The Memoirs of Carl Flesch. He's not the most compelling story teller, but he does have interesting insights into the great players. For example he explains one of the fundamental truths of profound performance, one from which music students would learn well from: 'Unlike so many others, Kreisler lost none of his essential qualities in the course of the years, because the most valuable ingredients of