Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Spanish Bow; A Book Review

“(Duarte’s) cello was a glossy caramel colour, and the sound it produced was as warm and rich as the instrument looked. It sounded like a human voice. Not the high warble of an opera singer or anyone else singing for a stage, but rather the soothing voice of a fisherman singing as he mended his nets, or of a mother singing lullabies to her sleepy children”
-The Spanish Bow; Adromeda Romano-Lax

The first time I heard a cello on the radio I had goose bumps, I was younger and unfamiliar of the instrument being played but I fell in love with the melody of Camille Saint-Saen’s “The Swan”. To this day it will be one of my favourite musicale pieces and one of my favourite musical instruments. My recent read is based on the power of cello and the man who creates history by creating music with his powerful bow.

The book “The Spanish Bow” by Ardomeda-Lax is based on a love story between a cellist, his bow, his country, his musicale companions, and a woman. You might think that this is the cello version of the “Red Violin” by it is not. The protagonist of the story is Feliu Delargo who inherited a simple cello bow which changed his life forever. Born with a deformity he grew up reclusive and retreated to playing the cello. He mastered the instrument and for years he brought his passion with him as a cellist playing during troubled times in Spain influencing others through music and growing with it not only as a cellist but also as person.

The author is superb in combining music and history. I believe she has written something grand for anyone to appreciate music and at the same time insert perfectly Spain’s political history through the eyes of a master cellist.

This book is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in both music and history. A novel filled not only musical sonatas and concertos it is also filled with Spain’s deep political history from it’s oppression to the country’s freedom.

A FOUR out of five stars.