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Menuhin-A Family Portrait by Tony Palmer

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Hardcover with dust jacket, New, Never read, 

This biography of Yehudi Menuhin explores the background to Menuhin's story. Acclaimed as a "second Mozart" as a young boy, he toured the capitals of Europe and America, astounding audiences with his extraordinary playing. Yet, in the 1940s, after the collapse of his first marriage and the horrors of the war, Menuhin's playing seemed to lose its magic. His conducting showed that he was still a powerful interpreter, yet the violin was no longer his "friend". The author attempts to explain the painful loss of Menuhin's exceptional gift and reveals that far from being a "golden childhood", as Menuhin has claimed, his upbringing was stifling. He and his two sisters had few friends of their own age and were claustrophobically over-protected. Though hardly equipped to deal with adult life, marriage seemed their only escape, with devastating consequences for all three. Originally a Channel 4 documentary, this book draws on extensive interviews with Menuhin's family and presents a clear and sympathetic portrait of one of the most remarkable, but also one of the most misunderstood artists of the 20th century.