Cover image for Emanuel Feuermann
Emanuel Feuermann
Morreau, Annette.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xx, 420 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm + 1 audio disc (digital ; 4 3/4 in.)
Accompanying CD, track listing: p. 419-420.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML418.F49 M66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The meteoric career of the Austrian cellist Emanuel Feuermann ended with his sudden and tragic death in 1942, aged only 39. A brilliant soloist and chamber performer, many expected him to inherit from Pablo Casals the reputation of the greatest cellist of all time. The trio he formed with Jasha Heifetz and Artur Rubinstein was considered the leading chamber ensemble in the world. This biography of Feuermann - a combination of documentary and oral history and narrative - discusses his life, work and legacy, and seeks to award him the place in musical history that he was denied by his early death.

Author Notes

Annette Morreau is a London music critic for the Independent and other publications. In 1994 she produced and presented a series of four, two-hour radio documentary programs on Feuermann for the BBC.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

London music critic Morreau has produced a fine account of the life and legacy of cellist Emanuel Feuermann. Born in 1902 into a poor Jewish family in Austria, Feuermann was thought by many to be a better cellist than Pablo Casals, but his life was cut short at the age of 39 during a somewhat mysterious botched operation. As a youth, Feuermann struggled to find a place in his father's heart and in the world of the Reifenbergs of Cologne, upper-class Jews who had been baptized and whose youngest daughter Feuermann eventually married. Morreau is especially good at describing Feuermann's cultural milieu and the uncertainties and complexities inherent in climbing the social ladder. In fact, because the cellist married outside of his caste, his parents and his wife's parents never met, and the book's one drawback is that Morreau does not examine as completely as one would like the extent to which her subject consciously "put aside" his birth family. The book includes a chapter on Feuermann's writing, teaching, and performing, as well as two chapters on his recorded legacy. Three appendixes (listing Feuermann's fees, instruments and strings, and known recordings) round out the text. Seymour Itzkoff's Emanuel Feuermann, Virtuoso: A Biography (1979) contains many interesting sidelights, but Morreau's account is fully attributed and will be the standard biography. Highly recommended for large public and academic libraries and libraries interested in classical music. (Accompanying CD not available for review.)-Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Here is a well-researched, detailed biography of a musician who remains a legend for cellists but is nearly forgotten by the broader musical community. Feuermann (1902-42) was a gifted cellist whose reputation as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher, both in Europe and the US, challenged that of Casals and Piatigorsky. His untimely death aborted a flourishing career, and his continuing recognition must rest on the numerous ecstatic reviews of his performances; the opinions of his family, associates, and students; and a substantial body of recordings, all predating the LP era. Morreau has skillfully brought all of this material together to make a convincing case for Feuermann's importance in the history of music performance and pedagogy. The author supplements the biography with two additional chapters--one detailing Feuermann's writing, teaching, and performance, the other surveying his recordings. Several useful appendixes, a portfolio of 21 photographs, and an extensive index round out this definitive work. An accompanying CD includes a variety of pieces spanning Feuermann's 20-year recording career and affords the reader a convincing account of Feuermann's remarkable virtuosity. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Academic collections supporting study at the upper-division undergraduate level and above; large public libraries. W. K. Kearns emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder