New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, (1931). Single volume, measuring 8.5 x 6 inches: ix, , 308. Original blue cloth ruled and lettered in gilt, color pictorial pastedown to upper board, patterned endpapers. Eight color plates throughout text. Lightest edgewear.
First edition of this illustrated anthology for young readers, collecting anecdotes of great musicians in their youth: “to catch that warm and living moment in their early lives when the spark of genius was fanning into flame.” Featured musicians include Stradivari, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, and the Schumanns, among others. Schoolboy Giuseppe Verdi wins over the canon of Busseto when he takes the place of the cathedral’s organist, while young Jenny Lind is discovered in Stockholm, singing to her cat: “When she told the cat she loved him her voice was low and soft and tender, and when she sang about the tall trees it rose clear and high and strong and wonderfully sweet and Jenny did not know, so absorbed was she in her own song and the cat, that the people in the street paused and listened with wonder on their upturned faces.” A bright, near-fine copy.