Translated from the French by Florence W. Seder, Dimitry Markevitch concludes his preface, or Prelude as he calls it: "History, fact and personal anecdote blend here to provide a complete story of the instrument. May this book entertain you, help you to know the cello to the fullest, and lead you to love it as I do." Reading the book confirms that he has amply accomplished his aims. His qualifications for doing so are of the highest. Markevitch is a performer of considerable note and a teacher at both the Ecole Normale de Musique and Conservatoire Serge Rachmaninoff in Paris. He also has a keen interest in musicology and has edited many works for publication. The book is divided into three parts: "The Instrument," tracing the history of the cello and cello bow from earliest times, "The Performers," anecdotes of historical cellists plus a long section on Markevitch's friend Piatigorsky, and "Great Moments for the Cello," development of cello repertoire.