When the Music Stopped, by Bob Cafaro

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When the Music Stopped, by Bob Cafaro

Post by Ricordanza » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:00 am

This self-published book by Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Bob Cafaro is sub-titled "My Battle and Victory against MS." In scary detail, he describes the three "attacks" of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) he endured in 1998 and 1999, and the treatments he underwent to alleviate the symptoms. At first, he was in denial that he had MS. Eventually, he accepted the diagnosis but not the prognosis that his days as a cellist--and as a productive human being--were over. Through a rigorous (or one might say, fanatical) program of diet, exercise and mind control, he overcame this disease. This was proven by MRIs, which are duplicated in the book.

I was a little disturbed by one part of the book: After recovering to a degree from his third attack, Cafaro was determined to rejoin the orchestra for the 1999-2000 season. But he had not fully recovered the use of his hands or his vision. It appears, therefore, that he faked his way through that season. A triumph of determination over integrity?

Some other musical topics are covered, such as the interesting way he acquired his cello, and his auditions for principal spots in other orchestras.

In part, the book inspired me. On the other hand, it made me feel guilty about the foods I enjoy on a daily basis.

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