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In a dusty, turn-of-the-century Catalan village, the bequest of a cello bow sets young Feliu Delargo on an unlikely path. When a local landowners wrath threatens his family, the Spanish bow leads Feliu to anarchist Barcelona, then on to the court in Madrid, where a music masters daughter gives him his first lessons in the art of love. There he meets up with the charming and eccentric piano prodigy Justo Al-Cerraz and begins the lifelong friendship and rivalry that will orchestrate a tumultuous course for them both. As a war-torn world careens toward catastrophe, they make splendid music together and clash over women, politics, and almost everything else. Then Aviva, an Italian violinist with a haunted past, enters their lives, and Feliu and Justo embark upon their final and most dangerous collaboration.
Inspired by the life of Pablo Casals and with appearances by Pablo Picasso, Bertolt Brecht, and others who wrestled with the competing demands of art and conscience during the Spanish Civil War and World War II, The Spanish Bow is a deeply imagined tale of the passions that accident bestows—and the sacrifices history enacts.