I did learn a great deal. I researched a number of violinists referred to in this book who were previously unknown to me. In this context, I would like to mention Louis Spohr (1784-1859). Not only did his tremendously valuable Del Gesu violin get stolen as we are told in this novel, but I learned from Louis Spohr on Wikipedia that his opera Jessonda was banned by the Nazis because it deals with a romantic relationship between a Portuguese general and a princess of India which the Nazis considered an example of heinous race mixing.
I really liked the perspective of The Rainaldi Quartet .We get to see into Gianni Castilliogne's mind. We get insight into how he experiences music and his love for violins. I was impressed by what he had to say to Rainaldi's granddaughter, a budding violinist.
Other good points of this novel were the plotting, the background about luthiers, violin dealers and the history of violins. I was also interested in the historical and cultural background of Cremona, Italy.The story about the violin dealer at the Festival of the Dove was quite vivid.