Here are three books which tell some fascinating stories that illustrate the changes of the musical (and real) world over the 1st half of the 20th Century and more.
“Cellist” by Gregor Piatigorsky
“The Lost Cellos of Lev Aronson”
“History of the Violoncello” by Dr. Lev Ginsburg
“Cellist” is out of print, but very charming, with lots of colorful and entertaining stories if it is in your budget. Piatigorsky was a great cellist and raconteur. The Aronson book is an illuminating tale of the first half of the 20th Century told through Aronson’s experience. There aren’t many around who have direct knowledge of some of the things he experienced, and it is well worth reading. The History of the Violoncello has a lot of information on many cellists of the past. I’m told Aronson hated it because he wasn’t in it. Life is a strange trip, for sure…
A long list