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Toscha

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  1. Quote: As wonderful as he was, the problem with Milstein's career is the lack of excellent recordings of the big romantic concertos. On this standard, Heifetz stands alone, Oistrach next. Interesting. Milstein recorded quite a few of "big Romantic" concerti, some of them, more than once. You don't think they are "not" excellent? There are a few Romantic concerti Milstein did not record, but only BIG Romantic standard concerti he did not record that I can think of are Elgar and Sibelius. Other Romantic concerti that Milstein did not record, such as Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, Paganini, Joachim, Ernst or even Korngold, are not exactly considered "big" concerti by most people. I am not here to question the superiority of Heifetz. Heifetz and Kreisler have been favorite of mine and will likely to remain so for longest time. I find it rather disagreeable to make a statement such as quoted above without sufficient explanations. T.
  2. Glad to hear that somebody remembers him. He made some of the most cultivated recordings of the Mozart sonatas with Badura-Skoda and elegant, thoughtful recording of the Bach concerti as soloist. I also love his unshowy but deeply satisfying recording of Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Paul Doktor. My reason for failing to mentioning him was because he did not make as many solo (sonatas and concerti) discs as Boskovsky, so I failed to include him in the list. But as an chamber musician, he was unforgetable, and is one of my favorite quartet leader, along with Capet, Busch and Anton Kamper (of the Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet). A wonderful player! T.
  3. For me, it has always been Kreisler ever since I heard him on my grandfather's 78s. He had such a unique style and beautiful sound. Then usually I divide my favorites to past (no longer alive or active) and present (currently active). Past (after Kreisler): Heifetz, Thibaud, Enescu, Prihoda, Menuhin (at his best), Huberman, Grumiaux, Szeryng, Ferras (at his best), Elman (at his best), Milstein, Martzy, Boskovsky, Tibor Varga and Georges Boulanger. Menuhin, Ferras and Elman have not been my consistant favorites, but their best recordings certainly makes up for their lesser efforts for sure. Present: Gitlis (I think he still belong to this category), Frank Peter Zimmermann, Roby Lakatos, Gidon Kremer, Hilary Hahn, Corey Cerovsek and Mirijam Contzen. T.
  4. How about: Finzi: Prelude Finzi: Romance Arensky: Variations on the theme by Tchaikovsky Suk: Serenade I don't think they are done that often. T.
  5. What about Mendelssohn D minor? It is certainly not as difficult as the more famous E minor, but quite effective and definitely Romantic. 2nd movement is not unlike a vocal recitative and aria, and the last movement has more than a hint of Hungarian gypsy music of the day. The first movement is well-written and passionate, as well as delicate and elfin. Viotti Nos. 22 and 23 can be classified as Classical or Romantic, depending on the performer. They have wonderfully Italianate melodies and also quite effective. I guess I am fairly conservative and do not believe that jumping from Accolay and Mozart No.2 to Bruch or Lalo will be particularly good idea. T.
  6. I do not know about that, but violinists in the top-notch orchestra are likely to have enough technical capabilities to play the caprices. The reason why I believe is that most of those players are graduates from top-notch conservatories, just like many of the soloists. They are EXPECTED to learn many of the caprices, if not all. Of course, some may choose not keep them in their fingers, but if a situation demands them to play the caprices, it is highly likely that those players will be able to negotiate them. Another thing to remember. Just because a violinist has not recorded those caprices, that does NOT mean that they cannot play them. The CD market does support 200 different recordings of the caprices. There is simply not enough demands for that. The word of wisdom. DO NOT base one's judgement through recordings only. That is only a partial picture! T.
  7. Rather surprised that nobody has mentioned Schubert (except the late sonatas) and Faure, the two of my favorite composers for piano. Schubert wrote many sonatas, including sadly incomplete ones, as well as shorter character pieces. They are very diverse in mood and I am always fascinated by their intriguing beauty. Wilhelm Kempff and Walter Klien has recorded pretty comprehensive sonata sets and Brendel, Uchida and Schiff has recorded quite a few of them. Among them, I like the Klien set the best. It is most economical in price, but most musically balanced set. Kyoko Tabe's sonata recordings on Denon label is stunning. She is one of the best Schubertian I heard in recent years. And let's not forget the legendary Schnabel recordings either! Demus and Badura-Skoda made some very tasteful recordings as well, individually and as a duo. As for Faure, Evelyne Crochet, Jean-Philppe Collard and Kathyrn Stott have recorded the comprehensive recordings. I find Stott to be most consistently satisfying. There are few other pianists who made beautiful recordings as well, such as Eric Heidsieck (nocturnes) and Germaine Thyssens-Valentin (nocturnes, barcarolles). Grieg's short pieces are very lovely also. For starter, try the Gilels recording of the Lyric Pieces. It is my absolute favorite Gilels recording (I don't usually like his playing, but this one is exceptional) and his selections of 20 pieces are very carefully chosen. A couple of composers of note that has not been mentioned: Chabrier (if you can get the French EMI discs of Marcelle Meyer, you are in for treat!!), Reynald Hahn (Earl Wild has recorded a lovely set of Le Rossignol Eperdu on Ivory Classics label), Bortkiewicz, Granados, Albeniz, Mompou, Godowsky (Marc-Andre Hamelin has recorded a stunning set of Etudes and the giant sonata. Godowsky also wrote some delightful miniatures and arrangements), Szymanowski etc. On the lighter side, you can also try Moszkowski, Arensky, John Field etc. Moszkowski's concerto is a delight, with last movement bubbling with intoxicating champaigne and more than a hint of can-can. David Bar-Illan made a brilliant recording of this work. Moszkowski's short pieces were old-timers' favorite encores. Josef Hofmann and Shura Cherkassky made some exquisite recordings. Arensky's piano concerto was also in vogue for while. Stephen Coombs made an excellent recording, coupled with absolutely gorgeous Bortkiewicz concerto (I personally like the Bortikiewicz concerto far better than the over-played Tchaikovsky No.1). T.
  8. Quote: Has anyone tried playing them? CAN some normal orchestral violinist play them really well? Depending on your definition of "normal" orchestral violinist. If your mean current orchestral violinists from New York, Chicago, Berlin, Cleveland, etc. (in my view, they are NOT normal orchestral violinists. In order to get into one of those orchestras, one has to pass an audition that is no less demanding than any of the international competitions), it is highly likely that they will be able to play the caprices quite well. Back to the subject, I already wrote a very long post regarding this subject, so I will not repeat here. There are a few recordings of individual caprices that I did not mention, so here they are: Heifetz did record 3 caprices (Nos. 13, 20 &24), quite stunningly. No.24 is especially electrifying (you can watch him play on a film as well). Milstein also recorded a few (Nos.5, 11, 13 & 17). His playing is very elegant in the Nos. 11 and 13, quite effortless in No.5. Only No.17 is not quite in the same standard. And finally, Ivry Gitlis recorded Nos. 13, 20 and 24 (according to one source, Gitlis did record the complete set). He plays like a devil. His No.24 is almost in the same class as Heifetz. Makes me wonder if his unpublished complete set (from 1974) will be published one of those days.... T.
  9. Quote: I an quite surprised no one has mentioned Heifetz - to me unmatched For a very obviously reason. Heifetz did NOT record K.216. He recorded K.218 (no.4) and 219 (no.5), but not this one. That is why his name has not come up. T.
  10. tc: Cadenzas for the Schirmer is written by Sam Franko, not Joachim. I don't believe Joachim wrote cadenzas for this concerto. By the way, Menuhin plays the Franko cadenzas. As for Grumiaux, he plays a slight modified version of the Ysaye cadenzas. Back to the subject. Grumiaux is definitely worth getting. He has recorded the work 3 times (2 studios plus 1 live)and my favorite is the first one with Moralt and Vienna Symphony from 1953. To me, his playing had more freshness and sparkle in this early recording than more readily available stereo version with Davis. I am not sure it is available on CD now, but used LPs should not be too difficult to locate. Otherwise, the stereo recording will do. I also like the Stern/Szell recording (although it is more to do with Szell's SUPERB conducting than Stern's playing. I would have preferred Morini or Milstein in his place, but anyway). I always had some reservation about Oistrakh and Menuhin recordings. Their violin playing is superb, but I never found their conducting skills to be up to par with their violinistic talents (unlike George Enescu, or to a lesser extent, Willi Boskovsky). So, I find their orchestra parts to be lacking in intensity and sparkle. I also find their tempi in the outer movements to be a bit on the slow side for my taste. If one wants really "out there" recordings, try Huberman (1934) and Prihoda (1956). Both of them treat this concerto as a virtuoso concerto from 18th century, and they are also quite liberal about the use of rubato and glissandi. Their styles are terribly out-of-date, but they are definitely interesting as historical documents. Huberman plays his own horrendously difficult cadenzas, much more suitable for Paganini, rather than Mozart. My current favorites are Grumiaux/Moralt, Thibaud/Paray and Frank Peter Zimmermann/Sawalisch. I already wrote about Grumiaux. I grew up with Thibaud's recording and I still marvel at his inimitable sense of timing and delicate, tasteful use of glissandi, despite his sometimes less than perfectly precise intonation (he was about 67 and past his peak). I just became familiar with the playing of Frank Peter Zimmermann last month through his recordings of the Mozart violin sonatas. He is an absolutely amazing violinist and is far better Mozartian than Perlman, Zukerman and co. He plays with exquisite taste and nobility, and his lean, intense, but delicatedly etched sound is, to me, ideally suited to the Mozart concerti. He is ridiculously underrated in this country! Sawalisch's orchestral support (with Berlin Philharmonic) is one of the best I heard, alongside with Szell, with gorgeous oboe playing. So, my picks would be Frank Peter Zimmermann, then Grumiaux/Davis. After that, follow your own taste! T.
  11. Quote: When I hear Heifetz, I hear perfection and some great portamento, but mostly a soulless sound I don't enjoy very much. But that's just me. He reached very many people, and I'll try again. There is a correlation between technical perfection and beautiful musicianship, but it's not perfect. I really did not want to comment, but could not help it. Frankly, I NEVER understood people who kept saying that Heifetz's playing was cold or souless. It is true that he favored faster tempi than usual and had a stage manner without any strange mannerisms. But he put all the emotion into his playing, fast tempi and all, with distinctively unsentimental manner, rather than acting out to show the audience. I find that far more moving and noble than most other violinists. Heifetz has a very intense style that does not always work on certain repertoire (he can be a bit hard-driven), but when his style and the music matches, I find his playing to be just the direct opposite of cold or souless. I find that there is nothing souless about his interpretations of late Romantic concerti (Conus, Korngold, Wieniawski, Vieuxtemps etc.) or lyrical oritented short pieces. As for Perlman and Yo Yo Ma, I have the direct opposite reactions. I find them to be superative players, but I don't find them memorable. It is very fine playing indeed, but I have trouble recalling how they played the music after listening to them. My old teacher used to say that they play very nicely, but that was about it, where as Kreisler or Heifetz had much more things to say (and as a result, far more memorable). Quote: I agree it's very nice to know that these caprices CAN be played to perfection (technically), though I suspect that even some famous great violinists cannot do everything perfect due to various physical limitations which some might have (which do not stop them being otherwise great or famous). The violin and bow also might be at fault, sometimes. staylor, what are you trying to say? Can you be more specific? You seem to be conflicting yourself. How can one play the caprices "technically perfectly" and "cannot do everything perfect"? Is the latter mean other works besides the Paganini caprices? I personally dislike separating the technique and musicianship into two different entities. To me, they are very closely related. One cannot express their musical thought properly, if they do not have the kind of skills needed. It is just like one cannot be a great writer or poet with poor language skills, since in order to express oneself well, one has to have language skills. As for the original topic, I have not heard the Perlman's recording of the Paganini caprices in ages, so I do not remember very much about it. I have heard the Rabin, Ricci (all four-sound recordings plus 2 video-recordings) and Markov recordings more recently and are bit more fresh in my mind. The Rabin recording is superb, although the close-up recording makes his sound a bit too bright. His interpretation has both fine singing quality and utmost technical brilliance and color. As for Ricci, his first two sound recordings (dating from 1949 & 59) are excellent, with plenty of fire and sparkle. His later two (from 1978 and 88) are less impressive by comparison. They still have many moments of brilliance, but marred by more than permissible numbers of mishaps. As for his two video recordings, the one from One-Eleven Ltd (originally BBC Scotland) is vastly preferable. Markov is interesting. He often takes tremendous risks, both musically and technically. When it comes off, it is truly demonic. When it does not, it is rather bizzare. Other recordings of note are Mintz, Midori, Zukovsky (HE has some very strange ideas), Spivakovsky, Renardy and Francescatti (the last three with piano accompaniment). There is also a staggering set played on viola by Emanuel Vardi that is worth seeking. They are all very different from each other and frankly, I would listen to all of them and enjoy the difference, rather than bind yourself in one interpretation! Sorry, did not mean to write so much! T.
  12. You will have a difficult time finding a recording to beat the Heifetz/Piatigorsky version, if you have a strong sympathy towards their brilliant, extroverted style. The other recordings in somewhat similar vein would be Heifetz's earlier recording with Feuermann (with Ormandy/Philadelphia) or Piatigorsky's earlier recording with Milstein (with Reiner). Sonically, though, they are not as good (though Milstein/Piatigorsky is not too bad for the period), so if you are looking for a good sounding recording with similar style, you are pretty much out of luck. There are other fine recordings that are different in style from Heifetz/Piatigorsky version. My favorite is still the very old Thibaud/Casals version with Cortot conducting (1929). Although the orchestra is below the highest standard of the day, Cortot makes the best out of them (he could have been quite a fine conductor if he wanted to pursue the conducting career). And Thibaud and Casals are in their top form and their sense of timing is simply superb. Other recordings I am rather fond of are Stern/Rose (with Ormandy), Szeryng/Starker (Szeryng is superb. I am not as wild about Starker, for all his effortless playing) and Grumiaux/Janigro (with Scherchen. Hard to find, but worth searching). The Mischakoff/Miller/Toscanini recording is also superb, so as Ruggiero Ricci's recording with his cellist brother George (with Masur). The Ricci-Ricci recording is definitely in the Heifetz/Piatigorsky vein but slightly less driven. I don't think this one has been issued on CD, but hopefully it will soon. On LP, it was coupled with an exciting recording of Ruggiero Ricci playing the Schumann Fantasy (op.131). T.
  13. Quote: Menuhin learned Ysaye's technique from Persinger and suffered the same fate as Ysaye. I don't think it is that simple. Persinger taught many other students who did not develop the kind of problems Menuhin suffered from. And Persinger himself played quite well to his relatively advanced age (there are some recordings by him from 1950s that find him to be in fine form. He was at least 63 by then). Also, Ysaye's other pupils such as Alfred Dubois (and his pupil, Grumiaux) and Josef Gingold did not suffer from the problems Ysaye had. Ysaye's problem mainly stemmed from his diabetes and according to Carl Flesch, his habit of holding the bow without pinky at the nut of the bow. Menuhin's problem was more complex in nature. Aside from that, I tend to agree with your comments for this topic, except the rather questionable last sentence. T. P.S. staylor's original question makes no sense to me, but the whole superstar business is questionable, because sometimes a performer can be extremely successful and popular in certain part of the world but not in other regions. This difference has decreased over the years due to the development of faster and better communication and transportation systems, but it still defintely exists. A performer who is considered "superstar" in the U.S. does not always have the same status in other countries and vice versa.
  14. Have you thought about contacting Aaron Rosand or Ruggiero Ricci? They recorded the concerto with orchestras some years back. I don't have their contact information, but you can probably look them up in the internet. More tedious way to do it is to get the parts (since you said they are available) and put together a score yourself. At least the concerto is only about 18-20 minutes long. It may not be as horrendous as putting together a score of a forty minutes concerto (as Szeryng did for the Paganini third concerto). Anyway, best of luck to your research and performance. You must be a very fine violinist. T.
  15. Before 1925 (the end of the accoustic recording days), it was not uncommon for violinists to record a concerto movement with pianist, using the piano reduction parts. As for the Mendelssohn, there are several recordings of 2nd and 3rd movements accompanied by piano, such as Ysaye (3rd movement), Marie Hall (3rd), Arnold Rose (2nd), Maud Powell (3rd), Bronislaw Huberman (2nd & 3rd), Toscha Seidel (3rd), etc. There is one recording I am aware of that plays the whole concerto with piano. The recording is played by Josef Wolfsthal (1899-1931). Wolfsthal studied with Carl Flesch and was considered by Flesch to be one of the most gifted pupil he has ever taught. He left very few recordings because of his early death (from complication of influenza), but his three concerti recordings (Beethoven, Mozart No.5 and Mendelssohn) ranks with the very best players of the past. T.
  16. As for recordings, there are recordings by Mischa Elman, Peter Rybar and Pinchas Zukerman. I am not familiar with the Zukerman recording, but the others play this concerto with anything but dry style. You could try to locate those recordings (if you can locate all three, you will be STUNNED by the fact how differently those men play). Good luck! T.
  17. I am with you on this one, although you probably should not have written the first sentense and get to the point right away. I had teachers who adamantly insisted on using correct terminologies (I do too, with my students). One of them even said that by using incorrect words, one is showing a lack of proper English command, maturity, and respect for the work referred to. This has absolutely nothing to do with arrogance. For clarification, here is the quick definition of "song" (quoted from The Harvard Dictionary of Music). Song. A form of musical expression in which the human voice has the principal role and is the carrier of a text: as a generic term, any music that is sung; more specifically, a short, simple vocal composition consisting of melody and verse text. In this latter, narrower sense, song would exclude, for example, the ornate Baroque solo cantata or the extended opera aria. Unfortunately, the Nardini concerto does not fit into this category. T.
  18. Quote: In terms of Heifetz, IMHO you are better off with the Naxos Historical recordings than with Heifetz recordings on other labels. Naxos has put out all of his important concerto recordings. Yes and no. Yes, because they are one of the best CD transfers of those recordings and also quite economical due to their cheap prices. However, they represent only a fraction of enormous recording output of Heifetz made and if you read my previous post (sorry, it is a bit hard to read since this site insists on showing it in single paragraph!), there are some chamber music recordings of significant importance (from Heifetz-Piatigorsky concert series) I mentioned and virtually NONE of them are on Naxos series as of now. So, I would not limit yourself to those recordings. Rather, use them as "introduction to Heifetz" and dig far deeper! T.
  19. Heifetz and Kreisler! Then comes others. (by the way, folks, PLEASE spell the name Heifetz correctly!! If one is a violinist with some knowledge, one should be embarrassed to misspell this great man's name). Ideally, no serious violinist should be without the complete Heifetz and Kreisler (RCA and HMV) recordings, if nothing else. But that is not realistic. So, I will mention a few of my favorites that may have not been mentioned.HeifetzBruch Scottish FantasyGlazunov Violin Concerto (preferably, the 1934 version)Richard Strauss Sonata (first 2 versions)Sarasate ZigeunerweisenSaint-Saens Introduction and Rondo CapricciosoConcerti by Sibelius, Conus, Korngold, Prokofiev No.2 (the first version), Wieniawski No.2, Vieuxtemps Nos.4 &5 etc.Sonatas by Grieg (No.2), Brahms (Nos.2 &3), Mozart (K.454), Saint-Saens (No.1), etc.Some chamber music recordings of Heifetz are also quite stunning. Here are some of my favorites:Tchaikovsky Piano Trio and Sextet (Souvenir de Florence)Arensky Piano Trio No.1Dvorak Piano Trios (F minor and Dumky) and Piano QuintetMendelssohn Piano Trio No.1 (with Rubinstein and Piatigorsky)Beethoven String Trios (with Primrose and Piatigorsky)Mozart Divertimento, K.563 (with Primrose and Feuermann)Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia (with Primrose) etc.KreislerConcerti by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms (1st version, with Blech), Bruch No.1 and Viotti No.22 (2nd and 3rd movements only, but well-worth seeking!)Sonata recordings with Rachmaninoff (Beethoven No.8, Schubert A major and Grieg No.3). His Beethoven sonatas with Rupp are somewhat uneven. Some are wonderful (such as Nos.6, 8 and 10), others are uneven, though never lacking in breathtakingly beautiful moments.As for short pieces, practically ANY recordings made before 1930 are in exalted level. Later recordings are still quite superb in many ways, but somewhat technically insecure from time to time.Aside from Heifetz and Kreisler, some of the greats have been mentioned, but I have not noticed the names of Mischa Elman, Ivry Gitlis, Christian Ferras, George Enescu, Bronislaw Huberman, Jacques Thibaud., Zino Francescatti etc. being mentioned. These violinists are not just for collectors, but should be listened by any serious violin students. I listen to these violinists with my students during lessons from time to time, if they happen to be working on pieces recorded by these players. Many of them find those comparisons absolutely fascinating, since I very often pair two recordings that are extremely different (for example, I had one of my adult student listen to 4 different recordings of the first movement of the Handel D major sonata. For that occasion, I used Elman, Heifetz, Milstein and Grumiaux. She seemed to be stunned by their differences).Listen to many different players, not just a few violinists who are currently popular. More diversity will bring more interesting ideas.T.P.S. In defense to Heifetz's Bach. As much as I prefer less overtly virtuostic (and more introspective) approaches of Menuhin, Enescu, Szeryng and others, I must say that Heifetz does NOT distort the basic pulse of the opening movements of the G minor and Aminor sonatas, or the florid passages from the Chaconne. I heard some recordings where performers go berserk with those passages (almost sounding like a gypsy music), but not Heifetz. He had far more respect for Bach than most of us would realize.
  20. Thanks for reminding me about this label. The Marston label does incredible remastering work! Just compare their Josef Hofmann discs with other companies'. The difference is quite stunning! Hope Mr. Marston will be able to continue with his excellent work!! T. P.S. I just ordered some CDs from them. Not the Bolet disc (I was never a big fan of him), but the discs of Carl Friedberg (one of my violin teacher's ex-wife studied with him), and sadly neglected, but formidable Arthur Loesser. The website also annouced the third volume of the amazing pianist, Ernest Levy. Something to look forward to.....
  21. That is true. By the way, the correct spelling of "Kubelick" is "Kubelik" (without "C" between i and k). HKV used to rave about Kubelik but could not really convince many of us. I find him technically brilliant, although I admit that his playing does not quite have the impact of Heifetz or Gitlis. Prihoda is another story. I always enjoyed his playing and lamented the fact that he is overshadowed by Heifetz and Milstein. While he was not a large-scaled player a la Heifetz, he was absolutely bewitching in short, display pieces. I have yet to hear a recording of Sarasate's "Jota Navarra" played with a comparable charm. I just heard an old LP of a Russian-American violinist named Benno Rabinof (1908-75). He was one of the last pupil of Auer, along with Shumsky, and Auer was quite fond of his playing. My old teacher knew him and told me about his party trick of imitating Heifetz (according to him, Rabinof was great at it). Now I finally got to hear his recording. He is MARVELLOUS!! He has the sumptuous and vibrant sound of the old Russian ("Auer") school with plenty of temperament. His playing sounds about half way between Heifetz and Seidel, perhaps slightly leaning towards the latter, though with much more rhythmic discipline. On the LP, he plays mostly gypsy tinted music and all of them are exquisitely played. According to Henry Roth, he made very few recordings, but appeared on radio many times. What a pity! I would have loved to hear more of him. T.
  22. I am very sorry to hear this. Varga was a great player, but sadly neglected by major recording companies. Tibor Varga Foundation has issued some of his recordings from various sources, but they are not very easy to obtain. They are really worth seeking. Upon hearing this news, I listened to his recordings of the Tchaikovsky "Souvenir de Florence" and Schubert String Quintet. The Tchaikovsky is stunning, perhaps equalled only by the Heifetz-Piatigorsky recording and the Schubert is deeply felt. He was a very special player. We will miss him.... T.
  23. Quote: Ok heres some facts: -1898 Ysaye retires -1902-1913 are the dates of Kubelick's recordings May I ask where you got those dates? They are NOT correct. Ysaye played well beyond 1898 (he was only forty then). He was still performing well into 1910s and the last appearance as a soloist took place in 1927, playing the Beethoven concerto. As for Kubelik, MOST of his recordings were made around the years mentioned above, but he did make a few (probably no more than a half-dozen) recordings after 1913. T.
  24. Quote: How can you count Nikolaj Znaider as a forgotten violinist? You CANNOT. In order to be "forgotten", one has to become reasonably well-known first. Then if one's popularity wanes due to all sorts of reason, one can become a "forgotten" violinist. Thus, in case of Znaider, he can be labelled as "not-yet-famous" violinist, but not yet "forgotten." Crazy Jane: I agree with you on Walter Weller. He was a fabulous player! I believe he became the second youngest concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic (Weller was only 21 or 22. The youngest in their history was Walter Barylli, at the age 18). Weller was only 20 when he formed the Weller Quartet, but already had some quartet experience as the second violinist of the Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet. He was (along with Anton Fietz of the Vienna Octet) one of the representative of the newer, fresher style of the Viennese string playing as opposed to more nostalgic and sweeter playing of Boskovsky and Anton Kamper (the first violinist of the Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet). Weller's discs of the Viennese Classics and Romantics are superb by any standards. T.
  25. A few more names have come up to my mind. I am somewhat surprised that I have not mentioned Devy Erlih nor Michele Auclair in my old posts. Both of them were very fine French violinists around Ferras' generation. Erlih was a Enescu pupil and made some wonderful recordings when he was younger. His recording of Lalo's "Symphonie Espagnole" is wildly exciting and the Khatchaturian concerto crackles with fire. Sadly, he did not make many recordings. Auclair also made some remarkable recordings during her relatively short recording career. Her 2 recordings of the Tchaikovsky concerto are one of the best recording of this work by a non-Russian. Her Mozart concerti (nos.4 and 5) are wonderfully free-spirited, somewhat reminiscent of Thibaud, without his extremely personal rubato and glissandi. I also just re-acquainted with recordings of the Roumanian Silvia Marcovici. Up to now, I only knew her through her recordings of the Glazunov and Sibelius, but recently, I found her recordings of the Beethoven sonatas (4 of them, so far). She has a wonderfully rich and vibrant sound, somewhat recalling Francescatti and even a bit of Enescu. Her Beethoven discs are quite impressive, especially the "Kreutzer" sonata. Two more formidable women. Cornelia Vasile (a Gitlis pupil) and Edith Peinemann (a Rostal pupil). Vasile made a tremendously elegant and effortless recording of Paganini caprices (selections) and the Ysaye sonata no.2 back in the 60s. What became of her? She appears in Gitlis' memoir as somewhat childish and wacky character with amazing talent for violin. Peinemann has made all too few recordings, but she is a wonderfully cultivated player, a worthy successor to Busch and Flesch. Has anyone mentioned Max Rostal? He was a great teacher, but amazingly unpredictable as a performer. His recording of the Schubert sonatas sounds awfully close to Schlammelmusik (Viennese cafe music), and his Beethoven sonatas are odd mixture of dry academicism and Viennese sentimentalism. At the same time, he is capable of big-scaled Romantic playing. Finally, Willi Boskovsky. He is much more well-known as a conductor specializing in Mozart and the Strauss family than violinist these days. But he was a charmer of the violin. His Mozart trio recordings with Lili Kraus and Nikolaus Hubner is simply impeccable and I have not heard a recording that has the same degree of freshness, charm and spontaneity. Boskovsky also made sonata recordings (Mozart and Beethoven) with Lili Kraus. They are loaded with the Viennese charm and joy. T.
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