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Favorite Violinist?


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"...joshua bell for his emotion in every note"....i think he uses just way too much vibrato! and hilary hahn will one day be a better violinist than she already is today but not a favorite.

but anywho....my favorite would be Vadim Repin and Itzhak Perlman...for current...for past...David Oistrakh, Nathan Milsten, and now sadly having to add to this list Erick Friedman. Sorry Steve

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I usually am most fond of the last violinist I listened to. So, my favorite violinist--today--is Stephan Grappelli....Listened to "Shades of Django" last night.

You might really enjoy the album Grappelli did with Mark O'Connor.

Because my youngest kid loves jazz, we have quite a few nice jazz violin albums, including some crossover (Perlman with Oscar Peterson ). But mostly we listen to the usual suspects (Szeryng, Milstein, Kogan, Oistrakh, and so on down the line) playing classical fare.

J.

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Too many to name but here are a few of my bestest!

Sure Bell & Hahn, but also Heifetz, Menuhin, Kreisler, Kogan, Oistrakh, Neveu, Rabin, Szigeti, Accardo, Ricci, Vengerov, Mutter, Midori, Sonnenberg.

They all own a certain piece or two in your head - usually the first time at particular concerto or sonata really clicks for you and you decide it is the definitive version for you.

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I usually am most fond of the last violinist I listened to.


I have that syndrome as well. I'm crazy about live performance, so my favorite tends to be the last person I heard in person.

That being said, if I had to single out one person (other than my spouse), I'd have to say Jaime Laredo.

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Milstein at the top by a furlong. (That is correct, the furlong has become a measurement of violin greatness.) Heifetz next, and for third place, it's got to be a great mishmash of brilliant violinists, including Kreisler, Oistrakh, Szeryng, and Gitlis to name just a few.

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If I had to pick just one, and live with only that one violinist recordings, it would be Heifetz. Just listen to his bow arm, it just SNAP CRACKLE and POPS. Notes spring in and out of nowhere, nothing remains static. Those slides- Heifetz had more ways to get from one note to another then the proverbial cat had lives. In other words, more happens in more Heifetz performances then that of any other violinist I can think of. My second choice would have been Isaac Stern.

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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.

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This subject has indeed come up a few times.

Without saying one particular answer, there sure are a few wonderful ideas and sections throught recorded violin.

Kreisler had an occassional great momment and so did Menuhin for sure. So did Heifetz.

So did/do many others, and it depends on which music, and which mood the violinist is in.

But there are also many more parts (in my opinion) in which the great musical art is missing.

Yes, Bell too, has some great feelings sometimes.

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Milstein at the top by a furlong. (That is correct, the furlong has become a measurement of violin greatness.) Heifetz next, and for third place, it's got to be a great mishmash of brilliant violinists, including Kreisler, Oistrakh, Szeryng, and Gitlis to name just a few.


Like crazy Jane! Not fur long!

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Come on guys, no one mentioned Perlman. I've listened to thousands of recordings, he's the one that is most consitently great. Soaring sound, deep musicality, impeccable intonation, he has it all. I love many violinists, but he is the standard of recorded violinists.

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There are many great violinists over the last hundred years especially- so to single out a few and say they are the best is very hard. Especially in a broad sense of general recordings.

I would have to say for baroque recordings I love Andrew Manze. He can be a little to scholar-ish at times- but in general he is truly a great baroque player. In jazz its deff Stephan Grappelli.

As far as general classical playing I would say PAST: Heifetz, Szigeti (no one mentioned him!! Get a recording!), Oistrahk, Milstein. PRESENT: Itzak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Gil Shaham.

There are so many amazing violinists I didn’t mention, but these are my personal favorites.

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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.

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I am surprised by the sampling on this thread. It seems that in the 20th century, Heifetz set the standard, and raised the bar for all players. I know one cannot argue matters of taste, yet, for instance, whatever one's taste in literature, it would be hard to argue with Shakespeare's place at the acme of western lit. Likewise, Bach and Beethoven tower over most composers. Heifetz seems to annoy some people, but every note he played was on fire, and the range of his repetoire was huge. He made the index recordings of much of the repetoire. Personal favorites can appeal to idiosyncratic tastes, and the list of great players has been fairly well covered on this string. My own taste - i find Perlman's handling of the fiddle as good as can be, but I find his playing more often boring than interesting. Likewise, Bell and Kenny G isn't a bad analogy, although his bluegrass if fine. I've walked out of Kremer concerts - ugly sound, boring music. I love Hahn's musical intelligence, if her sound is not as intense and exciting as I'd wish. Also, Mark O'connor is a very exciting player, with good taste. Nobody here has mentioned Kennedy. In concert, he has the best rapport with the audience I've ever experienced - as good as any performer in any genre - definitely my favorite live - and his recordings excel as well. 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.

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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.

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