Vasa PrihodaViolinists: Recordings and Performances: What do you know and think about this wonderful violinist, pretty much un-known and forgotten? I heard he had better reviews in US than Heifetz.
From Andrei Gocan
From Stephen BrivatiGreetings,
Posted on June 2, 2004 at 06:37 AM
I don`t think he would have had better reviews than Heifetz. He was to some extent prior to Heifetzx in terms of the warmth of sound , high intensity vibrato era Heifetz ushered in.
But I agree with you that his violin playing is just plain awesome and he should be much better known. He was soemything of Paginin specilaist and his left hand pizz etc is just plain scary as well as the cleaness of his playing. A real violinist`s violnist.
His recording of the Dvorak conerto is one of the best.
His Viextemp 4 sounds like it has been recorded in the toilet with amateur orchestra.
From Andrei GocanI heard that Heifetz for example did everything he could not to let Prihoda have a career in US, because during the war, Prihoda stayed in Austria.
Posted on June 2, 2004 at 10:07 AM
But he was a genius. At 19 he was discovered by Toscanini, and that`s how his career florished. Recordings with Paganini-Wilhelmj concerto, Nel cor piu... Sarasate, Dvorak are brillliant. Tartini-devil`s trill is wonderful with his own cadenza. His tone is so smooth, a rare quality, not at all heavy and 100% pure. A briliant violinist. All the best, Andrei
From johan statenhe's one of the very best. I hear a guy in germany sells all his recordings on cd out of love for his art. johan
Posted on June 2, 2004 at 11:17 AM
From Stephen BrivatiGreetings,
Posted on June 2, 2004 at 11:48 AM
Andrei, I agree with your analysis of Prihoda's playing although all in all I don"t he had so much of everything in the way Heifetz did.
But why suggest it so bad that Heifetz tried to block his career in the US? Assuming it is true rather than some kind of anecdote distorted by time and rpetition , then what could have been going on in Heifetz' mind?
Hindsight and second guessing are tenuous at best, but remeber that heifetz was an ardent supporter of the US becuase of the system of values it represented to him a s opposed to the dictatorship of the bolsheviks. He chose to defend that by supporting US troops very close to war zones at no real gain for himself. Whether or not you agree with him doing that (as so many others such as Stern also did) I don"t think there was any doubting his sincerity and an extension of that would have been quite naturally to block artists from Axis countries.
I would never have supported this if it was what he was doign but I am not sure if it fair to imply his actions were so mean and negative without taking the big picture into account.
From Kurt KroekerI wish I knew more about him myself :-p All I do know is that he wrote a really great transcription of waltzes from Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier" and that he was a really influential violinist in central Europe.
Posted on June 2, 2004 at 07:44 PM
Here's what a web-article I found has to say about him:
Vasa Prihoda (1900-60) was the greatest Czech violinist. A dazzling virtuoso with a very distinctive personality, his career hit a speed bump when he decided to remain in Europe during WW II. Worse, his ex-wife, the Jewish violinist Alma Rose, spent her last days in Auschwitz, and Prihoda apparently did nothing to try to save her. It appears that he did not know that she had come back to the continent and been captured after she fled with her father Arnold to England. It also has been little noted that after he and Alma divorced, he married another Jew.
I also read that he broke his arm and had to stop playing for a while. That's my greatest fear....
From Peter RovitWith regards to Prihoda's wife, he in fact divorced her after the fascists took over and it was made clear to him that a Jewish wife would be poison for his concert career. At least this was what I was told by Mr. Gingold.
Posted on June 2, 2004 at 11:34 PM
From Andrei GocanBuri, I don`t like anecdotes either. The information was from Leopold Douin who was a student of Prihoda in Wien. Douin said it to Eric Melon, who I know. So, that`s how I Found out this. Which doesn`t mean it`s necessary 100% true. But, I tend to belive it. I read in an old Strad magazine that he really had better reviews than Heifetz himself. But, this does not matter. Unfortunatelly, I`ve got very few recordings of him and I would certainly like to to enrich my Prihoda collection. All the best,
Posted on June 3, 2004 at 11:19 AM
From Stephen BrivatiGreetings,
Posted on June 3, 2004 at 12:27 PM
whatever the other nasty stuff he was certainy one of the great players. I hope you get as much of his stuff as you can,
From Oskar ReissI would recommend to contact Wolfgang Wendel, the leading Prihoda expert, who also released several Prihoda CD's.
Posted on June 3, 2004 at 01:43 PM
From Andrei GocanThanks . I will. Andrei
Posted on June 4, 2004 at 09:08 AM
From Oskar ReissRecently there was a discussion on Vasa Prihoda. The German Label WOW released some new cds of never published broadcast recordings.
Posted on July 28, 2004 at 11:52 AM
From Frans LemaireThere is a lot of information on Vasa Prihoda in Richard Newman's book, "Alma Rosé. Vienna to Auschwitz", Amadeus Press, 2000.
Posted on August 26, 2004 at 03:15 PM
I am interested in Mikhaïl Goldstein (1917-1989), violonist and musicologist born in Odessa. Was he the brother of Boris ?
From Alan WittertI have many Prihoda recordings and do not find them a unique voice in them; astounding left hand technique but little emotional involvement and lacking the penetrating tone of his better known contemporaries - nothing like Heifetz, Milstein, Kreisler...
Posted on August 26, 2004 at 08:45 PM
From Baker PeeplesBe it known that his paganini "Nel Cor Piu Non Mi Sento" variations (with piano) are simply hair-rising, as is his "Round of the Goblins." His cadenza to the devil's trill sonata, though staggering, is tasteless. His Dvorak concerto has some brilliant passages equally paired with dullness.
Posted on September 2, 2004 at 06:23 AM
A great technician, but a terrible musician.
From Mattias EklundMany of us (and some of the more famous reviewers in the famous magazines) agrees that Prihodas Dvorak is one of the best.
Posted on September 2, 2004 at 09:25 AM
From Joseph TsaiSpeaking of Prihoda, does anyone have the score of his transcription of "Der Rosenkavalier"? Thanks!!!
Posted on June 16, 2005 at 05:25 PM
From Myvanwy Ella Pennyhey, my teacher is a former student of vasa prihoda and the stories he has told me in the last 9 years are all absolutely amazing - he must have been such a good violinist, musician and human, if i may say so.
Posted on June 23, 2005 at 07:39 PM
I do believe my teacher has taken over a little of prihoda's style in teaching and playing and I think it's fantastic!
From Melanie BuchI do agree with Myvanwy!!:)
Posted on June 24, 2005 at 05:46 AM
From Alan WittertI have him doing Paganini #1 (single movement version) and many short pieces. Wonderful dexterity; more impressive than if he was juggling spiders but not quite as musical. Dry, arid sound with minimal emotional projection. The Kevin Costner of the violin (if Kevin had great acting technique...)
Posted on June 24, 2005 at 10:43 PM
From Matt DostalHi, I think Prihoda wasn't the greatest Czech violinist. Josef Slavik, Jan Kubelik, Josef Suk, Ondricek, and now Sporcl.. He was very, very good but not the best i think
Posted on June 28, 2005 at 07:58 PM
From Matt DostalHey, the czech symbols aren't working!
Posted on June 28, 2005 at 03:24 PM
Ä› Å¡ Ä Å™ Å¾ Ã½ Ã¡ Ã Ã©
From Bill PlattNone of the ASCII extended character set works for me here--even a french "accent egu" fails....
Posted on June 28, 2005 at 04:02 PM
From La Villa GianlucaPRIHODA AND HIS SOUND
Posted on June 29, 2005 at 04:29 PM
I do not understand the above judgement about Prihoda having an "arid sound with minimal emotional projection". Just listen the difference between Prihoda's Smetana From my Homeland and the Milstein's,e.g.: the latter, though a very great violinist and musician, sounds predictable, normal, in comparison. And also the Godard En regardant le Ciel is a wonderful Prihoda performance. The same for the Vieuxtemps Concerto n.4 or the Tartini Devil's Trill.
From Mattias EklundMatt, where have you heard any recordings by Slavik?
Posted on June 29, 2005 at 06:25 PM
He died in 1833 :)
From Matt DostalYou got me:)
Posted on June 29, 2005 at 08:16 PM
no i just wanted to say that there were so many excellent violinists from the Czech countries so it is impossible to say who was the best, because each was interesting in another way.. Slavik's reputation, Suk's cantilene, Kubelik's virtuosity and now Sporcl's image;)
oh and I almost forgot Matt Dostal and his "extreme" double stops:)
yes and sorry for my english
From SALVADOR MASANGKAYi had a cd of vasa prihoda, and indeed his playing of paganini is on a class of its own, emotion and technique was there, a lot like the playing of itzhak perlman.
Posted on June 30, 2005 at 09:43 AM
From Patrick HarrisI'm about to transfer quite a few Prihoda recordings from 78s to the web. I'll post the url here when they are up.
Posted on July 3, 2005 at 04:59 AM
From Matt DostalFound it! I have signature of Vasa Prihoda! wonderful feeling
Posted on July 3, 2005 at 06:53 AM
From Isidor Saslav
Posted on January 10, 2010 at 05:51 AM
Not long after I had begun my studies at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Munich in the fall of 1958, I came across a table set up in the hallway laden with flyers, information about, and tickets to various upcoming musical events. I looked at a small pile of free tickets to a violin recital. The name upon the tickets being completely unfamiliar, suggested to me that a young artist, just starting out on his career was to be the performer of the evening. Ever on the lookout for new experiences in my chosen field I appropriated a ticket and, on the appointed evening, set off for and arrived at the concert.
Imagine my surprise when onto the stage stepped not a thin and youthful teenager but a rather pear-shaped elderly gentleman with white hair and a somewhat sleepy air about him. Well, this unprepossessing grandfatherly figure proceeded to deliver the most electrifying and exciting violin recital it has been my privilege to experience, either before or since on any continent. For on that stage that night was performing “The European Jascha Heifetz," none other than Vasa Prihoda (1900 - 1960) himself. Vasa who? you might ask. Prihoda was (as I subsequently discovered) the legendary Czech master of the fingerboard who flourished in the 1920s and 30s but whose neglect to ever visit the United States (unlike his Czech predecessor Jan Kubelik, ca 1900) made him less than a household word to American audiences, including myself. The recital I heard came very close to the end of Prihoda’s career, and he died, I believe, in 1960, but two seasons after I heard him.
Let me tell you about this wonderful and unforgettable recital. It consisted of five works (plus six encores): the Franck sonata, the Schubert Fantasy, the Bach unaccompanied sonata in C Major, with its long and taxing fugue, and Tartini’s Devils’s Trill Sonata, and if all that weren’t enough, Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata to round out this incredible program. Each work was delivered with such an ebullience of expression and an infectiousness of rhythmic freedom that you wished you could get up and dance along with that inspired fiddler there on the stage! The six encores Prihoda delivered showed how reluctant the public were to say good night to this whirlwind out of the east. When I went backstage afterwards I thought I detected signs of a nip or two which had been imbibed by the star of the evening which no doubt lent a further bit of spontaneity to the proceedings!
Eight years later, when I was serving as the concertmaster of the Minneapolis Symphony [now the Minnesota Orchestra] I discovered that one of the members of my first violin section, a certain Haig Balian, from Armenia, had actually been a student of Prihoda in Vienna. But Balian was constantly frustrated by the fact that this brilliant artist, his teacher, was completely unknown to his American colleagues; and until I arrived on the scene Haig had no one to share his love, admiration, and reverence for this violinistic legend. Prihoda thus formed an especial bond between us and I was the recipient of many an invitation to come to the Balian household for dinner and enjoy his mother’s special recipe for that middle eastern bit of heaven, the ground chickpea and olive oil frapee known as “babaganoosh.” No one has ever made babaganoosh like Mrs. Balian. Sadly, not long after I left the Minnesota Orchestra in 1969, Balian too moved on, becoming a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. There in LA he unexpectedly succumbed to some kind of stomach disease and suddenly passed away highly untimely. Perhaps he and Prihoda are again united somewhere in violin heaven.
Isidor Saslav, fmr concertmaster Buffalo Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Baltimore symphony, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, etc.
From Stephen Symchych
Posted on January 10, 2010 at 04:04 PM
An interesting operatic fantasy:
Not my favorite playing as such, but he certainly had what it took to carve out a career.
To clarify his marriage(s), a quote from Alma's on-line bio:
" In 1930 she married the Czech violinist Váša Príhoda (1900-1960), who was considered one of the great violin virtuosi of the 20th century. In 1935 the marriage was dissolved. In later years it was claimed that Príhoda had separated from his wife for opportunistic reasons because of National Socialism. However, these claims are unfounded: the chronology does not fit and, in any case, his second wife was also Jewish. "
From tijn vellekoop
Posted on January 12, 2010 at 08:48 AM
Prihoda loved trains and to play with them. His house was designed to accomodate as many rails as possible for his models by holes in the walls. He knew the time-table of the European railways by heart. He was described to me as a rather naive, childlike person.
His superb technique was designed not just to dazzle with pyrotechnics. In the mentioned Bach sonata in C major for Violino Solo, he played the first movement one bar in one bow, for musical reasons only. Unbelievable!
To some members it may be interesting that he worried about his technique because of his short little finger and worked very hard to deal with his 'shortcomings.' And came out the superb technician that he was.
From Hardy Kefes
Posted on March 25, 2011 at 10:45 AM
Does anyone has the sheet music of his version of the Toselli Serenate?
It is wonderfully played!
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