Pieces That I Wish Heifetz Had Recorded

February 1, 2007 at 05:29 AM · I kind of touched on this earlier in the Goldmark thread regarding how I wish Heifetz had recorded the piece in its entirety. Then I thought of some other pieces I wish he had recorded as well which he didn't. Here's my list, (put down your wish list if you have one):

Saint-Saens B-minor Concerto

Ernst Concerto in F# Minor

Vivaldi 4 Seasons

Wieniawski Concerto No.1

Paganini Concertos 1 & 2

(I'm sure there are more to come)


February 1, 2007 at 05:39 AM · (complete) paganini caprices

Shostakovich Violin Concerto

Shostakovich Violin sonatas

Prokofiev Violin Concertos

uhhh wow i can't think of any others right now....i'll make a long list and post it later.

February 1, 2007 at 10:30 AM · Hi,

Patrick, Heifetz did record the 2nd Prokofiev Concerto.

Nate, to that list, I would add the complete Goldmark Concerto. Apparently, John Pfeiffer said that plans were in the making for a recording of the Saint-Saëns, but that Heifetz abandoned the project for some unclear reason.


February 1, 2007 at 12:04 PM · I would have loved to hear his rendition of the Bartok Violin Concerto.

He DID record the Prokofiev Concerto #2, twice in fact, both wonderful performances.

February 1, 2007 at 01:05 PM · Heifetz hated the Bartok concerto.

February 1, 2007 at 01:16 PM · Whaaaat? Who in their right mind hates Bartók?! :)

February 1, 2007 at 01:33 PM · Again...the never ending story of Jasha Heifetz.Why not speaking about great violinists of today...There is a spendid new generation out there: Gringolts, Ehnes, Hahn, Fisher, Vengerov, Repin...

No offense,


February 1, 2007 at 01:54 PM · Marc: No offense taken. As I've said elsewhere, I believe we're living in another "golden age" of violin playing; there are so many really great ones today. But Heifetz, of course, occupies a special place in the history of the art, and the interest and fascination with him seems endless (especially since he tried to keep the details of his life and art so private). And, even though he may have hated the Bartok, I still would have loved to hear his interpretation. He didn't care for Mozart's Symphonie Concertante, but he made a great recording of that, too.


February 1, 2007 at 02:09 PM · The above, plus:

Bartok #1

Schoenberg Concerto

Berg Concerto

Nielsen Concerto

February 1, 2007 at 02:06 PM · I am happy Sandy about your comments concerning "another golden age"...I believe in it too...personnaly, I miss the fictive recordings Neveu,Hassid and Kreisler could have done...Althought I am absolutely fascinated by the young Jasha Heifetz, I have noticed that on this site, it is a regular topic...I do not have the cult of Jasha Heifetz...I like to listen to many violinists, my favorite ( for beauty of sound) being Kreisler...And today, there are outstanding violinists on the concert circuit we could talk about.


February 1, 2007 at 02:39 PM · Well I don't know if Heifetz hated the Bartok, he just didn't really feel he understood it. Heifetz, according to my teacher, did try to learn it, but just didn't feel like the piece meshed with him. Schoenberg actually was going to dedicate his violin concerto to Heifetz. They met together to discuss the part, Heifetz learned parts of it, but had misgivings about the work and decided to truncate the project from what I understand.

February 1, 2007 at 02:58 PM · Dvorak VC...maybe the Romance too

I also wish Heifetz and, even more so, Perlman had recorded the Ysaye Sonatas, though I guess there is still a little hope for Perlman.

February 1, 2007 at 03:41 PM · Marc, he's a towering figure in the history of violin playing, of course there are frequent discussions about him. It's not like we're all the Cult of the Divine Jascha or something.

February 1, 2007 at 03:44 PM · He is easily accessible because his recordings were reissued all the time...before those of Neveu and Kreisler for instance. In the 70,s, you could not have access to the early recordings of Kreisler...only his late recordings were available and Kreisler was not playing at his best...But when RCA published the complete legacy of Kreisler a few years ago, I heard something quite different...Milstein, Francescatti, Flesh, Oistrach,Szigeti and many others commented about how well Kreisler played in his golden period and the magic spell he had over the audiences...It was often said, even after Heifetz debut, that Kreisler was the King and Heifetz, the prophet ...Kreisler being the first to use the continous vibrato, Flesh said and wrote that he was the biggest influence in violin playing at the turn of the century, a revolution...And guess who was Heifetz and Milstein hero? Kreisler! Only one picture was hang on the walls of Heifetz studio: a picture of Fritz Kreisler...this in his case certainly had a profound meaning...


February 1, 2007 at 04:06 PM · Kreisler was brilliant, and also a towering figure. But having a discussion (again) on Heifetz is no insult to Kreisler, Szigeti or anyone. :)

February 1, 2007 at 04:39 PM · I completely agree Maura. We have discussions all the time about fiddlers from different eras. It is not disrespectful in the least to discuss Heifetz. Marc - I think it was actually Wienawski and Ysaye who innovated the continous vibrato. It was Wieniawski according to Heifetz (who my teacher worked with), that started to explore vibrato and its relation to tonal projection as concert halls grew bigger and bigger. Yes indeed Heifetz was a big Kreisler enthusiast, if you listen to early Heifetz, you'll hear lots of Kreislerisms in his playing. Heifetz also told my teacher Ysaye was his other strong influence.

February 1, 2007 at 04:47 PM · Kreisler was once quoted (and I hope I have it right) as saying something like, "Where I leave off, Heifetz begins." The Kreisler recordings of the Beethoven Sonatas, the Grieg #3 (with Rachmaninoff), and the Schubert are absolutely spell-binding and unique.


February 1, 2007 at 05:27 PM · Nate, you are wrong about the continuous vibrato...read about Flesh in his treatise published in 1930...and listen to Ysaïe recordings: he played entire passages without vibrato and when using it, it was not at all in a continuous manner...A book was published about Fritz Kreisler ( by Amy Bianchi if I am right) that reestablished beyond doubt that Kreisler was the first to use the continuous vibrato, with testimony by Ysaie, Gingold, Flesh, Milstein, Szigeti and many others saying that Kreisler revolutionnized violin playing in 1900...Heifetz went further technically...and listen to the recordings of Heifetz when 11 years old...his vibrato is not continuous at the time and he uses a lot of portamenti instead of vibrato for expression...he sounds more like Ysaïe...


February 1, 2007 at 07:15 PM · Nate: Paganini himself used the continuous vibrato as stated by Carl Ghur...that is why Sphor did not like the way he played...Listen again to Ysaïe...it is clearly a spasmodic vibrato, not regular in frequency on the long lines...please get the book of Amy...you will see all the stir Kreisler caused by using the vibrato the way he did in 1901-1912...read about Franscescatti and Szigeti who were young boys at the time and how deeply impressed they were after hearing Kreisler and how all the perspectives of a new world just seemed to open to them...read about the comments of Ysaïe himself in 1899 saying ,after a performance by Kreisler of the Vieuxtemps 4 and Paganini,s Non più mesta that he( Kreisler) will have a deep impact into violin playing, as much as Wieniawski himself, adding, and "believe me, I know what I am talking about, he(Wieniawski) was my teacher...

February 1, 2007 at 07:42 PM · About Jascha and the works he should have recorded:

The 4 Hubay's

The other 5 Vieuxtemps

Ysaye's No.8

Achron's first


Lalo's all besides the Symphony

February 1, 2007 at 07:47 PM · I'll weigh in though I might not have the right sources. Nate is right.

My teacher who studied under Primrose and chamber under Heifetz for most of his undergrad and grad taught me vibrato that way.

Like continuous meaning (not that you use it all the time but that) your hand is buzzing with it so when you need a little to express how you feel the music should go it is there in CORRECT PROPORTION AnD PACE to the music.

The exercises/training for the constant/continuous vibrato is really really difficult, and I'm not sure where my teacher got it but he was taught by Primrose who was taught principally on viola by Ysaye. So??

I don't know... I think Nate is correct.


February 1, 2007 at 08:05 PM · Again...read the book... and Carl Flesh... Primrose was influenced by Kreisler and also Pablo Casals...Heifetz overshawdowed Kreisler and a complete generation of violinist is not aware about Kreisler's primordial influence on "modern violin playing"...read about Joseph Gingold who wrote quite a lot about the event of Fritz Kreisler...It is true that Ysaïe used more the vibrato than Joachim...But Carl Flesh explains the difference in his book "The Art of Violin playing " between Kreisler and Ysaïe and how the art of Fritz Kreisler influenced modern violin playing for ever...The book was written in 1930 and does not give the credit to Heifetz or YsaÏe...He talks about Sarasate also and others...Flesh did heard all these violinists and his account is quite accurate and higly credible...


February 1, 2007 at 09:56 PM · Greetings,

forgive me for being a screwball, but I wish he had recorded the Kreutzer etudes...



February 1, 2007 at 10:29 PM · That would be a bit of a waste of a great artist, don't you think? I'd rather have his commentary on them ;) afterall, the interpretation and musicality with Kruetzer etudes surely comes way after its technical significance, no?

February 1, 2007 at 11:21 PM · Walk on the Wild Side


February 2, 2007 at 12:27 AM · Greetings,

Mr. kurganov, not sure how much of a waste given the little time expneded on it. The point about musiclaity could actually b raised to some degree about many works Heifetz recorded. Taking your excellent point as a positve thing, it might persuade many students that Kreutzer etudes can be approahce dwith the intent of creaitng a thing of beauty as well as mastering a tehcnicla point -simultaneously- Were a studnet to do taht there techncila abilty would improive considerbaly more rapidly. It would also give a huge plethora of insights such as what tempo did Heifetz consider most eficacious for a particular technique. I note with interets in his Masterclasses, for example, he advocates quite a slow tempo for two etide sin order ot force a studnet to use the bow much more freely. He would also presumably make choice sbaout what variations to apply which would also be veyr telling.

Finally, it wuld be a superb support for teahcer sthe world over who could turn round to over conceited students who belive they are beyond Kreutzer and only need the Sibelius to finsih their tehcnique `really, Heifetz called the Kreutzer `The Professional`s manual,` and he recorded them to boot.`



February 2, 2007 at 01:54 PM · Here is the exact reference of the book written by Amy Biancolli about Fritz Kreisler:Love's Sorrow, Love's Joy, Amadeus Press,Reinhard G.Pauly, General Editor, Portland, Oregon. Published in 1998 ( about 450 pages)


February 2, 2007 at 02:47 PM · Hi,

Henry Wood actually wrote about Ysaÿe's vibrato and Kreisler and compared them. Kreisler had apparently a more intense and more continuous vibrato then did Ysaÿe whose vibrato was according to Sir Heny Wood more varied and more selected. Nonetheless, Ysaÿe had intensified the vibrato beyond that of his predecessors, which he inherited apparently through his studies with Wieniawski.

That Kreisler's personal touch influenced a generation of players is not surprising. He was probably the most celebrated artist and universally beloved of his time. I think that it is likely that all of the players had numerous influences.

Vince makes an important point. It is a matter of having an active left hand that can vibrate at any point. That seems to have been the hallmark of Heifetz, Kreisler and company.

My own two cents on the matter...


P.S. And YES, a very happy birthday to both Mr. Heifetz and Mr. Kreisler since it is February 2nd!

February 2, 2007 at 02:52 PM · Oh yes Happy Birthday to Mr. Kreisler as well! You are exactly right Christian about the importance of the left hand staying active.


February 2, 2007 at 11:22 PM · Buri - I think it would be quite interesting to hear Heifetz play Kreutzer. I'm sure he would have been able to make these etudes very musical. I'd have to add the Barber Concerto, and the 24 Caprices of Paganini to the list of pieces I wish he had recorded.

February 2, 2007 at 03:55 PM · And to both Mr. Heifetz and Mr. Kreisler, wherever they are, on their birthday we wish them an ongoing superlative technique, continuous vibrato, an audience of angels, the approval of the composers, and rave reviews from up above.


February 2, 2007 at 06:29 PM · Sandy: Heifetz is in hell with both Tartini and Paganini...(joke)


February 2, 2007 at 06:31 PM · HAPPY BIRTHDAYS, JASCHA AND FRITZ!!!

February 2, 2007 at 08:06 PM · Marc: If Heifetz and Paganini and Tartini are in Hell, I don't know if I can afford the tickets to their concerts.

:) Sandy

February 2, 2007 at 08:32 PM · Greetings,

Sander, on the contrary, to get those tickets all you have to do is enjoy this life rather more tahn you are supposed to,



February 2, 2007 at 09:06 PM · Buri:

Thank you for your correction of my response. I would add to your suggested criterion for entrance into the nether reaches of Hell ("enjoy this life rather more than you are supposed to") a couple of other obligations:

1. Screw your fellow human beings as much as possible.

2. Take pleasure in the misery of others, and

3. Consider Heifetz as the greatest violinist who ever lived.

Cordially, Sandy

February 3, 2007 at 10:14 PM · Someone mentioned the Schonberg concerto. Heifetz definitely hated that one. He tried it out in private, couldn't make head or tail out of it, and finally exlaimed: "Do you know Mr. Schonberg, when violinists will play your concerto? When they grow a 6th finger!" said Schonberg:"I can wait!"

Now here's a real oddball choice. Many years ago I heard a haunting piece on the radio - 'concerto for soprano (no words) and orchestra' by Gliere. As I listened to it I kept imagining a transcription for violin played by Heifetz.

I, too, am always glad to note Feb 2 as the B-day for both Kreisler and Heifetz. I thought once to get the idea going of recogntion of an 'International Violin Day'. I would have proposed Feb. 2 - but then reminded myself that the groundhog beat me to it!

February 3, 2007 at 10:37 PM · I'll also put a vote in for that holiday :)

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