Heifetz Recital

November 27, 2008 at 05:35 PM ·

Just a wonderfu video with a wonderful recital of Heifetz's from his late years.  This movie really captures his skill as a violin player well, and what kind of a person he was.  Just my little 101st reply to the "great Jascha" thread.....


Replies (22)

November 27, 2008 at 06:25 PM ·

Brian, thank you. That was stunning.
Happy Thanksgiving.

November 27, 2008 at 06:49 PM ·

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

What I find most touchign about this is this video actually shows him as a person, not as a violinist, which it does also very well.  He was actually a real person who had other interests.

November 27, 2008 at 10:09 PM ·

The "Great Jascha" indeed.  Yes, in spite of his reputation for having a rather cantankerous and abrasive style of interacting with others, he could at times be charming, warm, humorous, and self-effacing.  What impresses me more and more over the years is the sheer warmth and passion in his playing, which is totally at odds with that robot-like expression and the common criticism that his playing is "cold."  But I have always liked his stage demeanor; it's not a distraction from the music. And his obvious intense concentration is really a joy to watch. As he has often done (and been criticized for), he zips through some phrases here and there where other violinists might slow down and make more of the moment. But the overall performance (especially of the Chaccone) is in its totality  breathtaking. The Debussy in particular was as sweet, sentimental, and warm as you could want - as delicate as a flower. And the Chaccone was overwhelming. Even if one might prefer other interpretations, his sheer ability to communicate in a profound way his vision of this music is genuine and powerful.
Thanks again.

November 27, 2008 at 10:34 PM ·


Thanks for the link. Really good to hear the Mozart-Kreisler Rondo played by Heifetz on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, there are so many things to be thankful and grateful for.



November 28, 2008 at 05:24 AM ·

I wish there were videos of him playing Chaconne by Vitali... That's my favorite piece by Heifetz!

November 28, 2008 at 04:32 PM ·

No videos of the Heifetz Vitali, but I think Youtube has the audio, plus Chang and Milstein on video.

November 28, 2008 at 08:11 PM ·

Ah this is the movie where I first discovered the Bach Chaconne!  Probably the reason I still play the violin :P.

LOL "The left and right hands must be synchronized.  If one is faster than the other......or vice versa..it is not so good."

November 28, 2008 at 08:15 PM ·

Here is the link. No video, but very special audio.

November 28, 2008 at 11:22 PM ·


You can find the Vitali Chaconne played by Heifetz on YouTube , I have it in my favorites section.It's just a masterpiece, and the way he plays it.... No words.

December 7, 2008 at 03:37 PM ·

I listened (again ) to his Tchaikovsky . Before , my favorite version of Tchaikovsky was Oistrakh's. A while ago, after listening to Heifetz's canzonetta , I got to the conclusion that no, there is nothing more wonderful to me than that sensitive , misterious , performance. Than , again , listening to the 3rd movement , everything was there. All notes clear as crystal, musicality , expression , even the fastest passages had a sense , the feeling of excitement (characteristic to that movement ) was so brightely expressed ..Definetely , that was going to be my favorite version of the third movement as well.


Today , I relistened to the first movement . And....I discovered things that I didn't see before. Now I am sure that my favorite version of the Tchaikovsky is clearly Heifetz's . When he had to be misterious , he was misterious . When he wanted to be excited , he was excited. When he wanted to be angry , he was angry. Whatever he wanted to transmit through music , he succeeded transmitting .And he did it accurately and flawless. Pure genius .

December 7, 2008 at 10:45 PM ·


one thing I have always tried to get across to my studnets is that a piece of music usually has one high point ,  perhaps just one note,  around which the whole movement or work exists in proportion to this emotional nexus .  The easiest way to make this point is using the Heifetz version of the Canzonetta as played by Heifetz.  That f# has got to be one of the most burning notes in the history of music.  I like other performances as much or sometimes better but am always vaguely disappointed with that note after having heard Heifetz.



December 8, 2008 at 02:56 AM ·

Yes, Buri , you are right. Like a true magician of the violin , Heifetz made the climax of what he played orgasmic, and many times contrasting in this sence with the rest of the piece. :'>

December 8, 2008 at 03:29 PM ·

Buri, I agree with Larisa - you are absolutely right about one point in a piece being the high point. At least to my ear, Heifetz seems to hit at least one of those in every performance I've ever heard of his. One of my favorites is the Brahms sextet (I forgot the opus) in which he was the first violinist. In the repetition of a theme in the last movement, played I think on the G, the second time around he slides up to the same note with a lower finger in a quiet and sensitive and yet in the most thrilling and beautiful shift you can imagine, and in the inimitable Heifetz style. It makes the entire movement (in fact, the entire sextet) an experience that is almost speech itself. Every other performance I've ever heard of this wonderful piece just doesn't measure up.


December 8, 2008 at 06:15 PM ·

Last month I purchased a CD containing an Nov 1943  Heifetz Bell Tel live concert including the last 2 movements of the Tchaikovsky.  Maybe not as perfect as his recordings, but the spontaneity and sheer exuberance blew me away.

December 9, 2008 at 03:25 AM ·


This is a must see!

Save it and view it a many times in the future. You will hear more and more and more and more… I haven't heard and seen this film for too long and found it far beyond my memory of Heifetz's amazing artistry. 

I had no idea this was on You Tube.

Thank you for posting.



December 9, 2008 at 03:43 AM ·

I like other performances as much or sometimes better but am always vaguely disappointed with that note after having heard Heifetz.

I wonder how many careers have been launched when a student first hears the non-Heifetz performance of a work made beloved to them by the Heifetz recording, and asks themself just what was wrong?

December 9, 2008 at 03:46 AM ·


Could you post the You Tube link?

Thanks, D.

December 9, 2008 at 04:40 AM ·


If you just double-click the video after it's started playing, it will take you to it on YouTube.

December 9, 2008 at 05:22 AM ·

:D I usually like listening to music while studying and doing my homeworks , but I came to the conclusion  that that music should not be Heifetz . If I try to listen Heifetz play in the background , I end up focusing on the music, not on the homework...:D


p.s . : here is a link to a breathtaking performance : http://www.youtube.com/watchv=oKT1Wf6RwNU

December 9, 2008 at 09:00 AM ·

Brian, thanks so much for posting that video.  It substantiates my beleif that Heifetz was superhuman.  Also, I agree strongly with the people who said that in one piece Heifetz showed very dramatically how a whole piece can lead up to a climax of just one note and then come back down again.

December 9, 2008 at 06:13 PM ·

Hi, Mr. Lecher.  I am glad you enjoyed it-here is the link.


December 9, 2008 at 06:17 PM ·

So easy—thanks Paul.

Ha — thanks Brian. I had just seen Paul's tip and then saw your link connection:-)


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