Today it seems that we have so many really great violinists on the concert stage, but they're not always easy to tell apart. I absolutely love to listen to many of them, but they do have a generally similar style, approach to the music, vibrato, and technique.
I just listened to a new acquisition - a 4-CD set of live, previously un-published performances by Zino Francescatti of numerous concertos, sonatas, and encore pieces. He's always been one of my favorites. And these are such fresh, spontaneous (and not always flawless) live performances. They remind me why I like Francescatti so much and why I miss that unique violin voice of his. And then I realized that there is probably nobody who ever sounded like him. And there are probably others I could say the same about. I'm sure most of us can identify Menuhin and Heifetz and Oistrakh and Ricci and Huberman and Elman after a couple of measures.
Which violinist (or violinists) do you admire who you consider to have a unique, individual, one-of-a-kind sound, technique, or interpretation? And why? Who are the ones (like Francescatti for me) who you keep coming back to in order to hear a voice that's as familiar to you as your own and that you can't seem to get enough of?
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