Shmuel Ashkenazi

February 4, 2004 at 06:50 AM · His Paganini concertos are really quite well done. His cadenzas for them are tasteful. Any comments on him?

Replies (7)

February 4, 2004 at 02:44 PM · My favorite recording of Paganini Concertos 1 and 2, I had the record (remember records?) 20 years ago or something and its still my favorite recording of them.

His teacher in Isreal was the same as Zukerman and Mintz (I think the last name was Iona Felcher if I remember correctly, she commented in the book "The Way They Play", I forget what volume, that his weakenss is that you can now hear him breathe unlike when she was teaching him) and later included the great Zimbalist. In the book in his book "Great Masters of the Violin" written by Boris Schwartz, (a great russian violinist) Mr Ashkenasi is decribed as having "...lovely tone and perfect intonation." I honestly wish he would record more solos.

He now plays in the Vermeer Quartette.

February 4, 2004 at 07:58 PM · though i do have a lot more favorite recordings for paganini 1 (ahem, kogan, rabin, grumiaux, menuhin), i always thought his paganini 2nd concerto was the best one... he plays with such flair and personality in that, and everything is just perfect technically, not to mention that the sound quality is great. if you haven't heard it, GO DO SO NOW. lol

February 5, 2004 at 03:33 PM · I do have the recordings by kogan, rabin, grumiaux, menuhin and even francescatti shaham perlman kaler gringolts accardo and markov and I still prefer ashkenazi although grumiaux came close, thats just what i like best though...

you gotta hear kreisler play it


I would like to hear Szeryng's Paganini 1

February 4, 2004 at 09:05 PM · Scott68,

yep, you definitely mentioned some great recordings there, i have them all except for the markov :). i've heard kriesler's, but the style of the playing didn't really suit my taste... now szeryng would be interesting to hear, just because he always puts out great music. have you heard rosand play it?

February 5, 2004 at 03:37 AM · I didn't even know there was a recording by Kreisler! Not a guy who I can imagine playing Paganini, cause I have this image of him playing those pieces that aren't technically flashy.

February 5, 2004 at 05:19 AM · brian,

i have the same idea of kriesler, and if i remember correctly perlman related in the art of violin that he saw kriesler playing the most beautiful delicate gems or something similiar to that, which isn't exactly the same thing as paganini if you ask me. concerning the recording, it's not the most technically accurate available, but definitely something everyone should hear (ignore the sound quality), just because kriesler always provided the most interesting and unique interpretations in everything he played...i can't think of one violinist who doesn't admire him or at least respect the legacy he left us.

February 5, 2004 at 03:33 PM · Regarding Ashkenasi's teacher:

Her name is Ilona Feher, she was a Jewish Hungarian who studied with Bloch and Hubay and migrated to Isreal after escaping a nazi concentration camp in 1944 (fortunately for us). She was known as isreals best violin teacher and was content teaching despite only making enough money for the bare necessities, her primary focus was on quality of tone first, as you all probably well know Zukerman and Mintz had incredible tone as well. Accoring to the way they play vol 13, there was a documentary done about her with Ashkensasi playing an excerpt of the the bach g min fugue and with his quartette.

Yes there are a few more recordings I didnt mention of the paganini that I dont have: mullova, vengerov, chang, rosand (im sure there are more I havent mentioned)

...kerisler only played the first movement, the reason i mentioned him is because he basically re arranged the whole thing, at times I had to ask myself what concerto AM I listening to? He also really slowed it way down and played with great singing beauty.

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