Joseph Silverstein

March 15, 2005 at 06:18 AM · I just stumbled into a Joseph Silverstein recording of the four seasons and it was something special. Such crisp enunciation! What other recordings of his can you recommend? Stories to tell, etc.

Replies (9)

March 15, 2005 at 07:18 AM · He's really a marvelous violinist. I played for him last year at his house just to get some advice after my teacher passed away. He told me some old stories about Szerying and things he noticed while watching Heifetz from the concertmaster seat of the Boston Symphony. His main observation about Heifetz was that his left hand never stopped moving. There was always according to Silverstein a slight tremor even when Heifetz played a passage something he said he felt that I lacked in my playing. So from that day on I made sure to vibrate every note. If you listen for this in Silverstein's playing you will not hear a note go without vibrato. He is very aware of this element of making the instrument shimmer. It was a nice meeting looking back at it, he seemed a little bit anxious cause the week afterwards he was performing the Paganini 2nd concerto with the Utah Symphony which I think is quite admirable for someone of his age to do let alone anyone else. When he played for me that day he seemed in great shape. He was able to pull passages out of his muscle memory and play them at a very high level. I would recommend Silverstein's recording of the Mendelssohn concerto it is really very good. Carla I think a while back mentioned his solo Bach recordings as being something quite special.

March 15, 2005 at 11:42 AM · Greetings,

he was interviewed in The Stard last year soi you could probably pull thta out of te archives on the internet. Not really a very interesitng article though. He did mention that prior to recording the Bach he tried a baroque bow for the first time and then felt compelled to rethign his whole appraoch to the Bach,



March 15, 2005 at 11:59 AM · As I recall the Strad was most impressed with his two instruments (a Strad and a GdJ). So far your replies are much more interesting.

March 15, 2005 at 12:09 PM · Hi,

Silverstein is a fantastic violinist. I didn't know about the Strad. I know that he played a Guadagnini for a long time, and now owns the ex-Grumiaux del Gesu, but no matter. I know that he has a recording of the Debussy sonata on an all Debussy set with the Boston Chamber Players which is exquisite. And I don't know if it has been re-edited, but he did a terrific recording of the Stravinsky and 2nd Bartok with the Boston Symphony that is simply beautiful. I know that he recorded a number of works with the Utah Symphony which are available on CD. That's all I know.


P.S. Nate, I am not sure that it is really a constant vibrato though I wasn't there, but more of a constantly active left hand that is always relaxed and alive for lack of a better word. I have noticed before with some great players, but thought I was crazy. Glad to see that my glasses work just fine!

March 15, 2005 at 02:41 PM · He teaches at Curtis.

March 15, 2005 at 04:36 PM · You're exactly right Christian, that's what I meant to say about keeping the hand active.

March 16, 2005 at 03:58 AM · I was a student at Tanglewood back in 1980 and sat in the audience as he rehearsed the Beethoven concerto with Ozawa conducting. During the lovely hushed section right after the cadenza, he walked over to Emanuel Borok and said, loudly enough for me to hear in the 5th or 6th row, "Trying to keep the tempo here is like trying to raise the Titanic." I cracked up - silently, of course.

Terrific player and I always thought his master classes were pretty great. (Heard him play the Brahms Double also, not to mention the usual Scheherazade/ Capriccio Espagnole/ Strauss Tone Poem solos)

March 16, 2005 at 04:14 AM · He also said about heifetz that after a concerto there was a layer of rosin spanning less finger's width away from the bridge.

March 16, 2005 at 05:48 AM · Mr. Silverstein is an endorser for Super Sensitive string company. On there website he says he uses their "Sensicore" perlon strings. I don't know if it's true, but I doubt that someone of his integrity would lie about something like that.


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