heifetz and bach

May 31, 2005 at 04:33 AM · um anyone can tell me about what u think about heifetz's interpretation of bach's work? thanks

Replies (9)

May 31, 2005 at 04:46 AM · I think his recordings of Bach are absolutely excellent. These recordings probably drive most musicologists nuts, but who cares. His interpretations were all well thought out and full of feeling. I particularly like his recording of the 3rd movement of the A minor sonata. That's the best I've heard that movement played. The E Major Partita is a fabulous recording especially the Preludio movement where he changes the strokes between detache and spiccato giving it variety and contrasting dynamics. The Chaconne is another fabulous recording of Heifetz playing Bach. I prefer the earlier 1930's recording to the later one of the Chaconne. His recording of the C major Fugue I think is also very powerful and full of drama.

May 31, 2005 at 05:22 AM · The first Bach S&P I ever heard was his E maj Preludio, maybe on some kind of compilation LP. At that point I didn't know anything and hadn't learned any kind of bias or preference. In that pure condition I remember I was just astounded. I can't comment now because I don't think I've heard him play them since then at all.

June 1, 2005 at 02:30 AM · I think Heifetz is absolutely wonderful most of the time. He was probably the best violinist of the 20th century. Whenever I listen to his Bach unaccompanied recordings however, I get the feeling that when he recorded them he kind of wanted to be somewhere else. Playing tennis maybe? I think his tempi are a little much and his double stops tend to sound harsh. I'm sure there are those who would disagree, I guess I just prefer a softer touch for those pieces.

June 1, 2005 at 03:39 AM · I agree completly with you on the tempi and he does sound a little harsh at times. I've only heard the chaconne from the d minor and menuetto II from the e major. The menuetto is played with great sensitivity and it sounds beautiful. The chaconne however i didnt like. Someone mentioned on a previous thread that it was his signature piece. To me it was too rushed and somthing else was missing that i cant put my finger on. The chaconne is pretty much a master piece and when he played it to me it lost it's majestic and almost authoritive nature.

June 1, 2005 at 04:21 AM · I pretty much like his Bach I just hate the slides, it's just so out of style. I like how he plays the Chaconne but I would prefer it just a little slower.

June 1, 2005 at 08:22 AM · This was the first recording I ever heard of the Bach Partitas and Sonatas. At first I hated them because of the harsh edge he put to what I felt should be smooth, and he seemed to not have a steadiness that at the time I was aspiring for. But when I thought about it later, I realized that part of it has to do with the way he preferred to record solo works. He liked the mic RIGHT NEXT TO HIS VIOLIN. And the technology wasn't what it is, so I suspect that if you heard him play these in a hall, it would sound different. As for the slides and tempi, though, I can't make excuses for him on that. I'd have to research the philosophy of interpretation at the time of the recording in the violin world...



June 1, 2005 at 12:52 PM · I don't really care for his Bach. It's too schmaltzy and he's trying too hard to play in a semi-Baroque style. I think there have been a lot of better performers of it. Milstein for one has a very nice Bach. It's cool, reserved, and absolutely sparkling. Bach's Chaconne is too aggressive for my taste, and sometimes he compensates tone for intensity. Szeryng or Rosand are my favorite for the Chaconne. As for the Preludio, Nathan Milstein is just impeccable. It's so clean and articulate. For the C major sonata, go with Michael Rabin. His big sound is very fitting for this piece. Especially in the fugue, he had the ability to make all the voices come through beautifully without losing any of the beauty in sound. It's just a pity he never recorded any more of the Sonatas and Partitas. I have a hunch that his Chaconne would have been extraordinary.

June 1, 2005 at 10:07 PM · I like Heifetz's Bach a lot, it is very schmaltzy, and it's not to everyone's taste. But Szeryng's Bach, has always been my definitive recording, and is closest to what I like my Bach to sound like. I don't think Heifetz had the kind of bow control, Szeryng had when playing chords in particular, and it shows in the fugues, even though he probably would of sounded a lot different in the concert hall.

June 2, 2005 at 12:37 AM · I like Szeryng's style of Bach but he's kinda slow for me. He does play chords beautifully though.

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