Violinist Edutainment

January 21, 2006 at 08:04 AM ·

The idea received some interest that it might be fun to listen to a section of piece as played by several violinists and guess who it is that's playing. Well, let's do it! I'll anounce winners of each post and also keeping a running total. I'll also award an extra bonus point if you can identify the accompaniment (if any). Don't be shy, fire away. Here's the first one:

Player 1

Player 2

Player 3

Player 4

Replies (100)

January 21, 2006 at 08:11 AM · Player 2 is definetely Heifetz

January 21, 2006 at 08:14 AM · Player 4 - Shaham?

January 21, 2006 at 08:16 AM · Player 1 - Sarah Chang? That other Korean one...forgot her name...

January 21, 2006 at 02:09 PM · I say that number 1 is Menuhin, number 2 is Heifetz, number 3 I really have no clue but it could be Grumiaux or something, number 4 is a modern player...Vengerov?

Great game, by the way!!!

January 21, 2006 at 02:59 PM · Apart from Heifetz for 2, not sure about the others. 1 is the most musical though. This person really brings out the beauty in the opening theme.


January 21, 2006 at 03:05 PM · 4 is not Vengerov.


January 21, 2006 at 05:35 PM · 4 is Hilary Hahn

January 21, 2006 at 05:59 PM · OK, here's my guess:

1 - Oistrakh

2 - Heifetz

3 - Ricci

4 - not as sure about this one. Hillary Hahn is as good a guess as any.

If I'm right, you owe me $100,000 per year for life.

If I'm wrong, I'll give you a big wet kiss on the forehead.

January 21, 2006 at 05:55 PM · 1 Menuhin--or could be Stern 2has to be Heifitz 3Milstein 4Mutter

January 21, 2006 at 06:24 PM · #4 is definetely Hahn...who else plays octaves like that? Jonny likes

January 21, 2006 at 06:44 PM · I suspected 4 might be Hahn as well, because in her recording she makes quite a big tempo increase, from the opening, for the triplet passages. Others I have not heard may have adopted the same interpretation though, so I am still not sure.


January 21, 2006 at 07:00 PM · 1 Bell

2 Heifetz

3 best guess...Ricci

4 Hahn

January 21, 2006 at 07:53 PM · Okay.. this is kind of hard, but here are my guesses:

1. I'm not sure about, but I do like this one the best- I agree with the comment above about this being the most musical

2. Heifetz

3. Not sure either, but I'm guessing Menuhin

4. I agree with Hahn

January 21, 2006 at 08:44 PM · My guess (and even that's probably too strong a word):

1. Midori

2. Heifetz

3. Ricci or Rabin or Menuhin

4. Hahn, but only because everyone else suggests that. :)

I'd be very surprised if got any right so if anyone's gambling on this contest you can safely put all your cash on someone OTHER than the ones I picked.


January 21, 2006 at 08:52 PM · hey great edutainment!

My guesses:

1 Isaac Stern

2 Heifetz

3 Kreisler ( maybe Elman)

4 Vengerov

January 21, 2006 at 08:55 PM · oh well, I give up, bow to peer Pressure :) I change my number 4 to Hahn

January 21, 2006 at 09:57 PM · Ekk! My all-time favorite concerto!

1. Shaham

2. Heifetz

3. Kreisler

4. Hahn

January 21, 2006 at 09:50 PM · when are you going to tell us if we're right?

January 21, 2006 at 10:00 PM · Hmm, interesting responses...I've got a new theory...

Number 1 I still say is Menuhin, number 2 is Heifetz...number 3, interestingly, I thought about Ricci, and the more I listen the more I think that's correct! So Ricci for number 3, and number 4, I realized doesn't sound much like Vengerov after all, and definitely isn't Shaham, whoever said that...but could very well be Hahn (I haven't heard her playing much, but that vibrato seems typical for her)!

So, my final answer:

1: Menuhin

2: Heifetz

3: Ricci

4: Hahn

Anybody notice how Heifetz is the one that EVERYBODY recognizes immediately!! It really says something about his playing...

January 21, 2006 at 11:34 PM · 1. hahn

2. heifetz

3. menuhin

4. shaham

January 22, 2006 at 12:05 AM · None of them are Menuhin

January 22, 2006 at 12:47 AM · 1. Stern

2. Heifetz

3. Ricci

4. Midori

January 22, 2006 at 12:46 AM · I stand by my original guess:

1. Oistrakh

2. Heifetz

3. Ricci

4. Hahn

I'm pretty sure about the first 3, but I don't have Hahn's "voice" in my musical memory yet. But I think it's her. I'm surprised, though, that I'm the only one guessing Oistrakh as #1. Take a listen, guys.

January 22, 2006 at 02:20 AM · 1. Stern

2. Heifetz

3. I thought it might be Menuhin or Rabin, but now I don't think its either one. I'm stumped!

4. Hahn

January 22, 2006 at 02:55 AM · I say Ricci for 3rd one

January 22, 2006 at 03:07 AM · I didn't think any sounded like Ricci.

January 22, 2006 at 03:59 AM · adam i think that korean player you were talking about is kyung wha chung

January 22, 2006 at 04:39 AM · 1. shaham

2. heifetz

3. ricci

4. bell

January 22, 2006 at 05:02 AM · Okay, for round one (the Mendelssohn opening) the players are:

1 = Joshua Bell

2 = Heifetz (Munch)

3 = Ricci, rare 1951 recording w/ Celibidache

4 = Hahn

I'm really amazed at how well people did! I was sure the Ricci would fool everyone since it's fairly rare and not a great recording (but he does come through doesn't he). I was thinking of putting the Heifetz/Toscanini Mendelssohn as well into the mix to trick all of you, but with everyone identifying him I now know it wouldn't have worked.

I'm a little surprised no one went for the extra points for identifying the specific recording (this of course only applies to those with more than one recording) but all in all....WOW!

Here's the points for the first round. Marty's ahead by '1' point (but he got all of them...geeeessshhh!). I'm giving partials too, so if you name three violinists for a player and one is correct you'll get 1/3 of a point. Fair? Anyone can still join as it will be a running tally.

Next round coming up as soon as I finish my dinner.

Adam Wasiel 2

Andrew Bergevin 2

David Layode 1

Erie Weber 2

Evil Linda 2

Iorenzo Z 2

John Taylor 1

Jonathan Frohnen 1

Jonathan Honcerita-Le-Van-Ho 1

Larry Brandt 3

Marty Dalton 4

Neil Cameron 2.3

Oliver Lai 2

Pratik Desai 2

Sander Marcus 3 (a peck on the cheek would be ok)

January 22, 2006 at 05:07 AM · I was close. hooray.

That was a good idea.

I wonder if there are certain concertos that are harder to guess on ... or does the violinist's personality always shine through?

January 22, 2006 at 05:42 AM · Ok, in all future posts, I agree with Marty.


January 22, 2006 at 06:00 AM · David said #1 is the most musical, and Sander thought #1 was his idol Oistrakh so Bell has a couple of male fans finally. Rick, make Bell pay you for this.

January 22, 2006 at 06:26 AM · The audio on my computer isn't working. What bad timing!

January 22, 2006 at 11:07 AM ·

Here's another set. Go for it! I'm hoping this one might be a little trickier than the last. I'll anounce winners of each post and keep a running total, so join in anytime. If you can identify the recording by some other way as well as the player (i.e., the conductor, the orchestra, or the year) I'll award you bonus points. Hmmm...Jim, I wonder if I could get Bell to pay me...? On second thought I'd rather have Lara St. John play me...excuse me, I mean play 'for' me.

Player 1

Player 2

Player 3

Player 4

January 22, 2006 at 11:23 AM · Good luck. I couldn't get anywhere with her. I tried.

And now...on with the contest!

January 22, 2006 at 01:19 PM · My Oistrakh fixation moves into high gear.

1. David Oistrakh, one of the older European or Russian performances? Conducted by someone with a long last name? Rhosdeskvenskyiana or Konwitchnikoff or Gauk? And, by the way, my admiration for Joshua Bell just went up, since I mistook him for Oistrakh.

2. David Oistrakh, the American recording? Ormandy and the Philadelphia?

3. I must be losing it. This one also sounds like Oistrakh, but this time I think it's Perlman.

4. Although initially this sounded to me like Guess Who, there is no question - Yehudi Menuhin (or to paraphrase what someone wrote on one of these discussions: Why are you still listening to the OLD Oistrakh recording? Because I gave Yehudi Menuhin.)

This time, if I'm right, you can award me $150,000 per year for life.

If I'm wrong, we'll shake hands on it. (I've got a cold and don't want to kiss anybody this week, although you can also catch a cold by shaking hands. No doubt about it, I've got to brush up on my phobias.)

Good luck, everyone. These are pretty close to each other.

January 22, 2006 at 08:59 PM · 4 - Yehudi Menuhin - Ferenc Fricsay - Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra - 1949

January 22, 2006 at 09:49 PM · Ok, I'll have to "steal" Adam's answer for extra points, because he seems quite confident hehe...

So my guess is:

1. Vengerov with Claudio Abbado and Berlin Philharmonic

2. Elman?

3. Perlman

4. Yehudi Menuhin with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ferenc Fricsay in 1949

January 22, 2006 at 09:58 PM · I hope it's Vengerov. What happens with the lower line in the solo at the end of clip 1 makes it my favorite and Vengerov is one of my faves too.

January 22, 2006 at 09:58 PM · I don't have a problem with the 'steal' Larry. In relation to sports, it's (imho)like 'stealing the puck' in hockey and slapping it down the ice to score.

Afterall, this game is but a virtualized version of the same that many of us olderish-middle-prime-aged folks have been playing for years with our various violinist/fiddler friends. And, in turn, it's related to that ancient form of charades which is still, in its many forms, a very popular contemporary group game.

I can just visualize a proud owner of a circa 1920's cylinder or disc phonograph doing the same thing in the parlour, and this adds a little historical continuity to it that I, for one, find appealing.

So steal away. My experience is that the mighty will fall and the lowly rise to the heights (so we need all the help we can get).

January 22, 2006 at 10:31 PM · Can I take that as a commitment Jim? For the uncommitted I'm only awarding 1/2 point for a correct answer.

So we all have to be committed.

January 22, 2006 at 10:34 PM · Ya know, I really think #2 is Elman as well...

January 22, 2006 at 10:40 PM · My shrink suggested that I should be committed just the other day! So here's my guesses/steals:

1. Vengerov with Claudio Abbado and Berlin Philharmonic

2. David Oistrakh

3. Perlman

4. Yehudi Menuhin with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ferenc Fricsay in 1949

Editing may follow. :)


January 22, 2006 at 11:47 PM · Rick, no that wasn't an entry. Better to not show up in the tally at all than show up as less than 1. Now I've done it.

January 23, 2006 at 01:13 AM · 1. Vengerov

2. Perlman

3. Perlman

4. Menuhin

January 23, 2006 at 01:16 AM · Rick, Lara St. John played (music) with us last night. I talked to her without makeups when she was just about to go in the dressing room. Let me tell ya....she's not so pretty, in fact, she was kind of ugly.

January 23, 2006 at 01:49 AM · Dumbstruck! Words fail me...........

January 23, 2006 at 02:01 AM · Ahhhhh....but have you heard her Bach S&P?

January 23, 2006 at 03:18 AM · They're all of Roger Bacon.

January 23, 2006 at 04:59 AM · Yup. I never register with any of those spamware companies with my real name. I wouldn't advise anyone to do that, unless of course you're buying a product. RealPlayer's free, but like many companies they want to suck you dry of information so they can clog the spam toilets of the world wide web. Using your real information is just asking for trouble.

You're not having problems with the playing are you Emily?

January 23, 2006 at 04:08 AM · mp3s next time Rick, ok?

January 23, 2006 at 04:24 AM · I don't agree with Emily. They're all Francis Bacon. ;-)

January 23, 2006 at 04:24 AM · i second the request for mp3.

Lara St John's s&p's are great (I think). Even if she is a violinchixx.

January 23, 2006 at 04:40 AM · bacon's rebellion

January 23, 2006 at 05:00 AM · Ok I'll do mp3s for the next one if that's what folks want. And it looks as though it'll have to come soon as no one seems to want to guess on these ones. They are fairly tough and I'll tell why later if you don't already know. I just though streaming files, since they'd start faster, would be easier for everyone. But I use SoundForge and can do just about anything I want to, within legal limits of course.

I'll make the next batch 'real' (er, mp3) easy and see what happens, ok? As for Bacon, he was a trendsetter, what can I say?

January 23, 2006 at 07:23 AM · I haven't listened to many violinists, but I've been listening to Menuhin. #4 is Menuhin (The bow at :16 gives it away). Now, I hope I'm right now that I've said that.

#1 is also my favorite.

#1 of the previous quiz was my least favorite. It had all the flavor of oatmeal. So there, that officially confirms my J-Bell opinion.

I like being able to rate the violinists without their names, so as to remove all bias. Fun.

January 23, 2006 at 11:08 AM · Yep I agree with Emily here - that squeak gave it away. So I'm guessing #4 is Menuhin as well. #3 sounds like Perlman, no idea about #1 and 2.

January 23, 2006 at 01:58 PM · mmmmmm...bacon...

January 23, 2006 at 07:55 PM · I haven't read the other replies yet.

Only recognise the Heifetz one - no 2.

No 1 is slightly technically challenged but still a top echelon player - perhaps Anna Sophie-Mutter?

3 - don't really think it's early Menuhin but it almost could be.

4 - an oriental player, has a funny idea of a C natural, perhaps Chung?

January 23, 2006 at 08:29 PM · I have absolutely no idea, since I'm not familiar with this piece. My guess:

1. Vengerov

2. Perlman

3. Oistrakh

4. Menuhin

January 23, 2006 at 11:29 PM · Jim, unfortunetely Young Menuhin didn't record the Tchaikovsky, he only left two recordings of this concerto - the 1949 version (and an unreleased 1966 (i think) recording)

January 23, 2006 at 09:21 PM · Love this game, even though I'm lousy at it because I don't know enough violinists' styles, particularly the older ones. Rick, was the Bell's Mendelssohn clip his early one with Decca (paired with the Bruch) or his later one with Sony (paired with the Beethoven)? They sound pretty similar to me, which is a surprise since his early and late recordings of the Tchaikovsky---neither of which I think is in the second batch---are by two completely different violinists.

January 24, 2006 at 02:43 AM · 1. Vengerov

2. Perlman

3. Anne Sophie Mutter

4. Nigel Kennedy

January 24, 2006 at 08:45 AM · Karin, it was the earlier 1988 recording with Marriner. I find it's musical periodization more authentic for the necessarily romantic and emotional Mendelssohn. This is a very different performance than that of the Norrington 12 years later which is technically better (what with all the spit and polish, speed, and static timing). It really depends on what you like of course but, for me, the Norrington sounds like all the 'other' Mendelssohns whereas the Bell/Marriner has something unique, like Ysaye's peformance (with the latter having both a romantic and technical dialectic to a degree I don't think has or might ever be repeated), though Hahn's comes close (and no I don't think Bell plays it near as well as Ysaye). Don't most go for the Norrington when it comes to Bell? After all he's 12 years older. But call me weird I don't care, I like the earlier one. As Sander has picked up on, there's something -- je ne sais pas -- Oistrakhish(??) to the earlier recording (even though I know you and Emily, and no doubt others too, will disagree -- and not that I'm saying Bell plays as well as Oistrakh either).

I agree on the Tchaikovsky with you Karin; seemingly very different violinists, but for me, maybe moreso because of the different violins?

January 24, 2006 at 09:14 AM · Okay, the results for the Tchaikovsky have been tabulated. The players were:

Sarah Chang




Here they are the tabulated results with the running totals followed by the Tchaikovsky score in brackets.

Adam Wasiel 4.0(2)

Andrew Bergevin 3.0(1)

Bob L. 0.5(.5)

Catlin B. 2.0(2)

Clarissa Ng 1.0(1)

David Layode 1.0

Erie Weber 2.0

Emily Grossman 1.0(1)

Jim Hoyle 0.5(.5)

Evil Linda 4.0(2)

Iorenzo Z 2.0

John Taylor 1.0

Jonathan Frohnen 1.0

Jonathan Honcerita-Le-Van-Ho 1.0

Larry Brandt 6.0(3)

Marty Dalton 4.0

Neil Cameron 5.3(3)

Oliver Lai 2.0

Pratik Desai 2.0

Sander Marcus 4.5(1.5)

I must confess something and get it off my chest. I was going to do a live/recorded mix but then I got the (obviously not so bright) idea of using all live recordings and running them through resample with noise reduction (all except the Menuhin), just so I could confuse you all in trying to identify the recording (not necessarily the player). It obviously didn't work on several levels. Sorry!

But on the other side of the coin I'm glad that Marty guessed Bacon 'cause now the game is wide open. ;+)

Welcome Bob, Catlin, Clarissa, Emily, Jim (and anyone else I missed).

Bob L., your guess is psychic, not because it was actually right, but because I had Elman all set to go in that slot before I decided to change them all to live. I had to give you a .5 for psychic ability.

Jim Hoyle, you had some in there, just not in the right order, so I gave you a one time break of .5.

The average so far is 2.5 so it's anyone's game. The next one I promise will be easier, natural, and in mp3 format.

January 24, 2006 at 11:08 PM · Hey! I was the first one to think it was Elman!!

Why don't you arrange the scores in "leadership board" format...that is, according to the score, rather than the name....

Ok, I admit, I only asked for that because I'm winning! :P

January 25, 2006 at 01:44 AM ·

Okay here's a new mp3'd set. Join in and try a guess anytime. This time round I've tried to use performances that I hope are seen as having distinctiveness, maybe even clues. Remember, if you can identify the recording by some other way than the player (i.e., the conductor, the orchestra, or the year) I'll award you a bonus point. But Larry, the way it is allows so much more anonymity. ;)

Player 1

Player 2

Player 3

Player 4

January 25, 2006 at 03:03 AM · menuhin


no idea


January 25, 2006 at 03:37 PM · I'll toss my hat in the ring, although I'm better at IDing string quartets... Let's give reasons for our votes - almost more interesting than the votes themselves are the reasons!

1. First thought was Heifetz, although I'm not a big Heifetz listener at all... whoever it is seems anxious, pushed forward, and a little flippant. Odd combo for Sibelius, and it does nothing for me. Shumsky?

2. Milstein? Nice left-hand articulation, but a very approximate rhythmic relationship to the orchestra, which is why I think Milstein is probably wrong.

3. My favorite... must be Joshua Bell /irony. I like the rhythmic tension, the tempo, and especially the color at the beginning. Someone with a sense of the overall structure of the piece. A Finn? The only Finn I know who's recorded the piece is Pekka Kuusisto (with Helsinki / Segerstam), so that's a blind guess. Of course this round was supposed to be easier, so I'm probably way off. I like Christian's guess of Kennedy.

4. My least favorite, although not without merit. Nice luminous sound in spots. Unfortunately the soloist in afflicted with "banana bow" - the middles of notes are always more than both ends, and I got seasick and thought I was listening to Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. What seemed like an intentionally-wrong triplet caught my ears, but the orchestra entrance at the end gave it away - this is not Nadja - it must be Kavakos with Lahti / Vanska... I won't say why, but I am 99.9% sure.

January 25, 2006 at 04:59 AM · 1. Heifetz, chicago symphony

haven't had a chance to listen to the others yet.

January 25, 2006 at 06:17 AM · Yeah 1st recording is definitely Heifetz, you can tell from the way he does the part right before the sul G, it's also a lot fast than the others.

What the heck was the brass thing at the end of 4?! That was weird.

January 25, 2006 at 07:54 AM · Ok, two things: one, 'ES', who the heck is 'no idea' and is s/he any good??? Two, Wenhao,'weird' 'brass thing'? This is a violin concerto, that doesn't sound very proper or original.

January 25, 2006 at 06:33 PM · I'm much better at recognizing the older generation than the newer generation.

1. Heifetz, CSO.

2. Guess Who? (But it really does sound like Oistrakh. I've got to be right one of these times)

3. No idea.

4. No idea, but it sounds like it was recorded in a canyon.

January 25, 2006 at 01:29 PM · Hi,

I will try my luck...

1 - Reminded of the last Heifetz version, but the slides are not the same. Similar though. So Heifetz, or an Heifetz emulator.

2- Ginette Neveu?

3- Nigel Kennedy - it's one of the most faithful recordings to the score and this was.

4 - Leonidas Kavakos but playing the original Sibelius version - Wenhao, that is why the unusual brass chords are there.


January 25, 2006 at 02:38 PM · 'No Idea' is in the lead for #3!

January 25, 2006 at 04:01 PM · 1. heifetz

2. bell

3. no idea

4....kyung wha going crazy

January 25, 2006 at 04:33 PM · 1. Heifetz

2. Sounds like Oistrakh, but too fast, and vibrato is different. I'm going with Gidon Kremer

Still have to listen to 3 and 4.

Rick. I still owe you that Nielsen CD. I'm getting around to it. Promise...:)

January 25, 2006 at 04:56 PM · My guess for #3 is Shaham...

OK, I was dead wrong here. No way. Shaham's vibrato is slower and wider in the opening of this concerto.

It's a great recording. Sounds very clean- I'm now changing my guess to a woman. Not sure which one, but a woman....

Just an instinct....trying to narrow it down.

January 25, 2006 at 04:48 PM · Not sure about 4. But it sounds like a super-amped reverbed Deutsche Gramm. recording.

January 25, 2006 at 05:16 PM · OK, I'm changing my #2 to Oistrakh. Definitely Oistrakh. Is it ok to keep changing my mind? lol

January 25, 2006 at 05:31 PM · I'll agree it's Heifetz on 1. 4 must be Kavakos for the reason already listed. I'll think about the others.

January 25, 2006 at 05:33 PM · Regarding #3. Who in the world plays the 'g#' on the e string? I can't think of anyone.

January 25, 2006 at 05:59 PM · 1. Heifetz

2. Perlman

3. Joshua Bell

4. Kavakos

January 25, 2006 at 06:37 PM · Ok, this is quite tough!

Number one has a Heifetz vibrato, but in my opinion there's no way that Heifetz would have such a crazy I think it's probably an early Kremer recording, or maybe Anna Sophie Mutter?

Number two sounds like Oistrakh, but I'm not sure.

Number three is great in the beginning, but has strange accents later which are a bit idea who's playing so I'll say Nigel Kennedy, sounds feasible.

Number four, well, I've heard Kavakos play Sibelius live...and it was just much better than maybe this is a recording of him at age 10 playing with some unknown orchestra who don't know that there's no brass entry there!!


1. Kremer

2. Oistrakh

3. Kennedy

4. Kavakos

January 25, 2006 at 08:04 PM · Hi Rick,

This is a fun thread, even if I have no idea about who the players are.

I wonder if there could be a Lesser Mortals section to this quiz -- just guess the work. So far, my guesses are:

1. Mendelssohn

2. Tchaikovsky

3. Sibelius.


January 25, 2006 at 08:28 PM · 1. heifetz

2. bell

3. ?

4. chang

January 25, 2006 at 09:32 PM · 4 is definitely Kavakos, again because of the preceding

1. Heifetz

2. Oistrakh

3. Someone who plays the g# on the e string?? final answer- Mullova...or Lin.....:)

4. Kavakos

January 25, 2006 at 10:19 PM · I'll add my vote for #2 being Oistrakh.

January 25, 2006 at 10:01 PM · Bart, I thought of trying to do somethings like that (have a separate category for name the piece/movement/etc.), but since they are inevitably mentioned in the thread this would be unfair. Might it be a good idea to start a different thread with just such a 'name that tune' context?

William as far as I'm concerned I don't think there should be a problem with changing one's mind at any time. All I have to do is take the last entry. And after all this are just clips or short snippets of the piece in question.

In all truth I'm really amazed at all the correct 'and' at least essentially incorrect answers that have been given so far (especially because of the reasoning given for some of them). As I've mentioned, I've played this game a number of times before with friends (listening directly from the recording) and I always beg for longer listening times as I find that my -- je nais sais quoi -- 'memory'(?) of the artist is inevitably very subjective and I need time to recreate/match the totality of the related subjective emotions in order to make an objective and rational decision (if this makes any sense at all).

I mean, one is subjected to numerous influences when it comes to musical artists. You hear various recordings (both live and studio -- most with varying degrees of quality), you see/hear that violinist play in person (under different conditions), are effected by all the comments that everybody else has mentioned (sometimes argued) regarding different performances by said violinist, and are influenced by who knows what else!? And this is only from the listening side of things. When, as violinists, we play, we each try and reach for some ideal and are, to varying amounts, successful or not with a performance.

I'm sure many here have had the same problem that I find results from all this, i.e., that sometimes our idea of one violinst's performance may (and in all truth 'be') closer to a different violinist's than another performance by the former violinist (a particular recording, say, of Heifetz that sounds closer to, let's get crazy, Oistrakh. But I've found this to be the case. One example is Heifetz's (rare) 1935(?) recording of the Brahms with Tocanini. It is so emotional, so variegated in timing, so luxurious, that sometimes I find it hard to believe that it's Heifetz. So (at least this is how I excuse myself), if this can happen, how can one be accurate when a particular recording has some seconds taken from it and cast in front of you? To match it (clearly and distinctly as Descartes would say) is a very difficult task under such conditions. And there enters the game value. So I applaud you all.

January 25, 2006 at 11:05 PM · 1 is heifetz with Chicago

4 is Kavakos with Lahti Symphony (original version 1903/1905)

still haven't listened to 2 or 3

January 25, 2006 at 11:21 PM · OK, I'm revising my list:

1. Heifetz

2. Oistrakh

3. Stern

4. Kavakos (not because I recognize the playing, but because of those horn blasts at the end of the excerpt. It has to be the original version, and I know Kovakos has recorded it, so if I'm right, I'm not sure I deserve a full point).

January 26, 2006 at 12:09 AM · In my opinion, it would be much easier to tell through the first cadenza, or any cadenza of any concerto. Just my 2 cents.

January 26, 2006 at 02:16 AM · All the Oistrakh votes for #2 are interesting... The fingering for the high D in #2 (on the E string) was even more surprising to me than the G# in #3, and was a factor in my picking Milstein. I'm still not sold on #2 being Oistrakh mostly because of the temperament and relationship to the orchestra. Oistrakh was a talented chamber musician, and I would be surprised (and disappointed) if he treated Sibelius' landscape so irreverently, especially after hearing much high praise of his Sibelius.

Stern is a good guess on #3 - Stern didn't occur to me because I haven't cared for his playing, and I really enjoyed #3... if it is Stern then I will have to reevaluate what I think of him!

January 26, 2006 at 12:55 AM · I think #2 is Oistrakh because

1. The slides and tempi are very similar to a recording of his that I own, and

2. he plays a harmonic 'e' towards the beginning, also just like the Oistrakh recording I own

Stern's early Sibelius kicks butt...imo.

If #3 is Stern, I have to reevaluate my ear entirely. Well, I should probably do that anyway....

January 26, 2006 at 01:00 AM · Tell us already, Rick!

January 26, 2006 at 01:05 AM · Let's give Marty and others a little more time to listen to them all, ok?

I agree William, the cadenza usually is the nail in the coffin or the one removed from heaven's gate.

January 26, 2006 at 01:07 AM · What about Mintz for #3? Whoever it is, that is one heck of an e string sound. Beautiful.

January 26, 2006 at 01:08 AM · How about PMing me because I have to go to a rehearsal now? Pretty please?

January 26, 2006 at 01:08 AM · Again, not looking:-

1 - Heifetz, the 2nd (Reiner?) not the Beecham.

2 - Chung?

3 - Oistrakh?

4 - Stern?

January 26, 2006 at 01:19 AM · 1) Heifetz

2) Oistrakh

3) Not sure..

4) Not sure..

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