Favorite Heifetz Recording
I love listening to Heifetz play -- just wanted to hear what you guys like to listen to.
What's your favorite recording by Heifetz?
Mine are the Bruch concerto and his "Itsy bitsys".
His Bruch Scottish Fantasie, and his Korngold/Rosza/Waxman disc (with the two concertos plus Carmen Fantasy.)
It's hard to pick just one, but I've probably listened to his Beethoven concerto with Boston and Munch more than any other recording. There's also the Rozsa Sinfonia with Piatigorsky, and the Rozsa concerto, and
Paganini Caprices be the best ????
Paganini Caprices be the best ????
I don't know about "favorite" recording, rankings are for horses, not music, IMO, but his Glazunov recording is one of my favorite interpretations of the piece.
Bruch, Scottish Fantasy (1961)
I don't have a large collection, but I like his recording of the Korngold concerto, and, the Castelnuovo-Tedesco concerto #2, which I like better than the Walton on the other side, (the piece, not his playing).
You don't think of Heifetz in terms of "authentic" period performance but his 1962 Bach Double with Friedman strikes me as highly musical and stylistically very apt with swift tempi and light articulation, far preferable to the romantic mis-interpretations of the likes of Menuhin and Oistrakh at similar date. The orchestra is on the heavy side in the first movement but the rest is glorious all round. It isn't hugely different from the 1940's recording (first I ever heard) in which Heifetz plays both solo parts
Thanks everybody for your replies -- that was my first discussion post!
I really like his Brahms and Bruch, also Sarasate and Saint-Saens. Beethoven romances absolutely terrific. Sinding suite in A minor too, best spiccato ever. Wieniawski Polonaise in D major - that YouTube video is a masterclass.
I'll tell you what ISN'T: His Beethoven Opus 12 No 2 with Emmanuel Bay. They cut final notes in the last movement far too short.
His Vitali Chaconne, I just love that piece.
He did a wonderful Dvorak trio with Pennario and Piatigorsky. For CBS/Columbia, so was left out of many of the usual collections.
Re ~ Favoured Heifetz Recordings of a JH Violin Master Class Pupil ...
The 1940's radio broadcast recording of the Beethoven Concerto with Rodzinsy and New York Phil is unbelievable. There is one wolf note/bow glitch which is like the needed imperfection in an otherwise perfect piece of pottery. For studio recordings, the Conus violin concerto and finally all of the final recital especially the Ravel Tzigane followed by Casteluevo-Tedescos 'Sea Murmers'
I must admit, Heifetz is not someone who's recordings do anything for me. His playing is too cold. However, I semi enjoy his sort of playful stuff (hora stacatto comes to mind)
The ones that come immediately to mind are: Beethoven Violin Concerto, Conus Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky-Auer Valse from Serenade for Strings, Korngold’s Garden Scene, Vitali Chaconne, Waxman’s Carmen Fantasie, and Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. Many more, but won’t mention them now. I wish he would have recorded his lovely transcription of Rachmaninoff’s “It’s Peaceful Here.”
Here is a wonderful little gem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItufMu9PLDw
And this is a wonderful document-- as are the other three movements:
What some call "cold" playing, is actually the searing, blue flame of perfection. At least for mortals. You may have different opinions on his highly personal interpretations. Just my opinion of course.
In no particular order; Sibelius, Sinding Suite, Conus, Korngold, Bruch Scottish Fantasy, Rosza, Vitali Chaconne - and any number of his “itzy bitsys” including “Hexapoda” by Bennett, his own Gershwin arrangements and Tchaikovsky-Auer “Lensky’s Aria”. Oh and Paganini no. 24. Just for variation 6 alone! I recently performed 24, playing variation 6 much slower - and still much less accurately and renamed it variation number 666!
I’ve been listening to his Walton Concerto recording a lot lately in the car with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by the composer. I always revisit Heifetz’s Bach Double Concerto recording with my professor, Erick Friedman, a few times each year. Their tones, nuances, and style in that recording complimented each other so well. Then there are all those short works he recorded in 1917 which are absolutely stunning , especially his rendition of Paganini’s Moto Perpetuo which according to one of my friends was recorded at near 181 to the 1/4 note! I remember the first ever Heifetz recording I heard was his recording of Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Fritz Reiner conducting. It’s still one of my all time favorites!
I like Heifetz's solo Bach. When I was learning the E Major Gavotte, I studied the recordings of about 15 violinists, and Heifetz's recording just spoke to me. I like the security of his articulation and the unaffected staidness of his overall interpretation -- a totally different approach compared to his Bruch, for example. There's a grandeur to his playing of Bach that is hard to explain.
Love them all, but Heifetz chamber music recordings sometimes get overlooked, i.e. his Brahms op. 60, pure bliss.
How can one add to all of the above responses? Heifetz was in a class by himself, and deservedly so.
Almost forgot about chamber music! I especially love the Franck quintet with Mr H!
Bruch, definitely and a few other romantic composers... But not baroque, not Mozart. If one listens very carefully, his playing is not perfect, but his unique approach to "violinizing" is what is very seductive. Just like in a Bach's fugue, our brain is tricked to hear perfection, where there is just a darn good ilusion! One can only admire his strong personality and his ability to present himself on stage!
TO ALL HERE RE ~ The Heifetz Last Recording of The Sibelius w/ our Chicago Symphony Orchestra/ (& last minute Sub Conductor for very ailing Fritz Reiner) Associate CSO Conductor, Walter Hendl ~
Elisabeth: Friendly suggestion to prepare your post in MS Word and then transfer the text here. I have seen you more than once anguished by the loss of your earnest and thoughtful writings as they disappeared "into the ether" of the unreliable forum text box.
Just about anything Romantic: various Wieniawski's, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Bruch, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and more. But also Bach (unaccompanied and also the concerti - if you haven't listened to his Bach A minor concerto it's very lovely). Some others - Gluck Melodie, Mozart quintet in G minor.
@Jeff Terflinger ~ Love your understanding of the "Cold" Heifetz!!! My colleague, Miriam Fried, once exclaimed in conversation about Heifetz, "Heifetz is as 'cold' as a burning fireplace"!! How True & to further confirm Mr. Heifetz's warmth, I strongly suggest some 'cooler to Heifetz' blok's
I like his early acoustic recordings (I don't think Sarasate Carmen Fantasy has been mentioned), and I also particularly like his earlier recording of the Tchaikovsky concerto.
@Paul Deck ~
Re ~ Heifetz Chamber Music Recordings
@Sander Marcus ~
Elizabeth, I still can't get over the fact that you were Mr. Heifetz's pupil! I read your account or something and it said that you took part in the film series "the Heifetz Masterclass". I watched that probably over thirty times!
Yes, thanks! And nice playing in the class—- you have a very distinctive tone that I like.
Raphael, surely Variation 666 is for two horns?!?!
Well, I think I made variation “666” sound like two horns - but that wasn’t my intention! ;-)
@Raphael Klayman #666!!!!!
For All ~
I do hope that the following quote is NOT by Jascha Heifetz:.....
Two related stories. JH was doing a record of some showpieces and the producer caught a small rhythmic error so asked for another take of that part. He played it the same way, once, twice, three times. Finally, JH asked what was wrong. The producer showed him the score vs what he had heard. At which point, JH said “Hmmm. I guess that’s how I play it.”
Raphael, I was totally wrong - It's TEN horns!
Yes. This is how "glissandos" (more likely portamentos) came to be known as "Heifetz slides."
Ah yes -- Stephen, that was Claire Hodgkins, wasn't it?
Want to add Vieuxtemps no. 5 to my list .
Oh, and speaking of Vieuxtemps, how could I forget to award the "Booby Prize" to Mr. H.'s terrible rendition of the 1st mvt. of No.4? (He played it very badly on purpose at a master class to entertain his students - who almost fell on the floor from laughter!)
Haha Raphael -- I actually heard his funny version first, so now whenever I listen to the piece I can only hear the "Heifetz" version in my head.