Any reliable answer re who was playing in "Joseph Hague" recordings?

December 29, 2019, 3:22 PM · Greetings... I'm curious about this. The old thread (https://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/26692/) on the topic has been closed, so I'm starting this one. I've seen an eBay listing of the LP recording of Joseph Hague advertised as Jascha Heifetz's recording.

(a) According to https://nekropole.info/en/Jascha-Heifetz

"For decades, an urban legend has persisted that Jascha Heifetz had a pseudonym of "Joseph Hague," a.k.a "Victor Belmor." In fact, Victor Belmor was born Joseph Hague, immigrated to the United States from Germany after WWII with his wife and children, and was very much a real person. Belmor produced his own records and book, several of which are being erroneously sold as the work of Jascha Heifetz. The two families are unrelated and it is unlikely that either man knew of this phenomenon, or even knew each other."

(b) But in a CD insert for the CD "Jascha Heifetz RECITAL Benno Moiseiwitsch et al." Tully Potter wrote:

"His mordant wit could be vastly entertaining (his parodies of bad violin playing were immortalized by him on an LP under the name 'Joseph Hague')."

One would think whoever writes for a CD insert should have enough credibility on relevant facts.

Can we find a definitive answer to whether the recordings under "Joseph Hague" was or was not by Heifetz? Are Belmor's descendants around to provide some info?

Replies (5)

December 30, 2019, 1:39 AM · It is Heifetz. There where a lenghty rticle in the Strad that tried to prove that it wasn't, but the evidence put forward was "since there was a fiddler with this name, it can't be Hefetz".
But... All Hefetz students tells this story and listening to the recordnings and comparing with the Viextemps video it is quite obvious that it is Heifetz.
December 30, 2019, 1:02 PM · Was that really all the Strad article had to it?

I was listening to the "Hague" Spring Sonata and the Heifetz real Spring Sonata earlier and really they are remarkably similar in terms of tone and a bunch of the expressive decisions - the Proper Heifetz recording is faster and far more more nuanced!

December 30, 2019, 6:36 PM · Thanks. Under the above mentioned Spring Sonata on youtube the uploader Patrick Wong wrote:

"I think some people do not know the background of this recording. Some questioned me why I uploaded such terrible performing of this great sonata by Beethoven. Here is the story about this recording:

A particular rarity are the three LP volumes Heifetz released under the pseudonym Joseph Hague (same initials), accompanied by either 'Floyd E. Sharp', or 'Lionel de Leon' (both thought to be the pianist Emanuel Bay). These recordings were made as a light-hearted gesture in the 1950s, and on them, Heifetz imitates a 'bad' violinist. They were not commercially released but seem to have been produced in small numbers as gifts to friends. Owing to their rarity, these LP records are highly valued and difficult to source."

If true, that may explain why it's so hard to verify the source and authenticity, but I wonder where he got this info?

Edited: December 31, 2019, 12:55 AM · Look in the Primrose Bio. He mentions when Heifetz played the recordings to him.
Chris - Yes. Look in the June 2013 Strad. 4 pages of bio on Joseph Hague, and no evidence of them (Joseph and Joseph) being the same violinist other than by name.
Edited: January 6, 2020, 12:36 PM · Thanks! If it's in Primrose's biography, that'll be credible...and exciting to know.

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