Their piece

March 20, 2020, 11:09 AM · Now, there are many many amazing violinist out there, and we can affiliate many pieces as almost "their" piece (obviously not their own personal piece). What are some violinist and their show piece? For example, I put together Maxim Vengerov and his Ysaye sonata no. 3 or his Sibelius violin concerto as his most legendary recordings. Any others?


Replies (17)

March 20, 2020, 1:47 PM · Hilary Hahn is very synonymous with her Bach recordings.
Edited: March 20, 2020, 3:15 PM · To derail a little, am I the only one that wishes violinists would compose or arrange their own music like the virtuosos of old? I feel like there are so many perfect recordings and performances of all the standard repertoire at this point that none of them stand out to me (you can only get so much mileage out of changing the tempo here and there and dubbing it a "novel interpretation"). The level of virtuosity in a lot of today's players is amazing, yes, but it's not interesting at all.

I think Markov played the caprices the best, though.

March 20, 2020, 5:27 PM · I can not get over is Ivry Gitlis’ Chaconne (1990 - Japan). He makes it so dirty, yet so humane. It’s unbelievable.

Grumiaux - Bach Sonata no. 3, the manliest rendition on the planet.

Isabelle Faust - Bach sonata no. 3, only the angels play Fuga that way.

Rachel Podger - Bach partita no. 2, the best sounding violin ever recorded.

Ivry Gitlis - Mendelssohn concerto. The most unique rendition ever.

The list goes on....

March 20, 2020, 7:45 PM · I'm perfectly happy with violinists commissioning new compositions. My big regret is that few of those players allow the works to be published. There are plenty of things I'd like to play that simply aren't available, and plenty of works that have been premiered but not commercially recorded.

How many of you have heard the Hahn-and-Hauschka improvisations?

March 20, 2020, 10:28 PM · So many with Heifetz but Scottish Fantasy is up there...
Edited: March 22, 2020, 12:50 PM · I think that's the problem with various violinists having made any "definitive" recordings of anything. They keep running into Heifetz.

Also I think you have to disallow pieces that were written for specific violinists, like Oistrakh's recording of Kabalevsky or the concertos that were written for Leila Josefowicz.

Personally, I'm entirely slain by the Franck Sonata that Mutter recorded as part of her "Berlin Recital" album. Having the same pianist for so many years definitely helps. But few will agree that the Franck is "her" piece, and even I will cheerfully concede that Rosand played it beautifully too.

In the cello world, it is safe to say that the Elgar Concerto belongs to Du Pre. That's as good an example as you will find.

Edited: March 22, 2020, 1:04 PM · Szeryng I think Bach
Grumiaux I think Mozart
Mutter I think Sibelius,
although that might be my pick for Ferras as well, or maybe his Chausson Poeme

I'm not sure if your question is about who plays a certain work best, or what piece is a particular violinist's best.

March 22, 2020, 3:03 PM · Christian, but it's harder in the other direction. If Sibelius, do you immediately think Mutter? I think what the OP is after is the kind of "household" association that we have with Du Pre and the Elgar.
March 22, 2020, 3:21 PM · I’d say Fritz Kreisler and Liebesleid; of course that IS his piece :) I think he was one of the last great violinists who was also a very talented composer.
March 22, 2020, 4:03 PM · Yeah Paul,

I would say specifically on the Sibelius, Mutter's recording was the first one that I heard and is still how I hear it in my head. That non-vibrato opening is pretty special. So when I heard one of the Heifetz ones, I was pretty nun-plussed about the his take. But I acknowledge that other people likely wouldn't have that same association.

March 23, 2020, 10:19 AM · David Oistrakh and Shostakovich 1.
At one time Arve Tellefsen seemed to own the Nielsen concerto. But others have now caught up with him, or even overtaken him.
Ida Handel and Sibelius? Although there are plenty of very good Sibelius recordings. The composer was impressed......
Josef Suk and Dvorak.
March 23, 2020, 4:20 PM · Paul, I 100% agree that Du Pre has the Elgar to be her showpiece. Those opening chords give me goosebumps everytime
March 23, 2020, 4:40 PM · Here are a few ‘definitive’ recordings that come to mind for me by violinists:

Heifetz: Paganini Moto Perpetuo, Bruch Scottish Fantasy, Korngold Concerto, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Mozart concerti, and pretty much everything else he recorded

Milstein: Goldmark Concerto, Dvorak Concerto, Prokofiev D Major Concerto, Bach Solo Sonatas and Partitas, Paganiniana, and Liszt Mephisto Waltz.

Kavakos: Paganini Nel Cor Piu

Anything played by Fritz Kreisler...

March 26, 2020, 2:04 PM · Menuhin's Elgar Violin Concerto and possibly the Bartok as well, plus Harold on the viola.
Oistrakh's Glazunov.
Milstein's Beethoven.
Zuckerman's Nardini.
Heifetz Hora Staccato.
In the piano world, Solomon for Mozart concertos.
Myself for Cage's 4'33" arranged for violin with case (I haven't arranged or played it yet) - or has some clown beaten me to it?
March 26, 2020, 3:58 PM · I must disagree with John on Menuhin’s Harold. I feel that Menuhin’s viola playing is wholly unsatisfying without the depth that someone such as Tabea Zimmermann or Kashkashian can bring to the table.

I would say for the viola tabea Zimmermann has the hindemith works.
Kashkashian has bartok concerto and all of Kurtag
Zimmermann has the Clarke, Schumann, Brahms, Schubert sonatas
If you cannot tell I feel Zimmermann interprets almost anything to a level not yet reached in almost all cases.

March 26, 2020, 5:50 PM · Mark, you HAVE listened to Bruno Giurianna, haven't you?
Edited: March 26, 2020, 6:51 PM · Of course I’ve listened to Giurianna.
He’s an incredible violist and musician but for me Tabea Zimmermann is in a caliber all her own.

Edit: I just refreshed myself on a old recording of him in the sinfonia concertante and it is absolutely gorgeous. However I would not consider him my favorite violist.

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