Any genuine recordings of Albert Einstein?
Pardon if this has been asked before but are there any genuine recordings of Einstein playing? There's a video on YouTube that's claimed to be him playing but my understanding is it's a fake.
It doesn't matter if he didn't play like Heifetz, I'm just curious.
Last time I looked the answer was, No.
Indeed there was an earlier thread on this question on this forum, and the conclusion was negative as I recall.
It is interesting to read reports of his playing. Between the lines there is damning faint praise.
I'll just go ahead and surmise that Einstein played the violin at the Bruch Level.
What you think of Einstein's playing depends on your frame of reference.
There is a story that the Great Man apparently had problems in counting rests when playing chamber music!
@Tom. That was quite good but no cigar. The first person to use the word "relatively" should be banned from v.com for a year. I guess that would be me.
I'm not to blame for my intonation problems - It's the frequency-shift from moving around too much.
Per Paul Deck
I'm originally from New Jersey, and my final viola teacher, Emanuel Vardi, used to play chamber music with Einstein in Princeton. He indeed said that his main problem was that he couldn't count (!)
I've been playing chamber music with people for 70 years. I can't imagine playing more than once with someone who couldn't count.
I'd bet he had lightning fingers which you couldn't predict where and when they'd land due to the Rosen bridge.
I looked into this in detail because of the spurious youtube 'Einstein' recording - which was uploaded on April 1st (he is still laughing). Here is the original topic:
Scott wrote: "I'm originally from New Jersey, and my final viola teacher, Emanuel Vardi, used to play chamber music with Einstein in Princeton. He indeed said that his main problem was that he couldn't count."
Why is anyone surprised that he couldn't count? He was a theoretical physicist. Numbers are for experimentalists.
There may not be a recording of him, but there is a famous PHOTOGRAPH of him, and maybe if I tried playing doing that, might I improve?
... your physics? Undoubtedly. For the violin you might try a picture of Hahn or Heifetz or...
Per Xuanyuan Liu:
Because "the Bruch level" is a meaningless cliché. Its a self-accredited achievement. You can be "at the Bruch level" and massacre Bruch. You can be "at the Bruch level" and bore the pants off everyone who hears you. Or you might become something one day, in the same way that every kid who learns to run might be an Olympic runner one day. That's how I've come to understand it, and I laughed at Paul's joke partly because it seemed to confirm my understanding.
I now play Mozart's concertos at the Bruch level... :D
I think it was simply an inside joke since the "Bruch level" is so often mentioned on this site. But I disagree with Gordon's picture of it. It is a well-defined level that amateurs (such as Einstein :-) rarely reach. It is the level at which you have the technique required to work on the Bruch violin concerto (widely considered the "easiest" of the standard romantic violin concertos) in a meaningful way. Meaning that, if you can spend enough time on it, you will *not* butcher it.
Thank you Elise, emulating Hahn or Heifetz or... might indeed be safer for my tongue.
I've looked up Einstein up on Wikipedia. He may have been nowhere near the Bruch level as regards counting, but his playing of Beethoven sonatas did impress, so he may not have been that far off it - There are some tricky passages in the C-minor, for instance.
Given his adulated status, a clean rendition of Twinkle would probably impress too...
I've never heard the term "Bruch level" expressed anywhere outside this forum. Maybe the concept has some usefulness in the conservatories, but many of us are happy to have thrived and progressed as amateur violinists, never (or hardly ever) having set hand on the damn piece! For us music isn't like climbing Ben Nevis, it's more like a hike in the Lake District
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