Your all-time favorite violinist

Edited: February 4, 2021, 3:26 PM · Do you have an all-time favorite violinist (living or in the past)? If you had to make a choice, is there one who in your heart-of-hearts you prefer to listen to above all others?

If so, can you (briefly) tell us the following?

1. Who is your all-time favorite?
2. Do you have a favorite performance?
3. Can you very briefly list 3 to 5 musical, technical, personal, or other characteristics about this violinist that you truly admire?

Here is mine:
1. Zino Francescatti (1902-1991).
2. Favorite performance - Beethoven Concerto (1950, Eugene Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra).
3. Outstanding characteristics:
a. An emotional, singing vocal quality, even in fast passages, that projects to the listener.
b. Technical elegance and precision.
c. Stage presence.
PS. It was recorded in one take. Francescatti did the same in a video years later (at age 70), readily available and just as great.

Replies (51)

Edited: February 3, 2021, 9:45 AM · 1) Hillary Hahn
2) Sibelius VC (Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France)
3) Projection, Stability, Intonation, Unique style, and interpretations.
Recently pre-ordered the collector's edition of her Paris Album coming march 5th that comes with a signed print.

Of course, I still have many other violinists that I prefer for their interpretations such as Ivry Glitlis for his Chaconne in d minor and Anna lee's Prokofiev no. 2

February 3, 2021, 11:47 PM · Bringing this back to the top as it seems like a fun topic to discuss
Edited: February 4, 2021, 4:18 AM · Greetings,
much as I’d like to, I really can’t bring myself to do this one anymore. It’s just too dependent on my moods or insecurity or whatever. I absolutely agree with you about Francescatti for the same reasons as you and for that recording among many. Heart stopping. But then there are so many Gillis recordings, Grumiaux, Milstein, et al. I think we have just been blessed with too much. But there is one thing that seems wonky to me these days which is on my mind because I asked a student who her favorite violinist was and she named a middle ranking Japanese soloist who, frankly doesn’t come close. So how is it that intelligent, serious adult students of the violin can be apparently unaware of the great legacy of the 20c?
In the same vein, can see from my preferences that I listen to the golden oldies all the time. But I don’t believe that suggests violin playing is deteriorating. There are a slew of players including Hahn, Zimmerman and Vengerov that blow me away. But I wouldn’t pursue them in the same way I do the greats of the past. Is it just a generation thing? Taste in sound changed? Individuality now manifests itself in different forms?
Cheers,
Buri
February 4, 2021, 4:03 AM · I have many violinists I like but one of the most interesting ones for me is Gidon Kremer. I particularly like his recording of the Bach Partitas and Sonatas. You can agree with his interpretations or not, but I always find his interpretations interesting and inspirational. He published a CD called "Happy birthday". When I first saw it I didn't expect too much, but then I really enjoyed listening to it. And then there is his Brahms violin concerto with Bernstein. You can listen to it on youtube (don't watch his mouth always open).
February 4, 2021, 4:06 AM · Performance wise I cannot really comment, because every concert I have attended has been special. But I wish I could go back in time to listen to Heifetz, Milstein, Kogan etc.

Recordings are a completely different thing, I think lots of modern recordings are somewhat missing "it". They might be more "accurate, high definition" but the soundscape doesn't convince me the same way.

I can always put on for example Bruch or Brahms played by Heifetz and I think it's the most wonderous thing I have ever heard. Particularly the second movement of the G minor violin concerto. Hahn captures that same magic, hopefully she records this concerto someday for an album.

I was born in 1994 so I guess I should be more biased to contemporary players which are more well-known through social media for the younger generations.

February 4, 2021, 4:37 AM · I always look for Oistrakh and Perlman before all others. Modern days probably Hilary Hahn.
Edited: February 4, 2021, 7:02 AM · I cannot pick just one, so my current top 7 in no order...hmmmm I could lengthen this list but will stop. This changes over time, and I love them all for different reasons. I can't pick just one - or apparently even 5 :-)

I've had the distinct pleasure to have seen Ehnes perform in Indianapolis with the ISO, and Hadelich was scheduled here last fall, but, of course, Covid...

Perlman
Oistrakh
Heifetz
Giles
Augustin Hadelich
James Ehnes
Hilary Hahn

Edited: February 4, 2021, 7:17 AM · I think Stephen touches on an interesting question - is it a 'generation' thing? Can I offer a related but slightly different perspective?
For me it's more of a 'chronological' thing. When I was discovering classical music and great violin playing Suk, Oistrakh, Kogan etc were still alive and actively recording. So I acquired recordings of much of the standard repertoire from these great artists. Eventually I reached saturation - I had at least one recording, often several, of much of the repertoire I really enjoyed. So when recordings by Vengerov, Hahn, Repin etc started appearing I had to ask myself, do I really need another recording of Beethoven, Bruch or whatever? Consideration of finance, space and listening time suggested the answer was 'no'. In retrospect this was probably a mistake and my loss. (At least I can use Youtube to catch up). So I am less familiar than I should be with the many great contemporary players.
Same applies to chamber ensembles (which interested me more than soloists) - the 'gold standard' remains the Smetana quartet and the Suk trio.

As you will probably gather my favourites were (and to a large extent still are)Josef Suk and David Oistrakh. More recently Vadim Repin and Hilary Hahn.

February 4, 2021, 7:29 AM · Peter, I went chronologically too, but in the opposite direction.

In Finnish language, there's an expression which roughly translates to 'appetite comes with eating'. Once I got started with classical music, I had to have more and more, but eventually I found the "definitive" recordings for each work I always listen to. For now, at least!

Edited: February 4, 2021, 1:50 PM · Wonderful range of responses - every one of them. I'm of that older generation also (born 1941). My folks had classical and violin LP's (and 78's) ever since I can remember. But my first memory of a live performance was 1945 or 46, sitting on my dad's knee (so I could see the stage) in the last row of the main floor of Orchestra Hall in Chicago. It was Isaac Stern, playing the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the CSO. I have brief visual memories of watching him play, but I can recall a few passages, like a recording in my brain. And, even at that age, I knew the piece (every note).
So, yes, choosing just one favorite ain't easy (or necessarily preferable), but I think it's good question to focus on.
February 4, 2021, 11:13 AM · I'm not a professional musician, but there are too many candidates and I tend rate to particular performances, rather than individual players. That aside, Hilary Hahn strikes me as an intelligent interpreter with strong technical skill in the service of the music. I don't find all her recorded performances equally appealing, but she always makes me listen carefully. I haven't seen her live, but she comes across on stage as focussed and present, and not projecting any ego.
February 4, 2021, 12:51 PM · Pinchas Zukerman, on violin and viola.
(But not for everything.)
February 4, 2021, 1:22 PM · This is an impossible question really, because few of us would name one violinist as having done the best performance of even our favorite pieces, and because there are so many standards to apply in naming a favorite.

That said, if I could only listen to one violinist for the rest of my life it would be Janine Jansen. If I had to choose one performance that stands out it's her maddeningly under-available 2003 BBC Proms performance of the Lark Ascending, which isn't even really a go-to piece for me. I'd choose her because she stands a tiny bit apart from the rhetorical traditions of modern performance practice, and at the same time she does a great job of bringing historical performance practice into the modern era in her playing of baroque pieces. I would go so far as to say there's just a touch of the baroque in the detailed inflections of her playing of later repertoire. In essence I love that she stays on the sincere side of the dividing line between emotional projection and manneristic histrionics.

Edited: February 4, 2021, 1:53 PM · I agree with Buri that we've too many great ones from which to choose. He mentioned Frank Peter Zimmerman and I heard his Sibelius the other day (on my cellist daughter's Spotify playlist!) and I thought it was gorgeous playing -- but was it as good as Julian Sitkovetsky's Sibelius? Like Peter (above), I also enjoy Gidon Kremer's Bach. I also enjoy Vengerov, Mutter, Rosand, Hadelich, Bell, and Hahn -- the list just goes on and on. I really like Josh Bell's Four Seasons and his Mozart 3. Rosand's "1970 Chicago Recital" album is totally mind-blowing, so is Mutter's "Berlin Recital" album.

That's one reason why I like streaming channels and other services because then I don't get stuck in ruts listening too much to one person or composer or period. And frankly recommendations are great too, so I'm likely to seek out Francescatti's Beethoven and Jansen's Lark Ascending.

Those are all soloists, of course. I also listen to a lot of chamber music and I adore the Emerson Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and the Sirius Quartet most of all. The Jerusalem Quartet has a particularly good recording of early Beethoven that I adore.

February 4, 2021, 5:05 PM · No hesitation - me. I'm my own favorite - and its not because of brilliance, tone, beauty or fame. I don't qualify on any scale. I just love how I love to play.

I hope you are all your own favorite violinists!

Second up? Buri said it. Depends... but for the whole shebang? If pushed, I would probably pick Michael Rabin.

February 4, 2021, 9:50 PM · I don’t have an all time favorite, but no one else can do what this one does, and I like that.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6h275wJx_MQ
February 4, 2021, 10:12 PM · 1. Who is your all-time favorite?

Anne Sophie Mutter

2. Do you have a favorite performance?

A performance of Tartini's Devil's Trill Sonata with Lambert Orkis from the late 80s. Her vibrato and some of her slides and shifting might not line up with what Tartini imagined, but I think they really bring out the writing

3. Can you very briefly list 3 to 5 musical, technical, personal, or other characteristics about this violinist that you truly admire?

- A highly personal style that I find relatively easily recognizable, with an extremely rich, powerful sound on the G string, and a very silvery E-string sound

- An electrifying stage presence

- She does good for others through her foundation and other philanthropic work

February 4, 2021, 11:02 PM · Paul--the available versions of the BBC performance are of such low audio quality I feel I should warn you. There's a better recording for CD with the same conductor but it doesn't have the same magic. Maybe the transcribed Bach 2 and 3 part inventions would be more fun.
February 5, 2021, 1:26 AM · For me, its Shlomo Mintz. He was the first recording of the Mendelssohn (Abbado, Chicago Symphony) that I actually got all the way through and enjoyed. Thats why he's up there. I enjoy all of his recordings, although I find his Bruch g minor a little slow for my taste! I like the way he makes everything look easy. I enjoy Zukerman a lot as well
Edited: February 5, 2021, 3:03 AM · Elisabeth Matesky ~ Carrier of the Jascha Heifetz - Nathan Milstein Legacy

Re ~ My Favourite Violinist!!??

What an intriguing question after nearly 5 Years as a core contributor to Professor Nick Hulme's fabled LinkedIn online Discussion titled: 'The 10 Greatest Violinists of All Time, (I, II, III, IV, V)'which took all of us down Violinist Road to the Past, the 20th Century and zigzagging throughout various Time Periods but with our 'Guv's' Limit set to not include distanced artists whom we could not hear on records nor disc's or Wax!!!

Greatest Violinists of All Time 'burned out', I would still after 5 intense years & learning about some artists one hadn't known of, start an EM list with both my violin mentor's, Jascha Heifetz and Nathan Milstein as Top for me &'adding Fritz Kreisler for invisible technique and enormous Viennese charm plus an elegance of Style in Master Periods of Baroque, Classical & 20th Century Kreisler Cadenza's to Mozart, Brahms and Beethoven Violin Concerti, bar none, then possibly David Oistrakh, for grandness of sound, overall tone & mastery of the most complex rapidimente passages in both the Aram Khachaturian and Dimitri Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. I in a minor Concerti, with a possibly surprising Anne Sophie Mutter for her utter serenity, musicality, rare sincerity and glorious vibrant vibrato with unique left hand of magician-ship in technical passage work, noble Andante's plus immensely knowledgeable while beautiful LvB, as most recently evidenced in Chicago, at our CSO home, Orchestra Hall, now Symphony Center, in Ms Mutter's January 22, 2020, pre-pandemic LvB Three Piano & Violin Sonatas with Lambert Orkis! {Re-connecting after our initial acquaintance in London, compliments of Sir Georg Solti, we talked of Milstein, Milstein & Milstein, agreeing to meet up 'anytime' to continue our 'Violining-Speak' in London, which was joyful with both of us sharing insights based on first hand acquaintance with Icon Mentor's!!} My List may be 'old fashioned' but after concert solo playing of decades, one knows and appreciates the non stop efforts and rigorous physical stamina demanded to Tour the World performing & recording much Violin Concerto repertoire while presenting new works to the public in pre-advertised world premiere's & sometimes under mounds of pressure travelling, sleeping in new time zones, giving interviews & guiding young musicians with genuine love and TLC for their aspiring future's in global concert music careers ~

There are, of course, other remarkable Violinists, yet while here please do allow me to pay enormous Tribute to a Great One who hid from most public media & glare of P.R., to raise Five Children and later, on her own, the now Great late American Violinist, Camilla Wicks, true friend and cheerleader, who was 'There' when too many uglies collided to topple just one person, and who was helped with the warm extended hand of Camilla W., during my 'The Worst Time' ~ Artistry exudes from The Heart & tragically demands grave suffering to go far below the 'nicey' musical waterline to a Valley of Sorrows from which, ironically, come profound insight's and understanding into Grand Masterworks for the Violin to be cherished and guided by one's inner self to high ground in Sibelius' Violin Concerto slow 'Adagio di molto' movement then Landing on the opening D on G string Note which starts the insane Witches Whirl and bedeviled wizardry required to knock off dizzying passages in The Master's 3rd movement "Allegro ma non tanto" Finale and Launch into outer Space - rocketing to Mars!!!! Ms. Wicks was among the Giants of Violin Art borne with abnormal modesty & dignity until her passing on November 25, 2020, in Florida ~ There is a grand and near 'deranged' obsessiveness captured in Finnish Style of Greatest Moral Composer of the 20th Century, Jean Sibelius, who came to call on a very young matured Camilla Wicks, for whom the Composer never stopped singing her praises!! CW belongs at The Top with 'The Big Boys' minus reservation in Perpetuity . . . RIP dear Friend

Carried Away, thank you for this Marvellous meeting place on Violinist.com!

~ Yours musically from America ~

.......... Elisabeth Matesky ..........

Friday AM. February 5th, circa 2021

~ Fwd ~ (#20)

February 5, 2021, 2:19 AM · For me this is an impossible question. When I listen carefully to any good soloist, from earlier years or contemporary, old or young, I immediately become very impressed and feel this soloist must be the best violinist in the world. Then there is the next, and the next, and the next, and I finally realize that it's really the class of really good violin playing that is the thing that is my favorite, not the individual violinists that make up that class.
Edited: February 5, 2021, 4:12 PM · I repeat - wonderful responses everyone. Yes, it is in many ways an impossible question. And just because you "like" one (or a handful, or dozens), certainly does NOT mean that you hate everyone else. Yes, this is a great website. Especially at this time, when everyone is experiencing isolation in every way, to me violinist.com is a way of sharing with everyone that is important and meaningful. And, to be honest, I'm always tempted to change my "Number One" on a fairly regular basis, but I keep coming back to Francescatti.

Elizabeth: Wonderful tribute.

February 5, 2021, 9:10 AM · My all-time favorite woman is my wife. And even she wasn't my all-time favorite before I knew her. For every category other than "spouse" I am less faithful than that.

All-time favorite questions are unanswerable.

February 5, 2021, 1:32 PM · I have a couple of absolute favorites so it's hard for me to narrow it down; one is Fritz Kreisler; really anything he plays but especially Liebesleid and the Old Refrain.
The other is Arthur Grumiaux; especially Sicilienne by Maria von Paradis.
I like both players because they are technically excellent but also very expressive; if you've heard anything by either one, you can immediately recognize their style. Kreisler is also admirable because he donated most of his earnings to charity, and Grumiaux started his career in his 30s and was incredibly successful.
The expressive playing of those two artist, and others from their era and before (like Maud Powell), is one thing I think we have largely departed from in modern playing; the focus seems to have swung more to technical excellence and expression of what the composer intended. There are exceptions of course, such as Nicola Benedetti among others but it seems to be fairly consistent. Personally I prefer the more expressive playing of past generations but it is a matter of taste I suppose.
Edited: February 5, 2021, 4:17 PM · Richard: Interesting observation. I have always thought that the development and prevalence of recordings have contributed to a kind of sameness in playing, since everyone now hears everyone else from day one. But the greats of the past had little opportunity to listen to a broad range of players. And many, I think, developed their uniqueness at least in part because of limited exposure to a full range of players worldwide. And that is why, I think, it seems to me that it is easier to quickly identify the unique technical, vibrato, and style of the greats of the past than those in more recent decades.
Edited: February 5, 2021, 4:45 PM · Indeed impossible question to answer - "all-time favorite".
I side with the Gramophone editors - "the best interpretations for each famous piece". It is hard enough just to get on that list...

That said, I'm surprised, after 24 replies, a tragic master is not on the list - Christian Ferras.

This is a piece that combines favorite piece and favorite interpretation for me: Bach double VC, Menuhin+Ferras
https://youtu.be/KJyfQNrShwA

DON'T TRY THIS ONE IF YOU FEEL ISOLATED AND A BIT DEPRESSED:
Seblius VC Movement 2, Ferras with a young Mehta:
https://youtu.be/qYR9ychIPJc

That profound emotion of sadness and desperation... often imitated but never equalled...

For a brighter day, I opt for the full cycle of Mozart VC of Grumiaux with Colin Davis. Defines what Mozart himself called "flows like oil", radiating cheerful, cantabile nonchalance.

For a cloudy day, I opt for the Bach sonatas and partitas, either by Milstein, or even better, Julia Fischer.

By the way, does anyone know what happened to Fischer, who after her young baby slowed down her career, and completely stopped recording at all???

February 5, 2021, 7:50 PM · @Sander, that's a great observation; and I think you are absolutely correct, the lack of a large number of easily accessible recordings probably contributed greatly to past artists developing a more personal sound. I've read that music performance ideals have swung in the past between personally expressive and being "true" to the composition as written though, so it may actually be a bit of both rather than a single cause.
February 5, 2021, 8:16 PM · Pierre, you and others can see and hear a bit of Julia Fischer's recent playing in this recording if you haven't already: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eQd95VFpI8

"Chaconne at home for 14 violinists"
Recorded in April 2020
Concept: Julia Fischer
Video compilation: Augustin Hadelich

Cast in order of appearance:
Julia Fischer, Augustin Hadelich, Renaud Capuçon, Klaidi Sahatçi, Alexander, Sitkovetsky, Nicola Benedetti, Andreas Janke, Daniel Röhn, Lisa Batiashvili, Lena Neudauer, James Ehnes, Stefan Jackiw, Rudens Turku, Vadim Gluzman

February 5, 2021, 9:41 PM · Past:
Henryk Szerng
Beethoven Sonatas with Arthur Rubinstein
I can listen to these recordings over and over

Present:
Hilary Hahn
Sibelius Violin Concerto with Mikko Franck and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France
Truly epic

February 5, 2021, 10:14 PM · Julia Fischer is the real deal. Great sound, and very intelligent, tasteful player - Her playing very much reminds me of Szeryng. I didn't really listen to her until a few months ago, but I certainly missed out.
February 5, 2021, 10:22 PM · I'm with Richard. If I had to pick just one for a desert island, it would be Kreisler. Which pieces: Beethoven or Brahms concertos; Beethoven sonatas; any of his own compositions or arrangements.

But absent the desert island it's hard to pick just one. Some other favorites:

Heifetz for pretty much any romantic concerto or smaller work, and some chamber music.

Enescu for solo Bach or La Follia.

Gitlis for Paganini.

Josef Hassid for pretty much anything in his small body of recordings.

Oscar Shumsky for Viotti 22.

Honorable mention to Roman Kim for some of his arrangements.

Edited: February 6, 2021, 5:21 AM · @J Ray - thanks a lot for the recommendation!

It made my day to see (and hear) that artistic creation is kicking and alive with the current generation of violinists! The diversity of treatment of phrasing, dynamics etc to come to completely different but equally musical results is just amazing. (And to hear Fischer again!)

Congrats as well to the video editor for the excellent splicing work, which inadvertently put the violinists on a cruel test of pitch drifting... That said, the artistic side of music should trump the pyrrhic cause of intonation. For those who love the old masters - can you imagine splicing Szigeti, Thibaud and Ginette Neveu together in one Chaconne? ;)

Another thought-provoking Chaconne maybe for those who love old masters?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNU4E1ziE8M

February 10, 2021, 8:42 AM · Me - in my dreams, of course!!!!!
And if I were, at my best standard in reality, people's all-time favourite violinist, that would be everyone's nightmare.
February 10, 2021, 12:31 PM · Young Menuhin playing Beethoven concerto... one of the best vibrato of history,,fantastic phrasing and big stage presence...Also Oistrach playing Tchiaykowsky concerto,or Heifetz playing Sibelius or Grumiaux playing Mozart concertos or Francestatti playing Beethoven concerto,or Kreisler playing liebfreud,or Ysaye playing the last movement of Mendelsonn violin concerto,or Perlman playing Brahms concerto ,or Zuchermann playing Frank sonata,or Rabin with 24 caprices ,or Kavakos Sibelius,or Mutter Beethoven sonatas,or Hadelich Rondo capriccioso,or Vengerov and Repin with show pieces,or Jansen with Brahms concerto,orZimermann with Prokofiev concerto n 1,or Wilde Frang with Mendelsonn, or Lozakovic with Beethoven concerto..to much Ahahahahah
February 10, 2021, 5:05 PM · Can we produce a musical lovechild of Grumiaux, Mutter, and Rabin?

The class...the throbbing sound...the electricity. Super violinist creation.

February 10, 2021, 6:20 PM · I dunno, Andrew - Quite apart from ethical considerations, there's no guarantee that that lovechild would turn out to be musical. And there'd be ructions about who was the biological father.
February 10, 2021, 7:46 PM · Greetings,
Andrew ‘6 legs good, two legs bad.’?
Ohwell,
Buri
February 10, 2021, 11:07 PM · Mark, you might also dig Zach Brock. I'm going to say maybe less virtuosic but possibly more musical?
Edited: February 11, 2021, 6:41 AM · I have a favourite tenor and soprano and oboist, from the days when I listened actively to music, but with piano and violin I've never spent long enough listening to have a favourite. Also, I mainly listen passively nowadays (and I'm a newcomer to the violin, apart from loving Maurice Hasson and Herman van Veen in the 70s) and there are so many CDs to buy that I tend to go for the cheapest offerings.

Generally I'd go along with people like David and Catherine who suggest

Oistrakh
Heifetz
Hahn
Perlman
(possibly in that order of preference!)

When I was learning guitar, I found that there were so many dreadful guitarists on Youtube that it was much easier to learn by listening to examples of what NOT to do! I haven't yet applied that philosophy to the violin, except to try to find out where I stand: I played piano and oboe as a teenager, and I took up the violin at 58, so I have no idea what baselines I have to measure myself against.

February 11, 2021, 12:06 PM · It depends on what day, and sometimes even the time of the day.
Edited: February 11, 2021, 4:18 PM · I also cannot name one single player, but I could construct a hypothetical frankenstein concertmonster with
The tone quality of Oistrakh,
The left hand of Heifetz or Ricci,
The right arm of Milstein,
The vibrato of Kreisler or Perlman.
The energy of Joshua Bell.
.. and so on ...
If there is one that I wish I could copy, it would be that recording studio violinist who did so many uncreditted solos for the Hollywood golden age film scores,-- Louis Kaufman (?).
Edited: February 11, 2021, 7:17 PM · OMG! Someone actually responded to one of my posts! Thanks for that Paul. Anyway, I know about Zach Brock too, and like him a lot, but I also feel that Adam Baldych is profoundly musical, especially with the Helge Lien trio that he’s been working with for the past several years. Almost everything he plays he composed himself, and they all tell a coherent musical story.
February 13, 2021, 4:11 PM · Looks like we have at least one vote for every violinist of any significance. I am old enough to have seen David Oistrakh play in recital, and I love him, but not for everything. I have heard various violinists play various pieces I love and probably would choose a different one for each.
February 13, 2021, 4:17 PM · Early L.Shankar

The solo on this track changed my whole direction as a violinist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLmcXBrhcOQ

February 15, 2021, 5:26 AM · Hilary Hahn. I like her pure tone, technical precision, and her interpretations that always seem to let the music speak for itself without seeming like she is imposing herself on it.

I tend to prefer modern interpretations over older ones, unlike seemingly everyone else. This may be because I didn't grow up hearing much music at all, either classical or popular, and developed my tastes mostly through classical radio in college (early 2000s). I think I got into my 20s before first hearing any violinist who was born before Perlman.

February 15, 2021, 5:29 AM · Also, that Bach Chaconne video really dispels the myth that present-day violinists all sound the same.
February 15, 2021, 8:27 AM · This is so difficult to answer. There are so many fantastic violinists I admire but if I had to choose one at the moment...

1) Nathan Milstein.
2) Bach Sonatas and Partitas
3) His right arm is absolutely fantastic, he has very good ears, his interpretations are unique and tasteful, and he never ever holds back. I mean seriously... playing it safe? That's never Milstein!

February 15, 2021, 9:41 AM · Arya:
I was at Nathan Milstein's very last appearance in Chicago. It was a recital in Orchestra Hall, and he was 80 years old. He played the Bach Partita #2, and it was one of the most remarkable performances of anything I have ever heard. The Chaconne was literally unbelievable. The performance went right to your heart. It was literally as if he was standing right next to you. Technically, musically, emotionally, it was the voice of Bach.
So, your choice is a great one.
March 4, 2021, 6:29 PM · Adolf Busch, especially at his greatest in Beethoven's quartets or with Serkin.
March 4, 2021, 7:46 PM · Greetings,
someone once asked Hugh been what the best violin sound was. Hugh replied that the opening of the Goldmark concerto played by Nathan Norstane was one of the greatest sounds in violin history.

After six revisions my voice recorder settled on the above. It adds an element of unpredictability to replying on the discussion. Technology is truly great except when it isn’t.
Cheers,
buri

March 5, 2021, 1:03 AM · Yes. Mr. Norstane's recording with Hairy Blech is one of the greatest recordings ever maid.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

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