I wish I could play like_________________________

July 12, 2021, 3:25 PM · Fill in the blank.

Replies (63)

Edited: July 12, 2021, 3:26 PM · I’ve seen lots of great violinists referred to in the discussion comments. If you could play like only one, who would you choose?
Edited: July 12, 2021, 4:48 PM · Elicia Silverstien - especially Biber's Passacagalia:

July 12, 2021, 3:37 PM · What wonderful tone she is able to produce with nearly no vibrato. She uses some. But very little. Typical of baroque.
July 12, 2021, 4:03 PM · This video is what caused me to fall deeply in love with this piece and why it's my long-term goal. Not that I will ever be able to play it like her.
July 12, 2021, 4:09 PM · Practice 40 hours a day and you never know!
Edited: July 12, 2021, 4:20 PM · LOL Rob, not at my age, and more importantly, level of arthritis. However, we never know!
July 12, 2021, 4:26 PM · I wish I could play like I'll be able to play in 10 year's time.
July 12, 2021, 4:53 PM · First, you have to get the notes and bowing in the right place - but that's only half the job. To get the sound in the video you'll have to find a hall with the sort of reverb you're hearing, and, of course, a pretty good baroque violin, likely a modern replica.

Having said that, Silverstein's performance is one to treasure and a standard to aim for, reverb or no reverb.

July 12, 2021, 5:01 PM · @Catherine - do you mean Alissa Weilerstein? She is wonderful, but I am not a cellist. And, in terms of arthritis, I belong to the Arthritis String Quartet. I am the youngster at 70. The first violinist is 89 and the cellist is 92. The second violin is my age.
July 12, 2021, 5:16 PM · Yehudi Menuhin or Henryk Szeryng
Edited: July 12, 2021, 5:39 PM · Tom - it is indeed Elicia Silverstein - that's her video I linked to above in my post :-) She doesn't have many videos on YouTube, but it is this piece that got me back to the violin after a 45 years hiatus.

Also, your quartet sounds like fun! My shoulder and neck are the real problems, far more than my hands (and they are bad enough). If I hadn't had that 45 year break it would likely be easier!

@Trevor - I know :-) The modern baroque violin may or may not be an option - but I think I already know of a space that would provide that reverb. I just have to get there technically without totally destroying my shoulder before then.

Edited: July 12, 2021, 6:15 PM · Richard O'Neill. (I'm a violist.)

July 12, 2021, 6:22 PM · Interesting question. There are people who drop into my current frame of mind, and others who blow it apart.

At some level, it would be amazing to play like David Nadien, or Heifetz. The guy whose recent work is what I would love to replicate, though, is Augustin Hadelich. Not for everything, but his Bach playing is very fine. And that is enough for me right now.

July 12, 2021, 6:28 PM · Zino Francescatti.
July 12, 2021, 7:14 PM · Perhaps Zoltan Szekely had the particular kind of lyricism I am looking for, but the sound of Zoria Shikhmurzaeva, Alexander Labko or Igor Bezrodny I find very special as well.

Edited: July 12, 2021, 8:28 PM · Eva Saladin:


July 12, 2021, 8:35 PM · Or else (and maybe not so different), my teacher Vivian Mayers, here playing a Biber sonata:

July 12, 2021, 8:48 PM · Hands down Augustin Hadelich.
July 12, 2021, 9:50 PM · Yep,
Hadelich is a real contender for ‘greatest violinist of his generation.’
July 13, 2021, 1:04 AM · I really like Hadelich's Brahms VC and Ysaye Sonatas.
July 13, 2021, 1:53 AM · Pinchas Zukerman or Shlomo Mintz. Both are very good and both play the violin and viola like me
July 13, 2021, 2:32 AM · Another vote for Zino Francescatti!
July 13, 2021, 2:40 AM · Thanks everyone. You guys gave me a few more that I was unaware of. I get to do some more exploring.
July 13, 2021, 2:46 AM · young Menuhin
July 13, 2021, 6:37 AM · Zukerman (violin and viola).
Edited: July 13, 2021, 8:46 AM · I think it would be more fun to play in the style of someone like Ruggiero Ricci because of the fact that he lets his technique simply explode; he knows how to let loose and have fun!

July 13, 2021, 8:17 AM · ...like I used to when I was younger.

Not that great, but lot's better than now, 40 to 70 years later.

Edited: July 13, 2021, 9:08 AM · Thankyou, Andrew.
I'd rather be a damn good amateur me than be someone else.
Of course the OP is just a reworded version of "who is your favourite violinist?"

OK, let's say Kreisler, on the grounds that Menuhin thought Heifetz was tangible, but Kreisler was intangible.

July 13, 2021, 9:07 AM · That's how I read it Gordon. I've so many favorites I couldn't choose, but Elicia really inspired me to return to the violin.
July 13, 2021, 9:11 AM · I'd rather play the Bach D minor chaconne like Heifetz than like Perlman, no offence to Perlman.
Edited: July 13, 2021, 10:02 AM · Yeah, Hadelich. He's got it all. Incredible sound, technique to burn, and amazing taste. How many violinists living today can you say are contenders for the throne of best ever? As far as anyone can tell he also seems to be a warm, decent, and genuine person. I hate him! LOL

Other violinists that I enjoy listening to are Rosand, Mutter, Chen, Hahn, and Heifetz. I agree with Gordon about Heifetz's Bach. We hear so much about "Bach specialists" these days, but Heifetz nailed it. Why they chose Grumiaux's E major Gavotte for the Golden Record is beyond me. Maybe the quality of the recording was better.

July 13, 2021, 10:14 AM · My daughter would vote for Hillary Hahn. More immediately for her, Chloe Chua.
Edited: July 13, 2021, 11:10 AM · Oistrakh, much as I love him, was a bit too Bolshoi for me to want to emulate him.
July 13, 2021, 12:00 PM · Think you meant Bolshie?
Avoiding the image of Oistrakh in a tutu!
July 13, 2021, 12:22 PM · I’d say Hadelich but my daughter’s pick James Ehnes. More specifically, she wants to play like herself but with his stability.

I actually would want to listen to that!

July 13, 2021, 12:22 PM · Myself. Unfortunately, I need a heck of a lot more technique to get there.
Edited: July 13, 2021, 12:33 PM · Well, male Bolshoi dancers dance BIG, and Oistrakh very often plays BIG so I like to class him as Bolshoi.
Edited: July 13, 2021, 2:41 PM · I have modest aspirations, I'd be happy just playing like a 9yr old Chinese prodigy!
July 13, 2021, 3:06 PM · Though I revere my violin heroes, I don't want to play like any of them. What's the point? I'm happier listening to them than imitating them. Rather, I'd like to play the violin as skillfully and beautifully as God had intended for me to play. I'm still working on it!
July 13, 2021, 5:09 PM · Szeryng has a special corner in my heart and my teacher took classes with him in some occasions in Paris. Actually I remember asking this teacher what was one of the most remarkable violinist he had watched live. His straight forward answer was "Michael Rabin".
July 13, 2021, 5:15 PM · Dave williams
July 13, 2021, 5:16 PM · Actually, I should have also mentioned Ida Haendel, (with whom I once sort of had dinner). An excellent violinist about whom one doesn't hear much nowadays.
July 13, 2021, 5:40 PM · At her best, she was unbelievably awesome.
July 13, 2021, 6:56 PM · Eugène Ysaÿe
July 14, 2021, 2:02 AM · I play in the practice room. as confident and relaxed like I play there. That would be enough for the moment to make me happy :)
On the long term: like Maxim Vengerov ánd Darol Anger.
July 14, 2021, 2:14 AM · Herman van Veen
July 14, 2021, 3:01 AM ·

Roby Lakatos

July 14, 2021, 3:57 AM · Ivry Gitlis
July 14, 2021, 10:48 AM · Ditto Ivry Gitlis. Plus Nathan Milstein, though very different. And almost any of the above. For fiddle, Natalie MacMaster.
Edited: July 14, 2021, 12:50 PM · Dora Schwarzberg
Edited: July 14, 2021, 2:12 PM · Larry Fine

July 15, 2021, 1:56 PM · Maria Dueñas
July 15, 2021, 4:02 PM · I wish I could play, like, really fast.
July 16, 2021, 1:49 AM · Greetings,
Paul, if you played, like, one note really fast wouldn’t that be enough to satisfy the craving?
July 22, 2021, 3:43 PM · this morning I heard a superfast and really stellar 3rd movement of Mendelssohn on the radio; it turned out to be James Ehnes. surely wish i could play like that!
Edited: July 24, 2021, 1:53 AM · Not mentioned yet: Louis Kaufman, who was concertmaster and/or soloist for hundreds of Hollywood movie scores in the golden age of the studio orchestras. When asked why he did recording sessions instead of being a touring soloist he said something like; I like the schedule and their checks don't bounce. Second place vote for quality of sound; Oistrakh. Wait-changed my mind again -Kreisler; technique as the servant of style. Wait again- someone who doesn't exist yet- the violin equivalent of Stan Getz.
July 23, 2021, 11:24 AM · James Ehnes is fabulous, my second choice.
Edited: July 25, 2021, 8:00 PM · Menuhin. No one plays the second movement of Beethoven concerto like him.
July 26, 2021, 1:15 AM · Augustin Hadelich. Great technique, well crafted phrases, awesome musician.
July 26, 2021, 5:02 AM · Let there be Heifetz!
July 26, 2021, 5:02 AM · Heifetz
July 26, 2021, 5:02 AM · Heifetz
July 26, 2021, 5:02 AM · Heifetz

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