Awesome Gitlis

October 27, 2022, 3:49 PM · Sometimes I think we should do a little less practice and a little more listening to the impossible made to look easy. Gitlis at his best:

Replies (7)

Edited: October 27, 2022, 5:43 PM · Buri: Gitlis was certainly one of the greats. His Bartok Concerto is still my favorite performance of that piece. He brings to it a sense of fiery gypsy abandon and passion in a clear piercing voice that cuts through like a knife. I'm sure Bartok would have appreciated it had he lived to hear it.

I've just listened to your link, which is Gitlis playing Bloch's Nigun. Wow, what a performance (and what a piece of music). I've heard a few performances over time of this piece, but this Gitlis performance is in a class by itself, truly.

Edited: October 27, 2022, 7:20 PM · That poor pianist. With only 800 pounds of instrument available to him, he had no chance. (I agree with Sandy.)
Edited: October 28, 2022, 12:44 AM ·
I have an older recording of his on vinyl. I've also seen YouTube videos of him playing when he was in his 40's. He was fantastic.

For me, he's one of the very few that could play Paganini in a way that it made musical sense. (Given all of those quirky sounds that emanate from a violin on which Paganini is being played.)

In the case of Paganini, I don't know whether to feel more sorry for the performer or for the violin.

October 28, 2022, 4:12 AM · What a great performance. I love the ease and pleasure with which he performs the piece. Thanks for posting this.
October 28, 2022, 7:56 AM · Awesome indeed, and the video is also instructive for beginners, as it clearly shows you sometimes really have to dare to put weight on your bow (if accompanied by bow speed). This is something that beginners really have to "dare", first in their private practice room, once they get it, it improves their tone instantly.
October 28, 2022, 4:44 PM · @Paul - in fairness to the pianist, this is really a piece for the violin. The main job of the pianist is to stay relevant but out of the way. Awesome performance by Gitlis, who is one of the all-time greats. It also helps that this piece fits squarely within his tradition; he pours out his soul.
October 28, 2022, 7:27 PM · 2015 Concert for Ivry Gitlis in southern France:

Gitlis was born in 1922 - he was 93 when this (almost 2 hour) concert was presented in his honor. He plays 15 minutes of solos with piano accompaniment starting around 45 minutes. There are other youtube videos of his late-life performances.

I enjoyed watching TV plays of some of his performances at the Verbier Festivals in Switzerland earlier this century.

One of my goals is to have other people still allow me to play with them when I am in my 90s.

Ivry Gitlis died in 2020 at the age of 98.

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