Legendary Heifetz

My Favorite Heifetz

I am still astounded when I listen to Heifetz’s recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto which RCA released in 1974. What a performance that is! On the other hand, I have other favorite performers for the Brahms and the Tchaikovsky concerti, and also for the Sibelius.

There is no doubt the Jascha Heifetz was the supreme musician; and, from a technical perspective, his playing, his bowing, and his technique was unequaled. It is a personal thing for me, however, that I just like to see more visual emotion in a performer. And during his lifetime, Heifetz felt that this was inappropriate. Other than the fingers and his bow arm, the man was basically motionless. He believed that the *sound*, the music should transport the listener into a “different world”…

Heifetz was also a very formal person. I have videos of his master classes, and he insisted that students rise respectfully when he entered the room to hear them play. After all, he was a product of the time when the violin teacher was likely referred to as “Herr Professor Auer”, and one always rose when Prof. Auer came in. It was a different time…

In the shorter encore pieces, Heifetz’s interpretations are legendary. I have included a few of them for you, below, for your enjoyment…

Here Heifetz plays Rachmaninoff’s “Daisies”, Op 38, No 3:

Next, Jascha Heifetz plays “The girl with the flaxen hair” by Claude Debussy.

Finally, here’s Jascha Heifetz playing the Rondo (from Serenade No. 7 “Haffner”, K. 250) by Mozart:

Tags: Jascha Heifetz, legendary violinist

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