Program 5: The Last Virtuoso

In this program, Michael Tilson Thomas examines why Heifetz was so good, and asks whether any violinist living today could ever hope to match his incredible technical ability and immense musicality. What’s changed? What is virtuosity, and why is it so hard to maintain? Featured is an interview/demonstration recorded on the stage of Davies Symphony Hall with Alexander Barantschik, the Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony, who now plays Heifetz’s Guarnerius violin.

Jascha Heifetz was arguably the last great violin virtuoso – the end of a line.

Playlist

(If no performer is listed, piece performed by San Fransisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas.)

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Opus 35
Jascha Heifetz/Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Reiner
(RCA 74321-63470-2)

Dvorak: Piano Quintet, Opus 81
Heifetz, Baker, Pasquale, Piatigorsky, Lateiner
(RCA 7965-2-RG)

Stravinsky: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G, Opus 63
Jascha Heifetz/Boston Symphony Orchestra/Munch
(RCA RCD1-7019)

Bach; Partita No. 3, BWV 1006, Preludio
Jascha Heifetz
(RCA 09026-62645-2)

“Sentimental Journey”
Lawrence Welk
(Ranwood R-7023-CD)

Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Opus 21
Alexis Weissenberg/Orchestre de la Societe de Concerts du Conservatoire,
Paris/ Skrowaczewski
(EMI CDM 7 69036 2)

Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen, Opus 20
Jascha Heifetz/RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra/Steinberg
(RCA 09026-61753-2)

Paganini arr. Auer: Caprice No. 24
Jascha Heifetz/Arpad Sandor
(Pearl GEMM CD 9023)

Trad. “Ahavo Rabbo Shteyger”
Steven Greenman
(Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40486)

Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1
Leopold Auer Appian
CDAPR 7015

Schubert: “L’abeille” (“The Bee”)
Jascha Heifetz (at 10)
Appian CDAPR 7015

Dvorak: “Humoresque”
Jascha Heifetz (at 10)
Appian CDAPR 7015

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
Jascha Heifetz/Boston Symphony Orchestra/Munch
(RCA ???)

Bach; Partita No. 3, BWV 1006, Preludio
Jascha Heifetz
(RCA 09026-62645-2)

Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Opus 22
Jasch Heifetz/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Barbirolli
(Allegro CDO 2001)

Saint-Saens: Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, Opus 75
Jascha Heifetz/Emanuel Bay
(RCA 09026-61738-2)

Debussy: “La fille aux cheveux de lin”
Jascha Heifetz/Isidor Achron
(RCA 09026-62645-2)

Mendelssohn: Octet
Heifetz, Baker, Belnick, Stepansky, Primrose, Majewski, Piatigorsky, Rejto
(RCA 09026-62645-2)

Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Opus 47
Jascha Heifetz/Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Hendl
(RCA 74321-63470-2)

Ponce arr. Heifetz: “Estrellita”
Jascha Heifetz
(ASV AJA 5133)

Mendelssohn: Octet
Heifetz, Baker, Belnick, Stepansky, Primrose, Majewski, Piatigorsky, Rejto
(RCA 09026-62645-2)

Bazzini: La Ronde des Lutins, Opus 25
Jascha Heifetz/Emanuel Bay
(Pearl GEMM CD 9023)

Sinding: Suite
Jascha Heifetz/Los Angeles Philharmonic/Wallenstein
(RCA 09026-62645-2)

Other episodes

Program 1: You Call That Music?!
Program 2: What Does America Sound Like? — Part 1
Program 3: What Does America Sound Like? — Part 2
Program 4: Igor Stravinsky’s Copyright Blues
Program 5: The Last Virtuoso
Program 6: Freud and the Ballet
Program 7: We Were Playing Boulez, But We Were Listening To James Brown!
Program 8: Five Degrees of Separation

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