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Who is your favorite violinist? - Page 3

post #31 of 85

Thanks, fiddler!

I just listened to Oistrakh's 1954 Brahms tonight. In fact, it's my first time to listen to Oistrakh. Oh my god, he's so great, beyond anyone else I've listened to.

Thank you, fiddler, for introducing such a great recording, and even more, a great violinist.

Now only if I'd get my hand on the 1963 recording you talked about....
post #32 of 85
I think that's mainly a question of temperament and personal taste. I for myself put *emotion* before *technique*and the violinists that mostly speak emotionally to me are Stern, Elman, Oistrach and Menuchin - Perlman and Mullova on some pieces also. Kyung Wha Chung may have an interesting touch sometimes... Just listened few days ago on some interpretations of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto one after the other (Heifetz, Elman, Mullova and Stern) Well, Stern did make a difference for me and not a small one... Perhaps if Elman's recording was better (1931!!!) he would also have been an alternative for my no. 1...

Dusty - Regarding Heifetz, I think I'll have to make use of my right to be wrong... (although there are here and there concerts I like his interpretation the best...)
post #33 of 85

Another Oistrakh Brahms

11th June 1961, live recording at Kursaal Teatro Apollo (in Lugano).
Orchestra della Radio della Svizzera Italiana (these days known as RTSI), under Otmar Nussio.

This is a 1995 digital remaster from budget Italian label "Ermitage". I paid less than a cappuccino for this disc so if I'm overcritical... pour a latte over me.

The better my headphone setup gets the more snobbish I'm getting about recorded sound quality, so the mere fact that I was riveted to this 1961 mono recording says a lot to start with. [When were the first stereo recordings made?] Being a live performance there are some audience effects to contend with, but the energy of the live performance which fiddler mentioned is present here too. Oistrakh has a silvery tone and his mercurial melodic lines are simply magic. The third movement gets off to a rough start though, with a sudden drop in the recording quality and some scrappy playing by the violin section of the orchestra.

If I had a complaint with Oistrakh it would be his liberal approach to tempo. Grace notes become whole notes and suddenly you've got nine quavers in a bar. Semiquavers disappear and the orchestra has to be careful not to get left behind. This is my purely subjective view though, which should probably be disregarded as this kind of ebb and flow is not out of place in Brahms. Although I'm not a Mozart fan, I prefer Oistrakh's approach to the Mozart concerto KV216 (on the same disc) which is more "old school".

The sleeve notes contain a story about some of the great Soviet talents, some of whom stayed but many of whom left the former Union. One name mentioned is Leonid Kogan who I have seen on video. He too was a technical guru and an amazing artist.

All the same, I wouldn't want to glorify any one person or recording. When you've been moved by so many different renditions you know that the music supercedes all those who play it. There are moments in Brahms which to me are like the sun rising. I hear it in the first movement of the violin concerto and also in the second symphony. If variety is the spice of life then how could you ever tire of hearing new recordings? Then again, your latte has no spice.
post #34 of 85
menuhin's early recordings were amazing...

check out this...


It digs straight into your soul

oistrakh is amazing



all today's modern violinists suck compared to kreisler, elman, heifetz, oistrakh, menuhin, milstein and all those old violinists... (except perlman, I think of him as the "bridge" between old and new..."
post #35 of 85
Another young violin that I think deserves more attention is Nikolaj Znaider. I heard him performing the Korngold concerto in concert and it was a marvelous reading -- beautiful, attentive tone with a commanding overall sound picture. His recording of Prokofiev concerto #1 /Glazunov concerto is also first class.
post #36 of 85
I enjoy Perlman, wonderful player, and I had the opportunity to see him live in Cleveland a couple months ago!
post #37 of 85
Had the pleasure of seeing Midori perform last week. Played the Bruch and Britten concertos in one concert! An amazing performance IMHO.
post #38 of 85
Originally Posted by sydneyaudio
Had the pleasure of seeing Midori perform last week. Played the Bruch and Britten concertos in one concert! An amazing performance IMHO.
hey i saw the same concert at the opera house. I thought it was terribly unimpressive but I had not heard Bruch or Britten prior to that performance. I had terrible seating maybe that had something to do with my enjoyment.

I like Sarah Chang too but my favourite is Andrew Manze.

I am yet to try the old-school violinist. I might as well start with the biggie Oistrakh.
post #39 of 85
To answer the original question, Tetzlaff is my current favorite.
post #40 of 85
To all violin fans I highly recommend the DVD Art of the Violin. Read the reviews to see why, it is really excellent. Borrowed it from a friend of mine couple of months ago, and watched it/heard it in awe and amazement. From that DVD alone, the ones I liked the most were pretty much all the great ones: Oistrakh, Menuhin, Kreisler, Stern, and Heifetz.
post #41 of 85
Oh this is difficult. I'll state the person and a piece/pieces that they particularly played well.

Gidon Kremer is one of my favourites: he played Ernst's Last Rose of Summer like a god. Vengerov and Midori both couldn't even come close with their respective recordings of the Ernst. This is a recording that not even Heifetz dared to attempt to record because of its difficulty. His playing is immensely special and he has a tremendous amount of talent. I think he ranks right up there with the very best violinists that ever lived, eg Oistrakh, Heifetz, Accardo, Perlman, etc...

Anne-Sophie Mutter is also one of my favourites: her Brahms Violin Concerto is really quite special. Another spectacular recording of her is the Sibelius Violin Concerto. Her vibrato is wonderfully controlled and her tone is also amazing. She also recently recorded and performed all of Mozart's violin sonatas and concertos.

Maxim Vengerov: His recording of Schubert's Fantasy in C is brilliant. His recordings of all the great violin concertos are also fantastic. I like his earlier recording of Ravel's Tzigane. The one on his CD debut is the best by far. His more recent attempts were very good and probably even better technically, but IMO, a bit pretentious in style.

Salvatore Accardo: I have his complete recordings of Paganini's violin pieces and he plays each and every one of them with great ease and unique style. His attempts at Nel cor piu non me sento and I palpiti were both very good. I highly recommend him as one of the greatest...

Itzhak Perlman: Wow, I listened to him live a couple times and wasn't he good! Amazing playing. He is the modern-day Heifetz. His Wieniawsky Concerto recordings are really quite stunningly played. His tone is extremely unique, warm, yet still very resonant. His recording of the Lalo Symphonie Espagnol is probably one of the best in the world (yes even better than Heifetz's). I rate him very highly indeed!

Jascha Heifetz
: Do I need to say anything about this "god"? Just listen to his recording of the Sibelius Violin Concerto or Dinicu Hora Staccato or Saint Saen Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, etc... His playing speaks for itself.

So many other ones! Pinchas Zukerman, Joshua Bell, Kyung Wha Chung, Midori, Ruggiero Ricci, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Gil Shaham, Nathan Milstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Arthur Grumiaux, Leonid Kogan etc...

I simply can't say who is the best......

EDIT: Oh how could I have forgotten David Oistrakh! He is definitely one of the best violinists who've inhabited this world!
post #42 of 85
Easy answer for me - Jascha Heifetz.
post #43 of 85
Originally Posted by jagorev
Easy answer for me - Jascha Heifetz.
heifetz sucks... Tone too scratcy, plays things too fast and not musically... Don't tell me that **** about closing my eyes and listening to the music because even then I don't feel he plays musically at all...

oistrakh and milstein are better
post #44 of 85
Originally Posted by Oistrakh
heifetz sucks... Tone too scratcy, plays things too fast and not musically... Don't tell me that **** about closing my eyes and listening to the music because even then I don't feel he plays musically at all...

oistrakh and milstein are better
Thanks for sharing.
post #45 of 85
I think Akiko Suwanai is a young violinist of surprising maturity who will only be getting better with age. She is virtually unknown here in the USA and this may not change anytime soon because she is under contract to Philips which doesn't seem to be interested in promoting her outside of Europe and Asia. If you can, try and obtain Suwanai's Bach Concertos which is a magnificent cd. So far, it hasn't been released in the USA, but is available at Amazon UK, JPC and other world vendors.

Btw, it's not necessary to knock Heifetz in order to like Oistrakh and Milstein. All three were great violinists of differing style. Saying that his tone is "scratchy" or that he doesn't play "musically" just exposes your own callow youth. Whether you love Heifetz or hate him, there is no way to deny his greatness.
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