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Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman or Jascha Heifetz

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
Post your views on each of the performers (Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Jascha Heifetz) and David Oistrakh and state which one you like best)

Joshua Bell-plays too cheesily, I don't like the way he "dances" when playing, and I don't like his vibrate

Itzhak Perlman-Great violinist, great technique, great tone, all around awesome!

Jascha Heifetz- Astounding technique, never plays anything out of tune, I feel like he rushes a lot through pieces, not putting enough "love" as Isaac Stern would say.

My favorite is Itzhak Perlman, his technique is brilliant, and is extremely musical.
post #2 of 89
Joshua Bell - Less showy and more considered interpretations generally. Goes for musicality over flash.

Perlman - Amazing technique, perhaps the best virtuoso technique since Heifetz. But schmaltzy, overly sentimental interpretations generally (with some exceptions, for example his beethoven violin sonatas are top rank).

Heifetz - Used to hate him as I saw him as a showoff virtuoso that neglected the emotional aspects of anything he performed. That has changed, I now appreciate his more "straight" approach, and really like the fact that he tends to push ahead where everyone else tends to slow down or meander.

I'll add a few others:

Hillary Hahn - perhaps the closest we have to a modern day Heifetz, with amazing technique and relatively unsentimental, often quick performances.

Vengerov - Even better technique than Hahn, has absolute, totoal, and effortless control over his instrument. Unfortunately I tend to find his interpretations seem to "put on" emotion. I put him in the same category as Perlman.

Mullova - generally wiry tone and very tough, sinewy interpretations. The antipode of Perlman and Vengerov.

I could go on, but I gotta draw the line somewhere....
post #3 of 89
My favorite violinist is Arthur Grumiaux. He was known as the aristocrat of violinist.

I don't like Heifetz at all, and think Perlman is good, but sometimes too over the top.

I also admire the following violinists:
- Cho-Liang Lin
- Gidon Kremer
- Ilya Kaler
- Josef Suk
- Gil Shaham
- Wolfgang Schneiderhan
- David Oistrakh & Igor Oistrakh


- augustwest
post #4 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson
Joshua Bell - Less showy and more considered interpretations generally. Goes for musicality over flash.
yeah, but his playing is too cheesy and overly sentimental (romance of the violin, anyone?), doesn't get me all emotional (menuhin does)
post #5 of 89
I suppose I should have some southern Indiana regional pride, but I have never warmed up to Joshua Bell. My favorite is Menuhin, but of the choices given, I suppose Perlman is my choice. I just like his style.

Of course, I am not as well-versed in violinists as I should be.
post #6 of 89
I think he's hit or miss. His Beethoven and Mendelssohn concerto's are great. His Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky is a little weak. I wouldn't say his recordings of the core repertoire pieces are cheesy, but some are underpowered, IMO.
post #7 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson
I think he's hit or miss. His Beethoven and Mendelssohn concerto's are great. His Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky is a little weak. I wouldn't say his recordings of the core repertoire pieces are cheesy, but some are underpowered, IMO.
are you talking about joshua bell's old tchaikovsky recording or the new one that came out? (with michael tilson thomas conducting)

I like Yehudi Menuhin a lot, but I find his sound not really controlled and its kind of weak. I like his younger stuff, before his technique deteriorated.
post #8 of 89
Thread Starter 
I added David Oistrakh to the discussion
post #9 of 89
The new one with MTT. As far as David Oistrakh, he is certainly the greatest violinist of the "uber-romantic" school of playing (very emotional), but he never, ever descends in to schmalz or false emotion. One of the best ever.
post #10 of 89
Thread Starter 
on a side note, what do you think of your HD 280. Another question, what do you think of the HD 280 for classical music? I just got them, and think they are pretty good for violin...
post #11 of 89
I decided to give the Bell and MTT another listen, but turned up the volume a bit more, it made a pretty large difference. Sounded a lot better, but still not one of my favorite recordings, mainly because I think MTT and Bell bring out the worst in each other, namely a lot of needless rubato and too much emphasis on the moment at the expense of the overally form of the music.

Re: the 280's I sold them a while back, but a friend still has a pair. I thought (and still think) they were very good for classical music, very good clarity and precision, but in the end just a little clinical sounding. I found the Beyer DT250-250's had similar clarity, but better warmth and emotion was able to come through.
post #12 of 89
Josua Bell: overrated, overadvertised, but still pretty good. No where as serious as Midori. If you want to hear an overrated violinist, Midori is the prime choice.

Heifeitz: For precision in playing, I don't think there is a match. Sometimes he is super exciting (as in Beethoven Concerto), and other times he is too fast, overpowering and too tasteless (as in Scottish Fantasy). Like him or not, can't deny he is a giant.

Perlman: His virtuosity puts him at the top of his generation. His sweet tone is generally attractive, but sometimes wears his heart upon the sleeves. His repertoire is vast, and his approach is always romantic.


Kreisler (1875-1962): I just bought his complete recording on RCA (11 CDs). His constant vibrato style has never been equaled. No one can make the violin sing like him; his violin actually sounds like a great singer. His interpretation is extremely lyrical, and his musical ideas are very different from anyone born in the 20th century. He represents the last of the virtuoso/composer violinists of the 19th century, a tradition passed from Paganini to Wieniawski, Joachim and Sarasate. Fortunately we can still hear him in decent recordings between the two world wars. No one can claim he has heard the world's greatest violinists until he listens to Kreisler's recordings.

Hilary Hahn: Very promising violinist. Her technical power is similar to Perlman at his peak. She has shown a lot of independent thinking in her career development and musical interpretation. The scary thing is, she is still rapidly improving. If she stays her course, she might become the defining violinist in the first decades of 21st century.
post #13 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferbose
Josua Bell: overrated, overadvertised, but still pretty good. No where as serious as Midori. If you want to hear an overrated violinist, Midori is the prime choice.
how is midori overrated and a bad violinist?
post #14 of 89
Heifetz: I have mixed feelings about Heifetz. His technique is truly great and it's good to have a more fiery approach to some of the violin concertos from time to time, but I usually find his interpretations to be overly fast, almost hasty, and his way of phrasing seems a bit peculiar to me.

Perlman: I really like his Beethoven violin concerto and sonatas but can't appreciate his other works as much. Overly romantic sometimes.

Oistrakh: My favourite fiddler. There's character and passion in his play but never too much.

I haven't heard a lot from Joshua Bell yet.

Other violinists I really enjoy are Hilary Hahn, Kyung Chung Wha, Vengerov, Grumiaux and Menuhin.
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oistrakh
how is midori overrated and a bad violinist?
I heard her three times in concert.

Her musical interpretation is dry, her bowing is too mechanical and results in a flat tone. She thinks she can play fast but she only plays the notes, not the music feeling. I also heard her in a lecture recently. Her knowledge of music history and technical aspects of violin making is clearly lacking. Obviously a gifted child who was pushed too far and ceased to improve since teenage.

However, she is very active in community outreach programs and I heard she is a good teacher. So she has put her undeserved fame to good use--good for her!
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