Jascha Heifetz / Dimitri Mitropoulos / Arturo Toscanini

Beethoven: Concerto in D major; Brahms: Concerto in D major

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Now, as at the beginning of his career in 1912, the name of Jascha Heifetz is virtually synonymous with the violin. Although he has had detractors throughout his extensive career who criticized his sometimes cold, cavalier approach to some of the more sentimental moments in the repertoire, the tenacity of his fame cannot be argued with. This album features two recordings made with the New York Philharmonic more than 20 years apart. Regrettably, the restored sound of the orchestra is, in both cases, inferior. Even the 1956 recording, by which time more advanced recording technology was widely available, has many instances of the orchestra producing more sound than the microphones could effectively capture. Heifetz's sound, on the other hand, is captured clearly, even in his 1935 recording of the Brahms concerto. As for the performances themselves, they are rather typical of Heifetz. The outer movements of both concertos are quite fast, with the first movement of Brahms seeming almost like a race to the finish. Middle movements are slightly more reserved, but still somewhat impatient. His technique and prowess on the violin, however, are what earned him his fame, and these elements are present in abundance. Heifetz fans will no doubt welcome yet another album to add to their collections.

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