A cosmopolitan fluent in 7 languages, a humanitarian, and a violinist of extraordinary gifts, Szeryng became renowned as a musician's musician by combining a virtuoso technique with a probing discernment of the highest order.
Beethoven wrote ten sonatas for piano and violin, the best known of which are the "Spring" and the "Kreutzer" sonatas. The fame of these two works has tended to result in neglect of the remaining sonatas. This is unfortunate because Beethoven's remaining eight sonatas for piano and violin include much great music. The set of 10 works is of an appropriate size to warrant exploration of the entire group for those with a passion for the violin or for Beethoven. It includes an appealing mix of familiar and unfamiliar music.
Szeryng was much admired for his combination of technical virtuosity and tremendous musical integrity and knowledge. Szeryng was a leading representative of the golden age of violin playing, along with such artists as Jascha Heifetz and Fritz Kreisler; his playing embodied a lushness of tone with sophisticated phrasing and bold intensity rarely heard today.
A cosmopolitan fluent in 7 languages, a humanitarian, and a violinist of extraordinary gifts, Szeryng became renowned as a musician's musician by combining a virtuoso technique with a probing discernment of the highest order. –Nicolas Slonimsky
It usually takes about ten seconds to identify Ivry Gitlis' playing. No offense intended, but he is perhaps one of the most "anti-Classical" violinists, or the one whom you would least like to hear playing the Bach solo partitas. His free-wheeling approach to vibrato and intonation are not what wins praise in conservatories and awards at competitions these days. Often, it is said that Gitlis sounds like a gypsy violinist. There's nothing wrong with that, though, at least in certain repertoire. Gitlis takes us back to a time when classical music and musicianship were a little more wild and unpredictable than they are today.
Bernard Haitink conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Brahms's great orchestral works, including the complete symphonies. The concertos feature three great soloists: pianist Claudio Arrau, violinist Henryk Szeryng, and cellist János Starker.
For many listeners, Henryk Szeryng would be the No. 1 choice for a recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto. His interpretation is technically flawless, emotionally involved, and deeply probing; it makes Jascha Heifetz, for example, sound slightly offhand. In this French-made video from 1962, the Paris Conservatoire is not the best possible orchestra, but it is more than adequate and Paul Paray is an excellent conductor.
Mischa Elman was a Ukranian-born violinist famed as one of the greatest virtuosos of his time. He was a romanticist, most at home with the music of Tchaikovsky, and played almost until the day of his death.
Elman first picked up a violin at age 5, and he was still only a young boy when he was admitted into the St. Petersburg Conservatory. As a teenager he was already touring around the world, playing in New York's Carnegie Hall in 1908. In 1923, Elman became a naturalized American citizen.
Shortly before his death, Elman performed his 5,000th concert, which was acknowledged by President Lyndon Johnson and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in telegrams sent to the musician.
— Los Angeles Times April 6, 1967