Heifetz Sounding Great.
E. Hilston | Merrimack, NH USA | 02/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It Ain't Necessarily So, But It Is. These recording from the mid 1940's sound great. The performances are of course wonderful, it is the sound quaility that will catch your attention, if you remember when they were recorded. Most CDs of recording from this era either have major noise problems or sound compression. This 2 disc set does not suffer from either of these problems. The team from Deutsche Grammophon and Andrew Wedman at Emil Berliner Studios are to be applauded. These are mono recordings but DO NOT let that stop you from enjoying them."
The same material as "the Decca Masters" published by MCA in
Discophage | France | 04/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With the addition of one item (the final "When you Make Love to Me (Don't Make Believe)"), this 2-CD set collates the same material that was first released on 2 MCA CDs in 1988, under the title "The Decca Masters" (Jascha Heifetz - The Decca Masters Volume 1 and Jascha Heifetz: The Decca Masters, Vol. 2 - Gershwin Foster Weill Berlin) - which is how I have them. The circumstances of those recordings, made between 1944 and 1946, were well documented on the MCA discs' liner notes: for many years Heifetz recorded exclusively for the various Victor labels (now Rca, a label of Bmg), but in 1942 the American Federation of Musicians went on a recording strike while re-negotiating an agreement with the record companies. Victor and Columbia held out, but Decca signed in 1943 and Heifetz, anxious to return to the recording studio, shortly changed allegiances until Victor agreed to the Federation's terms.
What you get is on the one hand a collection of those small, often sentimental trifles the 78rpm era was fond of - no big, serious, boring (?) Sonata or Concerto - which Heifetz, of course, did record for Victor. Many transcriptions, some of them by Heifetz himself. Some of the pieces are vehicles for the fiddler's legendary virtuosity, but most of them are not - and the Figaro transcription is also very funny. On the other hand, you also get an hour of Jascha on Broadway: plenty of Gershwin transcriptions, Robert Russell Bennet's Hexapoda (5 studies on the bug's jitter), Arthur Sullivan's famous Jamaican Rumba, some folk songs, one Irving Berlin Christmas Song, Weill's famous Mack The Knife. And you also get a starry guest, Bing Crosby, in Goddard's Berceuse and Lohr's "Where my Caravan has Rested". The deep caressing voice. Incredibly schmaltzy.
There is nothing substantial here but it is entertaining, and hello 'forties nostalgia. The MCA discs were more coherently arranged than this DG set: the "normal" repertoire of encores on one disc and Jascha on Broadway on the other. Here, they are interspersed. Also, at the time of writing, the sum of the two MCA discs is less than what is demanded for the DG set.
The Greatest Violinist- But JOE VENUTI for JAZZ
John Ruggeri | Philadelphia, PA USA | 07/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Heifetz is the greatest violinist to make records. His jazz is excellent for a strictly trained classical violinist BUT Listen to any of Joe Venuti's recording of Summertime. It is magnifiently played by this violinist who had a classical technique but could deliver the jazz medium more idiomatically.
Classical violin players were oftened were amazed at Uncle Joe's ability to play off the beat and not what was exactly written. I confess- Joe Venuti was my great uncle but it is not just I who regard him as preeminent in jazz and he had a great technique and beautiful tone into his seventies.
Heifetz is my favorite classical violinist. Venuti is my favorite jazz violinist.