About This Work
Fritz Kreisler was one of the twentieth century's most celebrated violinists, with a touring career that began in 1887 after he quit taking lessons at the Paris Conservatory at the age of 12. He might have been excused for thinking that they had
nothing more to teach him, for he had already shared in the school's first prize that year. Kreisler practiced very little and never took another violin lesson, but his was a talent both gigantic and absolutely natural.
In Kreisler's day the concerts given by a touring violin virtuoso had a more popular tone than they would today; typically the program would include a number of short pieces that would please the crowd and let the performer show off technique or milk a few extra drops of sentiment. Kreisler, a gifted composer whose works in the styles of various earlier eras fooled even top musicologists until he owned up to the hoax in 1935, wrote many of these showpieces for himself. Without a doubt the two most popular are this Liebesfreud ("Love's Joy) and its companion Liebesleid ("Love's Sorrow"), both for violin and piano. Simple pieces with little syncopations that open out into vibrato-drenched passages that are like big teardrops, they still appear on the recordings of many a violinist, even as the performance environment that gave birth to them has largely faded away.
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