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Jascha Heifetz Fireworks - Lalo, Ravel, Chausson, Sarasate, Etc

Release Date: 06/24/2008 
Label:  Idi   Catalog #: 6546   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Edouard LaloCamille Saint-SaënsPablo de SarasateErnest Chausson,   ... 
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
Conductor:  Alfred WallensteinIzler Solomon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony OrchestraLos Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

JASCHA HEIFETZ FIREWORKS Jascha Heifetz (vn); William Steinberg, cond; 1 Izler Solomon, cond; 2 RCA Victor SO; 3 Alfred Wallenstein, cond; Los Angeles P 4 IDI 6546, mono (71:35)

LALO Symphonie espagnole. 1,3 SAINT-SAËNS Read more Havannaise. 1 ,3 Introduction and Rondo capriccioso. 1,3 SARASATE Zigeunerweisen. 1,3 CHAUSSON Poème. 2,3 RAVEL Tzigane 4

Danilo Prefumo’s remastering of what IDI calls “Jascha Heifetz Fireworks” assembles a collection of Heifetz chestnuts on one disc. Heifetz recorded the Symphonie espagnole on June 12 and 13, 1951 (there’s supposedly an earlier unreleased version with Susskind and the Philharmonia from the year before); Ravel’s Tzigane on December 8, 1953 (an earlier and a later version with piano come from 1934 with Sandor, and 1972 with Smith); Saint-Saens’s celebrated pieces on June 18 ( Havannaise ) and June 19 ( Introduction and Rondo capriccioso ), 1951 (Heifetz collectors will probably prefer his readings with Barbirolli from 1937 and 1935 respectively, the latter of which I used to consider Heifetz’s single greatest recording); Chausson’s Poème on December 2, 1952; and Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen on June 16, 1951 (there’s a brilliant earlier version with pianist Chotzinoff from 1919—all eight-and-a-half minutes of it, originally on two one-sided 78s; and, once again, Heifetz aficionados will probably prefer his reading from 1937 with Barbirolli to the later one).

Heifetz’s crisp passagework in Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole challenges great recordings like those made by Zino Francescatti (who recorded it in the same four-movement version twice, with Cluytens and with Mitropoulos). But those who want more Spanish coloring should note that Heifetz’s ease and right-arm facility allow him to etch the rhythms with a preternatural, laser-like sharpness and create nuances with a super-subtle sensibility that enhances those ersatz-ethnic tints. The same is true of the Havannaise , an evocative work suggested to Saint-Saëns by the sputtering of a log on a rainy night. Heifetz may not find as much Spanish in the Introduction and Rondo capriccioso , written for Sarasate, as did Michael Rabin, but his performance, nevertheless, stands in a class by itself in its refined elegance and crackling electric verve. In Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen , Heifetz may not sound as much like a Gypsy as like himself, but that should be enough for his admirers, (although he does interpolate several portamentos in this performance). Henry Roth mentions Chausson’s Poème among his less successful recordings, exhibiting excessive drive at the expense of reverie. That dynamism seems almost startling, in fact, in the video of his teaching of this work; and it’s equally electrifying at the climaxes in the studio recording as well, even if, when he can’t soar mightily to these, he may seem to wander listlessly. Perhaps because I’ve been listening to Heifetz’s earlier recording of Saint-Saëns’s Introduction and Rondo capriccioso with Barbirolli almost from birth—at least from the time I came home from the hospital—the work itself seems insipid in any other reading, even Rabin’s, which brings so much warmth and color to it. But nobody else creates such breathless anticipation in the introduction or struts with such impudence as does Heifetz in the main theme, and he does so here, as well. Heifetz truncated Ravel’s Tzigane in his performance with Sandor; even so, it’s a fiery Gypsy improvisation that dwarfs every other interpretation I’ve heard (whether or not Ravel, as I’ve read, preferred a cooler approach). His recording with Wallenstein has the advantage of being complete, and it’s nearly as impassioned, although it sounds as though Heifetz actually roughs up (what’s this? could it be?) a double harmonic in the cadenza’s run of them.

Danilo Prefumo’s remasterings range in sound from slightly tubby (Lalo) to brilliant ( Havannaise ) as must have the sources themselves; but they project consistently Heifetz’s highly individual and characteristic timbre. The notes claim that in this literature, at least, critics could agree about Heifetz’s supremacy. (Roth, in fact, mentions Saint-Saëns’s and Sarasate’s works among those in which few would dispute Heifetz’s sovereignty, and adds Tzigane as a possible candidate for this group.) It would be no surprise if this collection became many violinists’ favorite recording for leisure listening. Urgently recommended, especially since not everything on the disc can easily be obtained elsewhere.

FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 by Edouard Lalo
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; France 
Havanaise for Violin and Orchestra in E major, Op. 83 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; France 
Introduction and Rondo capriccioso for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 28 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 
Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 by Pablo de Sarasate
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878 
Počme for Violin and Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 25 by Ernest Chausson
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Izler Solomon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; France 
Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Zigeunerweisen November 23, 2011 By Paul G. (Tipp City, OH) See All My Reviews "This performance of this composition stands out so far above the rest that one wonders why others would even have the guts to play it now." Report Abuse
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