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The Heifetz Collection Vol 16 - Beethoven: Violin Sonatas


Release Date: 01/18/2011 
Label:  Rca Victor Gold Seal Catalog #: 61747   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Emanuel BayJascha HeifetzBrooks Smith
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 3 Hours 24 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

There is a distinct danger that our ears may be killed with kindness — the temptation to listen to far too much at once is almost impossible to resist.

There is a distinct danger that our ears may well be killed with kindness by this transfer to CD of all the Beethoven sonatas played by Heifetz. Each volume gives over an hour of generous playing time and, unless one is rigorously self-disciplined, the temptation to listen to far too much at once is almost impossible to resist.

The transfers, of recordings made between 1947 and 1960, are of the highest quality, revealing the very essence of Heifetz's art. In the three early Op. 12 Sonatas, we hear that flinty intonation which, fusing with the mere caress
Read more of the bow, creates unique finesse for the brio of the opening of No. 1 and the gleeful quick changes of register in the first movement of No. 3. One is reminded, too, that unlike so many of his Juilliard-trained successors to virtuosity, there is never any concession to the primacy of polished sound alone: it is always the nature of the instrument itself, the grain of its wood, the pliability of its strings, the tension of the horsehair, which is brought to bear on the nature of the interpretation itself.

It is the Third, E flat major, Sonata which points, too, the happiness of Heifetz's partnership with his pianist, Emmanuel Bay. Overriding the slight and inevitable dryness of recording, there is a sweetness, a simplicity, a quicksilver response which at times achieves the rare feat of enabling the ear to apprehend both players' contributions simultaneously. In the slow movement Heifetz, as if acknowledging where Beethoven's heart lay in this Sonata, is cool, almost distanced from the piano's dominant role.

Heifetz as miniaturist makes himself known in the Fourth Sonata (Op. 23) and in the very last one (Op. 96). For the C minor Sonata, Beethoven's first in a minor key, he refuses the temptation to don the tragic mask, leaning almost nonchalantly on the accents and upbeats of the first movement, and treating the Andante scherzoso with a piquant near-minimalism.

The two big sonatas, on the other hand, are boldy characterized. The Spring is, typically, one of the fastest in the business: this is a true driving Allegro, with the sap rising fast through Heifetz's intense vibrato and his firm, heavy pressure on the down-bow. He makes it clear that molto espressivo does not mean motto adagio in the slow movement: this, too, is marked by a steady sense of direction, with each carefully shaded sustained note carrying through the momentum of the whole.

Brooks Smith is a generally less characterful, more self-effacing pianist in the Kreutzer Sonata. But Heifetz redoubles the attack, never letting us forget that this is the spirit as well as the letter of a true Presto. Stark, biting passages of bowing suddenly draw back to moments of smoky half-voice before the cool air of the slow movement. The theme is penny-plain in its unfolding, the better to offset the electric signals with which Heifetz responds to the piano in the first variation, the audaciously driven moto perpetuo of the second, and the remarkable trills of the fourth.

-- Gramophone [1/1988]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 in D major, Op. 12 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Emanuel Bay (Piano), Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/16/1947 
Venue:  RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA 
Length: 16 Minutes 43 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2 in A major, Op. 12 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Emanuel Bay (Piano), Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/17/1947 
Venue:  RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA 
Length: 15 Minutes 36 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 3 in E flat major, Op. 12 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin), Emanuel Bay (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/15/1952 
Venue:  RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA 
Length: 17 Minutes 45 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 4 in A minor, Op. 23 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Emanuel Bay (Piano), Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/15/1952 
Venue:  RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA 
Length: 18 Minutes 14 Secs. 
5.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 5 in F major, Op. 24 "Spring" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Emanuel Bay (Piano), Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800-1801; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/17/1947 
Venue:  RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA 
Length: 17 Minutes 20 Secs. 
6.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 6 in A major, Op. 30 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Emanuel Bay (Piano), Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/16/1952 
Venue:  RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA 
Length: 21 Minutes 39 Secs. 
7.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 7 in C minor, Op. 30 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Emanuel Bay (Piano), Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/06/1950 
Venue:  RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA 
Length: 23 Minutes 34 Secs. 
8.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 8 in G major, Op. 30 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin), Emanuel Bay (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/16/1952 
Venue:  RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA 
Length: 17 Minutes 16 Secs. 
9.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 9 in A major, Op. 47 "Kreutzer" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin), Brooks Smith (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802-1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1960 
Venue:  RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA 
Length: 31 Minutes 3 Secs. 
10.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 10 in G major, Op. 96 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Emanuel Bay (Piano), Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1952 
Venue:  RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA 
Length: 22 Minutes 52 Secs. 

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