Yehudi Menuhin

Composers

Biography

Born: April 22, 1916; USA   Died: March 12, 1999; Germany  
The legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin was the eldest child of Russian-born Hebrew scholars who met in Palestine, emigrated to New York City, and moved to San Francisco soon after their son's birth. After just three years of violin study, Yehudi made a legendary debut at age seven with the local symphony. His Carnegie Hall debut three years later, in the Beethoven Violin Concerto, garnered praise that likened him to Mozart as a prodigy, whereupon Read more the family (which now included sisters Hephzibah and Yaltah) lived gypsy-like in hotels wherever Yehudi was engaged at enormous fees. But the child's talent was instinctive. As Fritz Kreisler was to remark later on, "Because the young Menuhin had anticipated so early and so much of what nature had given him, I foresaw that he would have great difficulties." And he did.

When an eminent elder colleague requested a scale after the boy had played Lalo's Symphonie espagnole flawlessly, Menuhin wrote in his autobiography, Unfinished Journey, "I groped all over the fingerboard like a blind mouse.... I played the violin without being prepared for violin playing." He began recording early on (playing among other works Elgar's Violin Concerto at 16, with the composer conducting) and continued to concertize, making a world tour of 73 cities during his 19th year. At the end, however, he felt "tired, indifferent, and sad," and in 1936 began an 18-month sabbatical. Menuhin resumed playing in 1938, but never after with the sublime confidence of his preadolescent years.

During World War II he gave more than 500 concerts for Allied and American troops, but stirred a hornet's nest of controversy as the first major Jewish artist to perform in postwar Germany. Likewise, after the Six Day War in the Middle East, he was vilified for performing charity concerts in Arab countries. Increasingly he devoted himself to the training of young artists, both near London (which became his home in 1952) and at Gstaad, Switzerland. Also in 1952 he went to India, became a disciple of yoga, and a colleague of sitarist Ravi Shankar. He recorded with Shankar, as he did subsequently with jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli. In the middle 1950s Menuhin took up conducting, but was no better schooled than he had been as a child violinist -- and he was conspicuously less successful despite having made a steady stream of recordings begninning in 1958. At age 82 he was guest conducting the Warsaw Symphony on tour when he suffered a fatal heart attack in Berlin.

Menuhin was named Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1948, to the British knighthood in 1965, and to a Lordship in 1993. For his work on behalf of peace worldwide, he was named ambassador of goodwill to UNESCO in 1992. His dedication to the "minds and hearts" of young musicians well may be remembered after his pre-adult celebrity has faded to black. Menuhin married twice, fathered four children, and played frequent recitals with sisters Hephzibah (1920-1981), starting in 1930, and years later with Yaltah (1922-2001), notably at the Bath Festival he founded and directed in the 1960s. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 185 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Brahms: Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94860 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 58
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Cécile Ousset,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Emmy Verhey  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap Van Zweden,  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,  Günther Herbig,  Heinz Bongartz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,  Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    100 Hits: Classical Greats
    Label: 100 Hits   Catalog: 1017490 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Myra Hess,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Myra Hess  ... 
    Conductor:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Members of the Vienna Octet (Members)
    On sale! $38.99
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  • 5.
    Icon: The Early Years - Yehudi Menuhin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 928129 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Marius Casadesus,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  George Enescu,  Hephzibah Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen  ... 
    Conductor:  George Enescu,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 6.
    Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548417 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Isaac Stern,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Lyndon Woodside,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Oratorio Society of New York
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  • 7.
    Bach: Violin Concertos
    Label: Hi-q Records   Catalog: 9 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin
    On sale! $52.98
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  • 8.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 11929 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Pablo Casals,  Rudolf Serkin  ... 
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  • 9.
    Elgar: Complete EMI Recordings / Sir Adrian Boult
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 35922 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Pablo Casals,  Paul Tortelier,  Ida Haendel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir Philip Ledger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 10.
    Dame Janet Baker - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 37712 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Henry Lawes  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Kenneth Heath,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Sir John Barbirolli,  André Previn,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $102.98
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  • 11.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro Overture  / Klemperer, Menuhin
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1479 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $34.98
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  • 12.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001831802 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Anton Webern,  Alban Berg,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Pilarczyk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Mihaly Székely,  Olga Szönyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 13.
    Vaughan Williams: Complete EMI Recordings / Boult
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 35672 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Sheila Armstrong,  John Carol Case,  Norma Burrowes,  Hugh Bean  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Beethoven Masterworks Collection  [51-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001813172 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Janet Perry,  Agnes Baltsa,  Vinson Cole,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Carlos Kleiber,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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  • 15.
    The Baroque Collection
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 73420 Release Date: 10/22/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Giovanni Palestrina  ... 
    Performer:  Xavier Darasse,  Maurice André,  Guy Touvron,  Pierre Pierlot  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Auriacombe,  Jörg Faerber,  Jacques Roussel,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Chamber Orchestra,  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra,  Antiqua Musica  ... 
    On sale! $55.98
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  • 16.
    Icon: Colin Davis - The Early Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 63989 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Leon Goossens,  Yehudi Menuhin,  John Ogdon,  Sir Ralph Richardson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia of London,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $42.99
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  • 17.
    The Best Classical Hits Ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 04103 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Sergei Prokofiev,  George Frideric Handel,  Gregorio Allegri  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Finley,  Matthias Eisenberg,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Stephen Layton  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Classical Players
    CD: $8.99
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  • 18.
    Menuhin in Moscow: Beethoven, Brahms, Bach
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001518 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hephzibah Menuhin
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 19.
    Brahms: Sonata In G Major; Franck: Sonata In A Major; Ravel: Piece En Forme De Habanera; Kreisler: Liebesleid
    Label: Doron Music   Catalog: 4016 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck,  Fritz Kreisler,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Paul Coker,  Yehudi Menuhin
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 20.
    Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf, Symphony No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 1 / Menuhin, English String Orchestra
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5192 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Orchestra
    On sale! $15.99
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  • 21.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10131 Release Date: 05/25/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Dinu Lipatti,  Walter Gieseking  ... 
    Conductor:  Piero Coppola,  Leonard Bernstein,  Henry Adolph,  Josef Krips  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 22.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10132 Release Date: 05/25/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jascha Heifetz,  Rudolf Serkin,  Rita Streich  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alfred Scholz,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 23.
    The Ravi Shankar Collection
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 27593 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ravi Shankar
    Performer:  Ravi Shankar,  Terence Emery,  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Kamala Chakravarti  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $55.98
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  • 24.
    L'Art de Ferenc Fricsay
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 732 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Irmgard Helmis,  Hans Schmitz,  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    On sale! $30.98
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  • 25.
    Bruch, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Yehudi Menuhin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 6783322 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Efrem Kurtz,  Walter Susskind
    CD: $12.99
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