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Jascha Heifetz Live – Volume 6
Ronald Colman introduces Jascha Heifetz [0.48]

Intermezzo [2.55] *
Leopold GODOWSKY (1870-1938)

Valse [2.30]
Arthur BENJAMIN (1893-1960)

Jamaican Rumba [1.36]
William KROLL (1901-1980)

Banjo and Fiddle [2.32] *
Robert Russell BENNETT (1894-1981)

Hexapoda "5 Studies in Jitteroptera" - Jim Jives (1941) [1.01]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)

Ave Maria [5.04] *
Impromptu No.3 D899 arranged Heifetz [3.58]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)

Violin Concerto in D major - Cadenza and Rondo finale [8.50]
Max BRUCH (1838-1920)

Concerto No.1 in G minor – slow movement and finale [7.15 + 6.04]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)

Chansons de Bilitis - La Chevelure (1898) arranged Heifetz [2.32] *
La fille aux cheveux de lin [2.23]
Ariettes oubliées - Il pleure dans mon Coeur arranged Arthur Hartmann (1889-1903) [3.07] *
Edwin GRASSE (1884-1954)

Wellenspiel [Waves at play] arranged Heifetz [[1.43]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)

The Prophet Bird [2.15]
Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)

Humoresque [3.27]
Pablo de SARASATE (1844-1908)

Zigeunerweisen [8.04]
Jascha Heifetz (violin)
The Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra/Donald Voorhees
Emanuel Bay (piano)*
Recorded 1942-52
CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD122 [66.10]

Culled from diverse sources these Heifetz performances share one thing in common; they’re all live. This has been the way in this extensive Cembal d’amour series, of which this is the latest volume, number six. The mix is pretty much as before – genre or encore staples with concerto movements to add ballast and variety.

It’s also claimed that some of these have never been published before but without any further details it's very difficult for the purchaser to work out which. In the case of the Debussy Fille aux Cheveux de lin I’m almost certain it was on a Masters of the Bow LP and on the equally obscure Penzance label. The others seem to me to be previously unissued commercially though this is a fraught area and there’s doubtless a discographer in downtown Osaka who knows differently.

Nevertheless we do get full recording dates – 1942-52 – for these performances almost all of which saw Heifetz leave behind commercially issued 78 or LP discs. That’s emphatically not the case with the first item, the Provost, which he never recorded so it’s something of a coup to have his very sweet and intense rendition here. The Arthur Benjamin is a piece he liked and recorded but this one is in orchestral garb and it’s a tropical and fruity beverage in these hands - and just a touch sickly as well. The Kroll is badly recorded – very distant - and he was to wax a commercial disc a few months later, so seek that out for his way with the Americana of his fellow fiddler player. Heifetz could swing though – his Bennett has a forward violin sound and is vivacious – but I’d pass on his poorly recorded Schubert Ave Maria. It’s worth pointing out that the Schubert Impromptu is D899 in Heifetz’s arrangement.

The two Concertos are really of limited value. We know his way with both these works in far more formidable and fortuitous collaborations. Voorhees is not on top of the rhythm in the Beethoven and having only a two-movement torso – in only so-so sound – of the Bruch is frustrating in the extreme. Heifetz generally performed these Debussy pieces in the transcriptions of Arthur Hartmann but La Chevelure is actually his own work. His Debussy was invariably superior though I find his Flaxen haired girl rather too suave here. One of the less well-remembered pieces from his locker was the Grasse Wellenspiel (Emanuel Bay, 1945) – here we hear it from seven years later. The Humoresque is not the version that was to be found on Penzance. Unfortunately the Sarasate suffers from constricted sound.

Those who have followed this series thus far clearly won’t need an invitation from me. Completists will note the rare items missing from the Russian’s discography; others will observe duplications in inferior sound (live, coughs, shellac noise, a few thumps etc). There are no notes – merely running orders of the other volumes in this series. Valuable for specialists.

Jonathan Woolf



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