Dvořák – Piano Trio, Op. 65


Not exactly the same, but close

Jascha Heifetz was born in 1901 in Vilnius in what is now Lithuania. He is generally regarded as among the best in the world on the violin. The man was active in the early years of recording technology, and since I’m usually looking for good recordings, I find myself not liking him that much. And that is undeserved. I can recognise a well formed tone on a violin, and he certainly was able to produce one.

When he did a tour in Israel in the Fifties, he was physically attacked by someone hitting him on the right arm with a crowbar. The man demanded he would stop playing Richard Strauss during during his concerts, as this music was banned in Israel at the time (Strauss having had a complicated relationship with the nazis to say the least). In fact, the Minister of Education of Israel also asked him not to play it. The headstrong Heifetz refused to budge and announced he would still play the piece. In the end he omitted it from his next concert, and left Israel. He did not go there for nearly twenty years.

Heifetz stopped playing when that same arm acted up in the Seventies. My reluctant sources do not give any connection with the Israeli incident. It must have been hard on Heifetz though. He kept teaching until his death in 1987.

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