Monday, 23 October 2017

Three All-Time Classics for All Time

Given the long track record of music recordings, and the very large number of first-class musicians past and present, it is improbable that there are performances that can never be surpassed. Three sprang to my notice recently, however: Jascha Heifetz playing Spohr's 8th violin concerto (1954 recording) and Joseph Hassid's recordings of Sarasate's Playera, and Zapateado (1940).

I cannot imagine any of these three performances ever being equalled, let alone bettered. In all three cases, the violins seem to be singing, rather than being played. Very appropriate in the case of the Spohr Gesangsszene concerto ("in modo di scena cantante").

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