God’s Fiddler

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lennygoran
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God’s Fiddler

Post by lennygoran » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:12 pm

Was just watching PBS Thirteen's Metrofocus and one of the segments describes a show coming up next wee-we'll be in Charleston but my DVR will be churning!

"And virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman joins anchor Jack Ford to talk about legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz, who is the subject of the upcoming American Masters documentary Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler, which premieres on PBS stations April 16."

http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2015 ... k-perlman/ Regards, Len

Mookalafalas
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Re: God’s Fiddler

Post by Mookalafalas » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:40 am

lennygoran wrote:Was just watching PBS Thirteen's Metrofocus and one of the segments describes a show coming up next wee-we'll be in Charleston but my DVR will be churning!

"And virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman joins anchor Jack Ford to talk about legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz, who is the subject of the upcoming American Masters documentary Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler, which premieres on PBS stations April 16."

http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2015 ... k-perlman/ Regards, Len

A little odd...I have that documentary. I downloaded from somewhere on the web over a year ago. It's very interesting, although it is not likely to make people fans of Heiffetz "the man". He emerges as an odd, cold-fish sort of neurotic. Perlman's bit in it is very nice, though. I wish Heiffetz had had a fraction of Perlman's natural warmth and charm.
Call me Al (cuz its my name)

lennygoran
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Re: God’s Fiddler

Post by lennygoran » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:45 am

Mookalafalas wrote: A little odd...I have that documentary. I downloaded from somewhere on the web over a year ago.
I think I've noticed other programs PBS got to kind of late--at least the PBS station I watch alot-Thirteen out of NYC. Regards, Len

John F
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Re: God’s Fiddler

Post by John F » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:09 am

Heifetz the man may have been cold (for those who care), but his playing certainly wasn't. Its technical perfection wasn't attained at the cost of expressive passion. Indeed, some feel that his Bach was too "hot" for its own good.
John Francis

Heck148
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Re: God’s Fiddler

Post by Heck148 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:05 pm

John F wrote:Heifetz the man may have been cold (for those who care), but his playing certainly wasn't. Its technical perfection wasn't attained at the cost of expressive passion. Indeed, some feel that his Bach was too "hot" for its own good.
I agree completely - sometimes Heifetz is accused of being "cold, and too technical" - but I don't hear this at all. Heifetz plays with a fire and passion that simply pours forth...oh, yeah, he really had technical "chops" too. :D
I feel the same about conductors like Toscanini and Reiner...yes, they were precisionists, literalists, but the passion and emotion exuded by their performances is unmistakable...

maestrob
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Re: God’s Fiddler

Post by maestrob » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:20 pm

Heck148 wrote:
John F wrote:Heifetz the man may have been cold (for those who care), but his playing certainly wasn't. Its technical perfection wasn't attained at the cost of expressive passion. Indeed, some feel that his Bach was too "hot" for its own good.
I agree completely - sometimes Heifetz is accused of being "cold, and too technical" - but I don't hear this at all. Heifetz plays with a fire and passion that simply pours forth...oh, yeah, he really had technical "chops" too. :D
I feel the same about conductors like Toscanini and Reiner...yes, they were precisionists, literalists, but the passion and emotion exuded by their performances is unmistakable...
IMHO it is Heifetz's discipline and perfect technique that allows the emotion to shine forth in his music-making.....same with Toscanini and Reiner and Szell......

John F
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Re: God’s Fiddler

Post by John F » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:31 am

Toscanini, yes. You can hear the intensity especially in the strings, their attacks and releases (the latter often a fraction early) and the vibrant quality of their tone. Likewise Heifetz in his tone and phrasing. Reiner and Szell, not so much - speed doesn't equal passion.
John Francis

Heck148
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Re: God’s Fiddler

Post by Heck148 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:01 am

John F wrote:Toscanini, yes. You can hear the intensity especially in the strings, their attacks and releases (the latter often a fraction early) and the vibrant quality of their tone. Likewise Heifetz in his tone and phrasing. Reiner and Szell, not so much - speed doesn't equal passion.
Reiner is much like Toscanini, IMO...and he does not always take fast tempi - he's one of the few who can really "sell' a slow tempo - by creating and maintaining momentum - forward motion - I submit his stellar performances of "Meistersinger" Prelude I, and Bydlo [ox-cart] from Pix/Exhibition as prime examples.
He could really milk a long melodic line also - molto espressivo - try Pantomime from "El Amor Brujo" [CSO], or "Bessie you is my woman now" Porgy and Bess Suite with PittsSO - just dripping with passion, not too short of "schmaltzy".
of course, he can really let it rip as well - and here his orchestra plays at the front of the beat, which provides lots of drive and excitement - try his 1960 "Don Juan" with CSO - riveting, passionate; or Beethoven Sym #5/I - white hot all the way...
Re Heifetz, I don't think the personality thing weighs in very heavily....he may have been sort of a cold fish but he certainly played with a fiery espressivo that is unmistakable.....
and let's face it - Toscanini, Reiner, Szell were hardly charming or popular personalities either......

John F
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Re: God’s Fiddler

Post by John F » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:19 pm

To my ears, Reiner is not much like Toscanini, except that he generally favored quick tempos and did not favor tempo changes. We'll just have to disagree about that.
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: God’s Fiddler

Post by maestrob » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:07 pm

John:

I just listened again to the Reiner Beethoven IX, and noticed that in the first movement, there are two spots where Reiner holds back the tempo, while Toscanini and Szell plow ahead. If you have the recordings, it makes for an interesting comparison. I agree w/Heck that these three conductors were very alike in their conducting styles. You said that speed does not equal excitement, and I agree, but the only time I ever heard Szell go too fast was in his recording of Prokofiev V (first movement), not one of his best, and Reiner always feels right to me.

MHO, of course.

SONNET CLV
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Re: God’s Fiddler

Post by SONNET CLV » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:40 pm

What? Heifetz is God's fiddler?

I always thought God's fiddler was that boy Johnny in the Charlie Daniels Band's song "The Devil Went Down To Georgia".

Code: Select all

The Devil went down to Georgia. He was lookin' for a soul to steal.
 He was in a bind 'cause he was way behind. He was willing to make a deal
 When he came across this young man sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot.
 And the Devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said "Boy, let me tell you what."

 "I guess you didn't know it, but I'm a fiddle player, too.
 And if you'd care to take a dare I'll make a bet with you.
 Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy, but give the Devil his due.
 I'll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul 'cause I think I'm better than you."

 The boy said, "My name's Johnny, and it might be a sin,
 But I'll take your bet; and you're gonna regret 'cause I'm the best there's ever been."

 Johnny, rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard.
 'Cause Hell's broke loose in Georgia and the Devil deals it hard.
 And if you win you get this shiny fiddle made of gold,
 But if you lose the devil gets your soul.

 The Devil opened up his case and he said, "I'll start this show."
 And fire flew from his fingertips as he rosined up his bow.
 And he pulled the bow across the strings and it made an evil hiss.
 And a band of demons joined in and it sounded something like this.

 When the Devil finished, Johnny said, "Well, you're pretty good ol' son,
 But sit down in that chair right there and let me show you how it's done."

 "Fire on the Mountain." Run, boys, run!
 The Devil's in the house of the rising sun;
 Chicken's in the bread pan picking out dough.
 Granny, does your dog bite? No, child, no.

 The Devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat.
 And he laid that golden fiddle on the ground at Johnny's feet.
 Johnny said, "Devil, just come on back if you ever wanna try again,
 I done told you once—you son of a bitch—I'm the best that's ever been."
 And he played:

 "Fire on the Mountain." Run, boys, run!
 The Devil's in the house of the rising sun;
 The chicken's in the bread pan picking out dough.
 Granny, will your dog bite? No, child, no. 

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