For any violin aficionado

“Giving lectures on “An Historical Perspective on the Art of Violin Playing since the Beginning of the Recording Era” in Chicago, Milwaukee, Moscow ( Russia), and at an international workshop in Eisenstadt, Austria, I was astonished at how little is known presently about the violin playing of the past, its technical level, its style, and its sound quality. Many professional musicians in the field of violin have very little idea that violin playing was not always the same, but has changed significantly in the last 150 years. Listening to the recordings of the great personalities of the violin from the previous era must, I believe, be extremely important now that standardization of playing takes more and more precedence over personalization of performance. We are losing the most important aspect of any art, which is the personality of the creative artist. And hearing the playing of Kreisler, Heifetz, Elman, and Menuhin could inspire and enlighten today’s playing immensely. Heifetz established the modern, extremely high level of perfection in violin playing. Violin art benefitted immeasurably from the Heifetz phenomenon, but, through the years, the personal approach to interpretations of musical works has diminished in direct proportion to these steadily rising levels of perfection. If the renditions of the great masters’ pieces could combine the technical perfection of today with the great personalization of the past, the next step in violin art will be achieved.” – Yuri Beliavsky