Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, August 2012

This fascinating documentary film is full of unexpected material. We are so used to the stern image that the later Heifetz projected for promotional purposes. The early, informal photographs and cine-film showing him having fun (driving fast cars, playing tennis, shooting home movies, throwing parties and getting to know girls) come as something of a surprise.

It’s also fair to point out that Heifetz could, when he chose, be rather nice. His students, by all accounts, found him completely intimidating in class (one refers to it as having been a “scary place”). On the other hand he also contributed anonymously to their medical bills and invited them to his home for end-of-term parties. Perhaps the period of Heifetz’s life that showed him in the best light was World War II. He toured extensively for three years while entertaining troops in the field. A particularly vivid vignette is of the time when a violent tropical rainstorm meant that only one soldier turned up and took a seat far off in the back row. Heifetz insisted on going ahead and playing the recital just for that lone soldier and said later that it had been his best performance ever.

Learning the truth about Jascha Heifetz’s life is, overall, a rather depressing experience. On screen, his personal lawyer ruminates “Was he lonely or unhappy? I can’t call him unhappy … I can’t call him happy … He was perfectly stoic at almost all times.” Meanwhile, cellist Nathaniel Rosen offers an even more downbeat verdict: “I don’t know if he really had friends. There were people that called themselves his friends and behaved as if they were his friends, but there was an atmosphere of fear around him quite often.”

Unless, as seems highly unlikely, Heifetz ever consulted an analyst and the reports ever come to light, it’s probable that this film will offer as good an assessment of the man that we are ever likely to have. God’s fiddler doesn’t, it is true, tell us very much about Heifetz’s music-making that we couldn’t discover equally well from listening to his rich recorded legacy. Film-maker Peter Rosen clearly had another aim in mind entirely and has succeeded in his purpose very well indeed. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Jeremy Nicholas
Gramophone, July 2012

Amazingly, this is the first film to tell the story of Jascha Heifetz, for many the greatest violinist in history. It’s unmissable. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
3:13:16 PM, 1 August 2015
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2015 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.