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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy was always a favourite work with Heifetz…the passion and brilliance of the playing here are most compelling, with the songful Adagio section even more moving in its simpler, more flowing manner, hushed and dedicated. Generously coupled with the powerful Brahms performance and the exuberant account of the Glazunov, another first recording. Good Naxos transfers…

Penguin Guide, January 2009

Recorded in December 1939 in very good sound for the period. The Philadelphia account of the Brahms Double Concerto finds Heifetz perfectly matched with Emanuel Feuermann, as near a cellist counterpart to the violin wizard as could ever be found. This is the most powerful performance ever put on disc, passionate as well as purposeful…The incisiveness of the playing in the most taxing bravura passages makes for exciting results. Generously coupled with Heifetz’s pioneering account of the Glazunov concerto and his 1947 version of the Scottish Fantasy, the Naxos issue brings a first-rate transfer.

Rober Moon
Strings Magazine, March 2002

"This 1939 recording is tighter, more animated than the later stereo remake. What a delight to hear Feuermann challenge Heifetz's penchant for domination."

Elaine Fine
American Record Guide, August 2001

"...The remastering is extraordinary. The producer, Mark Obert-Thorn, has drastically improved the sound over the 1994 RCA reissues in The Heifetz Collection.

Erik Levi
BBC Music Magazine, June 2001

"Almost all of Naxos's burgeoning Heifetz series provides essential listening, especially since the transfers are so uniformly satisfying. A particularly generous coupling matches the 1934 Glazunov Violin Concerto with the 1947 Bruch Scottish Fantasy, and the 1941 Brahms Double Concerto with Emanuel Feuermann and the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy. There is an almost breathless excitement in the first movement of the Brahms, with both soloists attempting to outdo each other in terms of individual virtuosity."

Michael Anthony
StarTribune, May 2001

"Heifetz looms large in 2001, the centennial of his birth. An online auction house sold off a cache of Heifetz memorabilia in February, including the alligator briefcase he used to carry his music; next month, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival will devote two weeks of concerts, repertoire and films to Heifetz.

"And now in record stores on the budget-priced Naxos label are seven CDs containing many of the violinist's early concerto recordings and shorter pieces supported by some of the foremost conductors of the 20th century: Arturo Toscanini, John Barbirolli, Thomas Beecham and Pierre Monteux among them....

"The Naxos discs include almost none of the short, light works - what the critic Virgil Thomson called "silk underwear music" - that earned Heifetz some critical derision. He also was sometimes called cold and machinelike. ...

"To be sure, there's considerable charisma in the Vieuxtemps Concerto No. 4, one of the highlights of the Naxos CDs and a performance of staggering beauty. This kind of radiant playing invites the notion that Heifetz was best in light music.

"But then how does one explain Heifetz's refined, shapely reading of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, made in 1940 with Toscanini at the podium? The conductor surely was an influence, because the performance is much better structured than the violinist's later version with Charles Munch.

"Not surprisingly, Heifetz's Mozart - here it's the Concertos No. 4 and 5 - sounds dated, almost mannered. His style might have been his own, but that style was grounded in a Romantic sensibility, which isn't true of most violinists today. That's why so much of Heifetz on disc, at least when he was playing material congenial to him, is to be cherished.

"He's wonderful, for example, on the 1939 neo-Romantic concerto by William Walton, on the Sibelius violin concerto and even in the odd concerto of 1943 by Louis Gruenberg."

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