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David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2011

There was a time when encores played a major part in a virtuoso performer’s repertoire, this disc containing twenty-two of Heifetz’s ‘lollypops’. They had become particularly useful in the Second World War when he entertained troops as part of his contribution to the country that had given him a home. What his concerts contained is not documented, but he apparently also included music from his classic repertoire. But it must have been his arrangements of popular music that would have provided the ‘icing on the cake’. Even here he decorated familiar melodies with a demonstration of his technical virtuosity. With hostilities ended he placed this music on disc for Decca during a short period when he severed his links with RCA. There are tracks that takes us back into the ‘classics’, including his much performed arrangement of music from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess; the composer’s Three Preludes, and Weill’s well-known Mack the Knife. He plays two versions of Benjamin’s Jamaican Rumba and displays his jazz credentials in Robert Russell Bennett’s Hexapoda. Even in such evergreens as Deep River, Old Folks at Home, Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair and White Christmas he brings the same degree of artistry he would lavish on a great concerto. Accompaniments—mainly with the pianists Milton Kaye and Emanuel Bay—are highly supportive of his ‘serious’ approach, and the sound quality in these transfers is exceedingly good for its era.

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