S0511. JASCHA HEIFETZ, w.Milton Kaye & Emanuel Bay (Pfs.): Miniatures, Vol. II, incl. Rossini, Gluck, Godowsky, Ravel, Debussy, Grasse, Dvorák, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Schumann & Krein, etc.; w.Voorhees Cond. Bell Telephone Hour Orch.: Sarasate, Dohnányi & Schubert. (Germany) Naxos 8.111380, recorded 1944-48. Transfers by David Lennick. - 747313338023
"This second of two volumes (Vol. 1 is available on 8.111379) completes the repertoire recorded by Jascha Heifetz during his short wartime period with American Decca. Aware of the need for lighter music while touring for the US troops, Heifetz nonetheless refused to play down to his audiences, praising the G.I.s’ ‘interest in good music’. This more classical programme represents the violinist’s staggering virtuosity and range, from a spectacular paraphrase of Rossini’s THE BARBER OF SEVILLE to the lyrical expressiveness of Saint-Saens' 'The Swan'. The inclusion of four rare V-Disc recordings concludes a remarkable legacy of uniquely vibrant performances."
“Some listeners found [Heifetz] profound, noble and aristocratic, while others considered him cold, emotionless, and superficial. The recurring criticism that he played without emotion prompted Heifetz to hire a publicist in 1935, but he never shook the image. In 1940, music critic Virgil Thomson wrote a notorious review entitled ‘Silk Underwear Music’ which accused Heifetz of ‘empty elegance’ and said his ‘machine-tooled’ performances had ‘no musical or emotional significance’. This, despite acknowledging Heifetz' ‘silken tone’, ‘famous double stops’, and ‘true pitch’. No, Heifetz' conception of music was ‘embarrassingly refined’, hence the reference to silk underwear.”
– Christopher M. Wright (referencing Thomson‘s notorious 1940 ‘Silk Underwear Music’ review).