S0533. JASCHA HEIFETZ, w.Brooks Smith & Emanuel Bay (Pfs.): Encores, Vol. I, incl. Brahms, Debussy, Ravel, de Falla, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Medtner, Bennett, Shulman, Kroll, Stravinsky, Paganini, Sgambati, Dinicu & Castelnuovo-Tedesco. (Germany) Naxos 8.112072, recorded 1946-56. Transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn. - 636943207277
"Mark Obert-Thorn's transfers are state of the art. Tremendous fun....Talking of fun, it would be hard to cap William Kroll's 'Banjo and Fiddle', where Heifetz's insouciant virtuosity is put at the service of magnificent musical whimsy."
- Colin Clarke, CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY, Autumn, 2012
"Heifetz’s series of arrangements and transcriptions for violin and piano reveal just how tasteful and refined a musician he was. Crafted with precision, and played with passion, they are alive with his stylistic awareness. Whether in his Rachmaninov transcriptions or in Robert Russell Bennett’s 'A Song Sonata', Heifetz lavished equal care on these gems and they enriched his concert programmes. They also proved hugely popular on disc—thirteen pieces come from a 1960 LP famously called ‘Heifetz’— and their variety, virtuosity and sheer beauty remain imperishable examples of the art of the violin."
“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).