Jascha Heifetz – Lithuanian born, Jewish-American violinist: Feb. 2 1901 – 1987…

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Where Kreisler was all about emotion and tone, Heifetz was all about technique and mastery of every little detail of the performance.

Heifetz had his New York debut at Carnegie Hall at age 16, but before that he had toured all over Europe. Kreisler, after accompanying the 12-year-old Heifetz at the piano in a performance of the Mendelssohn Concerto, said to all present, “We may as well break our fiddles across our knees.”

Photo – Jascha Heifetz by Yousuf Karsh (1950)

Britten

Benjamin Britten

Tenor Peter Pears (right) and composer Benjamin Britten, ca 1944 -by Cecil Beaton

“It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature and everlasting beauty of monotony.”

“The old idea of a composer suddenly having a terrific idea and sitting up all night to write it is nonsense. Nighttime is for sleeping.”


Benjamin Britten

And a thought that fits very much into the world of right now –

“The more vicious the society, the more vicious the individual.”

Benjamin Britten 1

Benjamin Britten, 1954 -by Yousuf Karsh

via Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)