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Click to enlargeHeifetz - The Heifetz Collection - Heifetz Plays Gershwin [Carl Fischer]

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Prelude

Night after night, recital after recital, Jascha Heifetz would announce his encores and always play one or another of the three Gershwin preludes he had transcribed for violin and piano.  Sometimes the Gershwin would be preceded by Cortege by Lili Boulanger!  I know because for the last three concert tours of his career I was his tour manager.  We traveled the length and breadth of America and a large swatch of Canada, alternating between orchestral appearances and recitals.  In big cities or small towns it was always the same; when he stepped onto the stage, he was, simply, the greatest violinist of his time, perhaps of any time.

"George Gershwin was a good friend of mine," he once told me, "we often played together.  I asked him to write a concerto foor the violin but he died before he had a chance to do it."

But the next best thing for Heifetz was to transcribe a lot of Gershwin's music, including the Preludes, large parts of Porgy and Bess and now revealed for the first time, his transcription of An American in Paris.  As far as I know he never played this piece in public but you have only to look at it to know what thrilling ideas he had and imagine how it would have sounded in his hands.

It is also wonderful to realize that in addition to his recordings, Heifetz's artistic transcriptions will continue to be an important part of all our lives.

by Schuyler G. Chapin - November, 2000

 

This book contains the following pieces

  • An American in Paris
  • Five Selections from Porgy and Bess
  • - Summertime and A Woman is a Sometime Thing
  • - My Man's Gone Now
  • - It Ain't Necessarily So
  • - Bess, You is My Woman Now
  • - Tempo di Blues
  • Three preludes for Piano
  • - I
  • - II
  • - III

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