No study of violin repertoire would be complete without an understanding of the life and career of one Jashca Heitfetz who, in the early 1900s, set the standard for violin playing for decades to come.
Heifetz is known now for his technical mastery, attention to detail, and precision, which have led some to label his sound as being too “robotic” and lacking in “soul.” While there may be merit to this argument, none can deny his place among the pantheon of all-time great violinists. It’s a shame he didn’t live when we had better recording equipment to capture his incredible catalogue of performances!
Today’s selection performed by Heifetz is Henryk Wieniawski’s Polonaise No. 1 in D Major. A polonaise is a slow dance in 3 time. While nothing may seem slow about the violin part in this polonaise, you can hear that the underlying beat is a steady and relatively slow 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3… particularly in the piano.
Aspiring violin virtuosos, take a listen!