# Composer: Jean Sibelius
# Performer: Jascha Heifetz
# Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Walter Hendl
# Vinyl (1960)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# Label: RCA Living Stereo
# DR-Analysis: DR 11
# ASIN SACD: B000003FIQ
# Size: 615 MB
# Scan: yes
I’ve had my doubts about Heifetz — and I don’t mean to suggest that I’m alone. Heifetz divided opinion for half a century, between those who believed him to represent the acme of violinistic musicality and others who felt that he evinced a sore lack of emotional involvement in his artistry. I personally incline to the second of these opinions, but not altogether. It may be that Heifetz responds more deeply to some music. It seems that particular works affect him, rather than general categories of music. For example, his recordings of Elgar and Rozsa, Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and the SIbelius Concerto seem to me to bring out the best of the musician, rather than just the virtuoso.
So now I have mentioned Sibelius, I still have to bring up the virtuosic feature of his playing first. All other recordings I own, evince signs of stress in the opening cadenza; and even in some of the best digital recordings, the fiddle can sound painfully hard. Not here. Whatever his secret was, Heifetz has no trouble surmounting the impediments to a clean delivery. The same considerations apply, naturally to the two other longish episodes when the violin holds the fort. However, by itself this would not move me — his tone is the same in Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn, where it leaves me quite cold.
This is the point where words should come to the rescue — where the crucial issue comes up. What does this man communicate? And all I can say (as my very subjective impression) that Heifetz just manages to get under the skin of this music in a way that none other can. This is not a technical issue, because it has relevance to the soul of the work. It strikes me that Heifetz projects the yearning, the reaching out of the violin to your heart, but also the gloom that intervenes every so often, with rare fidelity. The slow movement is songful and passionate in an unobtrusive way (too many performers become over-rhetorical here); the “polonaise for a polar bear”, as one critic called it, is discharging with flying colours and really quite exciting.
I am of the view that with music it is impossible to call any performance on record “the best”. It always annoys me when I see those silly words in the heading of a review, as if we were dealing with a well-made chair or a new model motor car. And so I will refrain here, except to say that I have not ever heard a recorded performance “better” than this.
The sound is very good, too; and the Chicago Symphony discharge their duty with accustomed precision, even though it was Hendl rather than Reiner in charge that day.
Analyzed folder: /96k Sibelius – Violin Concerto – Jascha Heifetz
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR12 -0.71 dB -18.60 dB A Sibelius, Violin Concerto – 1 Allegro Moderato.wav
DR11 -2.35 dB -18.74 dB B1 Sibelius, Violin Concerto – 2 Adagio Di Molto.wav
DR11 -0.60 dB -16.66 dB B2 Sibelius, Violin Concerto – 3 Allegro Ma Non Tanto.wav
Number of files: 3
Official DR value: DR11
- RCM: Okki Nokki
- TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
- NEW! Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
- Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Light de-Clicking with ClickRepair, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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