Ivry Gitlis plays Saint-Saens Rondo Capriccioso (this is compared with a performance by Itzhak Perlman)

Ivry Gitlis (1922- )

Ivry Gitlis is an Israeli violin virtuoso.  He has had a long and varied career performing with many of the world’s major orchestras (such as the London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and the Vienna Philharmonic.)  Ivry also played with the Beatles in the Rock and Roll Circus film.  He is also an actor and composer.  He moved to the US in the 1950s.  Since the 1960s he has lived in Paris, France.  Ivry Gitlis style of playing is very different from violinists of today.  He occasionally plays without vibrato, and he uses the bow to get different tonal colours out of the violin.  Sometimes the playing is lush, at other times it has a frantic energy to it.

Here is a clip from 1962 of Ivry Gitlis and Georges Pludermacher playing Saint-Saens Rondo Capriccioso.  He plays this piece unlike any other violinist I have heard.  There is incredible energy and abandon in this performance.

For comparison, listen to this performance of Itzhak Perlman and the Sadler’s Wells Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras.  Perlman’s interpretation is quite a bit slower than Gitlis.  Gitlis really goes for it.  Enjoy


Howard Brockway – Cavatina Op. 13

Howard Brockway (1870-1951)

Howard Brockway was an American composer and pianist.  Brockway composed pieces for solo piano, a symphony, piano quintet, sonata for violin and piano, and a suite for cello and orchestra (or piano). He also wrote choral music.

With singer Loraine Wyman, Brockway travelled to the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky to record traditional folk songs.  Howard Brockway later wrote out piano accompaniments for the folk tunes he recorded and Loraine wrote down the words.  The folk songs they collected were published in two volumes in 1916 and 1920.

From 1911 to 1920 Brockway worked as a recording artist and piano roll editor for Ampico (the American Piano Corporation).  He was the company’s most prolific recording artist, recording around 155 pieces (as well as many accompaniments and popular tunes).

Howard Brockway’s Cavatina Op. 13 for violin and piano (which is featured in this post) was featured in the soundtrack to the movie “The Prince of Tides”.  It is played here by violinist Pinchas Zukerman and pianist Marc Neikrug.  Enjoy.