A Fiddler's Tale: How Hollywood and Vivaldi Discovered Me by Louis Kaufman

By Louis Kaufman

This interesting memoir, written by means of one of many maximum American violinists of the 20th century, recounts a rare lifestyles in music.
    Once referred to as by means of the New York Times "a violinist's violinist and a musician's musician," Louis Kaufman was once born in 1905 in Portland, Oregon. He studied violin with Franz Kneisl at New York's Institute of Musical artwork. He used to be the unique violist of the Musical paintings Quartet (1926-1933) and received the Naumburg Award in 1928, the yr of his American solo recital debut in New York's city Hall.
    During those early years, he performed chamber tune with Pablo Casals, Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Efrem Zimbalist, between others. After acting the violin solos for Ernst Lubitsch's 1934 movie The Merry Widow, Kaufman turned the main wanted violin soloist in Hollywood, taking part in in a few 500 movies, together with Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, The Diary of Anne Frank, Wuthering Heights, The Grapes of Wrath, and Spartacus. He labored heavily with Robert Russell Bennett, Bernard Herrmann, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alfred Newman, Miklós Rózsa, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman, and Victor younger.     
    Extraordinary because it turns out at the present time, Kaufman was once mostly answerable for bringing the once-forgotten tune of Antonio Vivaldi to its present acceptance around the globe between either classical musicians and the final inhabitants of tune lovers.
    The publication features a song CD with Kaufman’s performances of Vivaldi’s Concerto 2 of op. 9, Havanaise by means of Camille Saint Saëns, Nocturne for Violin and Piano by way of Aaron Copland, Much Ado approximately not anything Suite for violin and piano by way of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and Smoke will get on your Eyes through Jerome Kern, between different favorites.

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This trick worked and I had an easy method to read viola parts if they were not too complicated. I was sometimes confused by accidentals (sharps and flats), until I began to read the clef and knew definitely what the notes were, as well as the true sonority of the instrument. Being able to play viola led to my being invited to many interesting chamber music parties in New York. I had the privilege to fill in at quartet sessions with violinists Mischa Elman, Efrem Zimbalist, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Carl Flesch, Bronislaw Huberman, and Paul Kochanski; cellists such as Pablo Casals, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Felix Salmond; and pianists Josef Hofmann, Mischa Levitzki, Nadia Reisenberg, Frank Sheridan, and many others.

They premiered all the chamber works of Brahms and Dvorak in America, as well as the Debussy quartet, although it took Kneisel many years to persuade his colleagues to perform that French masterpiece. They also premiered Arnold Schoenberg's Verkliirte Nacht string sextet and works of Charles Martin Loeffler, who sat on the first stand with Kneisel when he was concertmaster in Boston. They premiered many contemporary composers. Chamber music was his battlefield. Kneisel was mainly concerned with transmitting the inner spirit and nobility of the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms.

The children went to bed and the remaining adults settled down to an afterdinner game of poker. Pelz had bad luck, so the evening closed with him owing Papa fifty dollars, which he paid with much protest. Feeling ill-treated, he then sued Papa for nonpayment of fifty dollars for professional services at my bar mitzvah. The trial took place several weeks after my departure for I Become a Violinist • 23 New York, and I learned the details in a letter from my father. In the courtroom, Pelz insisted he had been engaged professionally to entertain the guests.

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