Lucky You, Vote Which Violinist Plays Mendelssohn Concerto

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Violin. (kubotake/flickr)

Who said that 13 was an unlucky number? On March 13, 1845, violinist Ferdinand David gave the premiere of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. It has since become one of the most beloved concertos for violin. So today, March 13, 2013, we asked you to help decide which of these three violinists — Itzhak Perlman, Daniel Hope or Jascha Heifetz — you wanted to hear perform this enduring masterpiece for our Showdown.

Winning half the vote was Heifetz performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Charles Munch. We played it today at noon.


Comments [9]

Bernhard Chu from Montreal, Canada

May I recommend Milstein/Abbado/ViennaPO recording made in 1970's? It's a very balanced and expressive reading, check it out if you can.

Mar. 13 2013 06:13 PM
Perry Weiner from Brooklyn

How not Heifetz?

Mar. 13 2013 11:57 AM
David Gravitz

We hear Perlman all the time. He practically owns the airwaves. as far the violin is concerned. The old-timers (Heifetz, Menuhin, Francescatti, etc.) are hardly played anymore. So, 1 vote for Heifetz - the "Perlman" of the mid-20th-century.

Mar. 13 2013 11:39 AM
concetta nardone from nassau

My first choice was JACK BENNY.

Mar. 13 2013 10:54 AM
Jeanette Grayeb-Mihal from Brooklyn, NY

They all deserve accolades.

Mar. 13 2013 10:49 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Lucky? I don't think we're so lucky if this is all you can come up with for this week's Showdown! The Mendelssohn Violin Concerto is very nice, but we hear it all the time. How about at least giving us a choice of three different violin concertos? How about varying your playlist a bit more? How about we all just go to lunch at Noon and forget the whole thing!

Mar. 13 2013 10:35 AM
L.Lubin from Fort Lee, NJ

I'm voting for the only one of the three I haven't heard yet: Daniel Hope.

I've lived with the Heifetz recording for more than forty years. It was my second. I got the Jaime Laredo/Charles Munch/BSO on Victrola when I was about 12.

Perlman's recordings have been ubiquitous on radio for decades, and justifiably so. After decades of hearing his Mendelssohn on WNCN, WNYC and WQXR I feel like I own it.

So Daniel Hope, such a wonderful musician, is my choice for novelty value alone.

Mar. 13 2013 10:21 AM
Andrew B from Lower Merion, PA

Yes, there are a lot of fine violinists left off this lists. Kyung Wha Chung (with Dutoit/Montreal), Cho Liang Lin (with Tilson Thomas/Philharmonia), Shlomo Mintz (Abbado/Chigao Sym). For a less famous violinist, I also like Robert McDuffie (Swenson/Scottish Chamber Orch). This is obviously just the short list.

WQXR's alternatives are (1) a historical recording, (2) an industry favorite (Perlman) and (3) a rising star/recent vintage (2008 release). So, the that's really what you are voting for.

Would be nice to have some "less-cliche" showdowns. Haven't we heard the Mendelssohn enough times? Does it need to be a showdown on its own?

Mar. 13 2013 09:33 AM
kriss from Piscataway, NJ

Where is Anne Sophie Mutter in the selection list? She is the BEST!!!

Mar. 13 2013 09:13 AM

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