The Heifetz Chamber Music Collection: music by Mozart, Handel, Grieg, Sinding Jascha Heifetz (violin) with various artists (Recorded: 1936-1955) (RCA Gold Seal 09026 61740 2; two discs)
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The Independent Culture
Heifetz's Mozart sorts the critics from the curmudgeons, the connoisseurs of great string-playing from the fatuous "fast means facile" brigade. Who could justifiably grumble at this sublime account of the great E flat Divertimento, with Heifetz bowing the sweetest cantilena, while Feuermann on cello and Primrose on viola answer in like vein? And I'd like a pound for each Handelian who outwardly professes "period performance" preferences while secretly relishing this luscious account of Sonata No 15, with its glowing vibrato, gipsy-style slides and dazzling array of colours. How would Handel have reacted? Probably with "Hold it, Jascha, while I write you another 20"!

Duo-sonatas with Emanuel Bay (Mozart's K378, K424 and K454; Grieg's Op 13) are securely violin-dominated, while Primrose joins Heifetz for wonderfully supple accounts of Mozart's B flat Duo and Halvorsen's ingenious arrangement of Handel's harpsichord Passacaglia. The last track of all whisks Heifetz away from his chamber colleagues to Republic Studios Sound Stage 9 and the LA Philharmonic for what is perhaps the most sensational recording he ever made: Sinding's Suite, Op 10. Play the Prelude or the Adagio and tell me, honestly, is there anyone today who can play like that?