Less than a century ago it was still very common that great violinists like Heifetz, Kreisler, Menuhin etc. played virtuosic pieces in their concerts, very often also their own transcriptions. Nowadays these pieces are unfortunately rarely played in concert halls, sometimes with the reason that this kind of repertoire is “not serious enough”, which I find is really a pity and also not true. Usually violinists study this repertoire at a young age to expand their technical ability on the instrument but afterwards, they tend to focus more on Concertos and Sonatas. I have to admit that the last time I myself played this repertoire was before I was even a teenager, and I had almost forgotten about it.
However, every time I work together with Larry Foster, he is full of stories about Jasha Heifetz from their time together in the 1960s and it is like being taken to another world. Then suddenly the idea came to us; why not make a recording full of these pieces like in the “old days”?