Masterclass Tuesday, Feb. 7th, 2012

I’ve been telling my students about the many, many Heifetz masterclasses that are available online, but specifically referencing this one. Carol Hodgkins (who, evidently, recently passed away) starts, and chooses a scale as her first thing to play. I wondered why Heifetz seemed so surprised, and commended her for her bravery. Then, he launches into choosing the scale FOR her. Ah, to be the subject of a terrifying masterclass again.

Just the style and general dress-up-ed-ness of the students is enough to make you see why Mad Men gets it exactly right in their stylizing. However, the quiet, mannered teaching of Heifetz is what gets me the most. One does not question anything he says (why would you? A short excerpt of any of his recordings would shut someone right up), and there’s an interesting combination of wanting to soak up all he says while wanting to play your absolute best. Sort of a “don’t disappoint Dad” situation, if your Dad was as close to technically flawless on the violin as anyone has ever gotten in history.


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