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Appendix 2: Jascha Heifetz’s Repertoire in Russia

Galina Kopytova Indiana University Press ePub

THIS LIST WAS COMPILED using source materials such as concert programs and published notices. It also takes into account works that were not listed in programs but that Heifetz played as encores. Those works marked with an asterisk were first performed on recordings and those marked with two stars were written about but not performed publicly. Conjectures for what the incomplete titles should be are in brackets. The pieces are listed in order of first public performance. Dates are given according to the Old Style calendar, except where performances took place outside of Russia, for which the New Style date is also given.

1906

December 7

Singelée, Fantaisie Pastorale, op. 56

1907

December 12

De Bériot, Aria with Variations

1908

March 27

De Bériot, Concerto no. 7 in G, op. 76

May 17

Dont, Etude [Dont-Auer, Etude, op. 35, no. 15]

Vieuxtemps, Ballade et Polonaise, op. 38

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6 Summer 1911: Concerts in Pavlovsk and Odessa

Galina Kopytova Indiana University Press ePub

THE HEIFETZES SPENT THEIR SUMMER vacation at a dacha in Antakalnis, one of the twenty-six suburbs of Vilnius and a popular area during the summer. A local guidebook from the period described it as follows: “Heading along the bank of the Viliya to the Church of St. Peter and Paul, one can stop in the suburb of Antokol which stretches along the Viliya for almost three versts. Scattered hills to the right of the church are covered with beautiful green pine forests. Not far from there is the Sapezhinsky Garden and Palace . . .”1 The Heifetz family stayed at 9 Petropavlovsk Lane, in a house belonging to a man named Pyotr Guryanov.

The Heifetzes were joined by their young cousin Anyuta Sharfstein-Koch during their summer retreat. Some eight decades later in a phone conversation, Sharfstein-Kochremembered fondly her time with the Heifetz siblings in the hills outside Vilnius. Elza showed her the chickens laying eggs and Pauline took her up to Jascha’s room in the house: “He was busy at the table with all these dead butterflies. . . . I said to him, ‘Where did you get all those butterflies?’ And he said he’ll show me. And he went out and he was running with the net after the butterflies. Can you visualize it? Running after butterflies with a net!” Butterfly catching became a widespread and fashionable hobby during the beginning of the century, and one could often find children and adults alike running through the countryside with nets chasing the colorful insects.

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15 Summer-Fall 1914: War

Galina Kopytova Indiana University Press ePub

AUER’S SUMMER TEACHING SEASON in Loschwitz began early that year and students flocked there from all over Russia. The Heifetzes arrived in May and sent a postcard to Kiselgof. On Sunday, June 1 (NS June 14) he answered them from St. Petersburg:

I received your letter and was very, very glad. But I’m still in stuffy and dusty Piter and I’m not getting out of here until Wednesday. How horrible! But I’m glad for you, my friends, that you are already there, in a cultured, clean country, and are enjoying the beautiful nature and pleasant surroundings. I was in Pavlovsk again, but did not ride my bike—I was too lazy. I saw Achronchik [Isidor Achron] and passed along your greetings. He very much regrets that he did not see you at the station. Now I will wait from Vitebsk for your letter (Generalnaya, d. 3). From there I will write in more detail. Let me know your permanent address.1

Kiselgof sent the postcard to the home of Dorothea Grosse in Dresden since she knew how to contact the Heifetzes that summer. Conveniently, Jascha and his family stayed at the same residence as the previous year: Kurhaus “Neue Rochwitz,” 8 Hauptstrasse, Bergschlösschen. Having already spent a summer in Loschwitz, the Heifetzes quickly settled into the routine of lessons, forest walks, tennis matches, and trips to the Russian library in Dresden. Meanwhile, Jascha was never separated from his beloved Leica camera.

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17 The End of 1915

Galina Kopytova Indiana University Press ePub

JASCHA HAD NOT SPENT AN AUTUMN in Petrograd for three years: in 1912 he toured Germany; in 1913, after a summer in Loschwitz, he played concerts in Berlin, Dresden, and Warsaw; and in 1914 the Heifetzes were detained in Germany until December. With its changeable weather and abundance of rainy days, September was nevertheless mild in the city. The beautiful yellow color of falling leaves resembled the gilded cupolas of the St. Nicholas Cathedral, which sparkled under the autumn sun, but within a few weeks this pleasant weather turned quickly into winter, bringing with it a mix of rain and snow.

Jascha and Pauline returned to the conservatory in the middle of September, and Ruvin received the customary residency certificate from the police station permitting him and his family to remain in the city until January 15, 1916.1 After many years of service, Stanislav Gabel had recently resigned as conservatory inspector and was replaced by Professor Nikolai Lavrov, who now gave Ruvin the necessary papers for dealing with the police authorities. It was Lavrov who had examined Pauline back in January 1912 when she entered the conservatory, and he continued to be supportive of the Heifetz family. As director, Glazunov continued to approve Ruvin’s enrollment in the conservatory, which allowed the Heifetzes to stay in the city. A significant readjustment, however, is apparent in Ruvin’s residency certificates from September 1915 on. Ruvin had previously been registered as a “student of the conservatory,” but was now listed as “capital.” This change indicated that although he still resided in the city as a student, he was now supporting himself financially. Clearly, Jascha’s concerts must have provided the family with enough to live on.

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Appendix 1: Reviews of Jascha Heifetz’s Debut at Carnegie Hall, October 27,1917

Galina Kopytova Indiana University Press ePub

IN THE MONTHS FOLLOWING Heifetz’s debut, the following reviews were collated and reprinted in various newspapers and publicity brochures.

Max Smith, “Boy Violinist Wins Triumph,” The New York American, October 28, 1917:

The American debut of Jascha Heifetz yesterday afternoon in Carnegie Hall will go on record as one of the most notable incidents in the recent musical history of New York.

This Russian youth is said to be only sixteen years old, though he might be eighteen or nineteen, to judge from his appearance, and forty, to judge from his extraordinary poise. Yet already his mastery of the violin is such that one can compare him only to the greatest virtuosi of the present and the past.

Comparisons are often odious, but the writer for the American does not hesitate to assert that in all his experience he has never heard any violinist approach as close to the loftiest standards of absolute perfection as did Jascha Heifetz yesterday.

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