Saturday, August 11, 2012

Joseph Szigeti: Sergei Prokofiev's Sonata No. 2

Great Musical Performances

Joseph Szigeti performs from the third movement, the "Andante," from Sergei Prokofiev's Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano in D major, op. 94b; Arthur Balsam accompanies him on piano. The work was first performed by violinists David Oistrakh and Lev Oborin on June 17, 1944.  You can listen to Szigeti  here.


Joseph Szigeti [1892-1973] was a Hungarian-Jewish violinist. The Wikipedia entry on him says:
Szigeti was born Joseph "Jóska" Singer[1] to a Jewish family in Budapest, Austria-Hungary. His mother died when he was three years old, and soon thereafter the boy was sent to live with his grandparents in the little Carpathian town of Máramaros-Sziget (hence the name Szigeti). He grew up surrounded by music, as the town band was composed almost entirely of his uncles. After a few informal lessons on the cimbalom from his aunt,[2] he received his first lessons on the violin from his Uncle Bernat at the age of six.[3]
Szigeti  was a product of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music and of Jenő Hubay; yet, it was pianist Ferruccio Busoni who had the greatest influence on the young Szigeti; the two remained close friends untol Busoni's death in 1924. Szigeti and his wife emigrated to the Unite States in 1939, escaping Nazi persecution; Szigeti became an American citizen in 1951.