What a thrill it was to tune into the Colbert Report and hear yet another few minutes of terrific music. This time it was Itzhak Perlman playing Kreisler, and for no other reason but to play Kreisler on the TV for millions of people to enjoy. I was shocked to see that this morning, when I went to hear the extra web "song" (as Colbert jokingly called it), only 30 people had been there before me.
It was a very enjoyable Liebesfreud.
Here's the whole episode. Perlman plays Kreisler's arrangement of a piece from Falla's La Vida Breve near the end of the program.
These are pieces that every violinist knows and loves, and pieces that Perlman (and Fritz Kreisler) knew would tickle the inner violinist in anyone listening. One of the most exciting violin moments I have had happened at Juilliard during the first orchestral rehearsal for a performance of La Vida Breve. When the entire violin section (made of the violin stars of our present day who are now in their 50s) got a chance to play this tune, one that they all knew so well from this Kreisler arrangement, it felt like the walls had broken and music was flooding the room. There was such an outpouring of surprise and delight that I still feel it today. Perlman reminded me of that feeling last night.
Thank you Stephen Colbert for inviting Perlman to play on your show.