Thursday, April 19, 2007

Erica Morini

I have been spending far too much time obsessing about and listening to recordings of Erica Morini (1904-1995), a Viennese violin virtuoso who would have had a career like that of Jascha Heifetz or Nathan Milstein, (both acknowledged her greatness and considered her a peer) if only she hadn't been a woman. She found it terribly frustrating not to be taken seriously by people in the managerial side of the music business. She did manage to have a career, but it was not the kind of career that a person of her tremendous ability and musicianship should have been able to enjoy. After she stopped playing she lived in semi-seclusion in New York. She died shortly after her instrument, the Davidoff Stradivarius, along with her scores, photos, and letters, had been stolen from her apartment. The instrument has yet to be recovered.

You can listen to her play the first movement of the Beethoven 7th Violin Sonata on this page, and read more about Morini here. The performance, of course, is not from 1928 (there's a mistake on the page), but there is a performance of a Brahms Hungarian dance on the same CD from 1927.


Liz said...

I will check out those links....thank you.

Actually she's my second favorite (after Stern) on the Bell Telephone Hour DVD. She plays a quite wonderful Bruch....

Elaine Fine said...

Did you notice on that Bell Telephone Hour DVD that all the men are announced with a kind of pomp and circumstance and that Morini is not even introduced?

I love the close-up views of her left hand in that Bruch, and the way she is able to articulate up-bow at the tip. What a fiddle player! What a performance!

Liz said...

No I *didn't* have to go back and look at that again.

She is amazing...didn't realize she studied with Sevcik. And the story about Heifetz and the staccato. (The Beethoven clip you linked to was great-have to go listen to it again.....:))