tricks, treats, and nathan milstein cadenzas

to prep for upcoming concerts, i’ve gotten in the habit of checking out what classical cd’s the good folks at multnomah county library have in stock.  [when i say i’m the most un-tech-savvy blogger out there, i ain’t kidding.]  anywho, the library can pretty much have my tax money whenever they want, ‘cuz their media collection is completely off the hook ~ does any other town’s library have the complete sarah silverman show (vol. 1 & 2) on dvd?  i doubt it.  well, the compact disc of Beethoven’s violin concerto that i wound up listening to over and over these past few weeks happens to feature fiddler jascha heifetz accompanied by arturo toscanini and the nbc orchestra.  um, recorded in 1940.  faithful beaver reader, let me tell you: the world of album production has come a long way.  i’m pretty sure they don’t use tin cans and string anymore.  and while my initial few listenings of mr. heifetz and the nbc band were a bit jarring to my 21st-century ear, i’ve kinda grown quite fond of the audio crackles, muffled mixing, and utter lack of bass.  and seeing as how i’m gonna get to hear uncle Ludwig’s violin concerto live for the first time on halloween night, it seems perfectly appropriate to immerse myself in a 71-year-old record.  after all, what’s an evening of classical music other than gathering some bits of maple, copper, and sheepgut, adding a pinch of goatskin, brass, and horsehair, reciting some secret formulas in unison, and putting a wand in the conductor’s hand?  poof! the dead are brought back to life!  the schnitz is where the fucking magic’s gonna happen tonight, and if you’re going, i’ll say this: if you catch a shadowy glimpse of a scowling german with mussed up hair in coat and frills carrying an earhorn, i wouldn’t be at all surprised.


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