Along with his friend Caruso, Fritz Kreisler (1875–1962) was one of the superstars of the early gramophone era. He was “the master musician among the violinists of the day” (New York Times); he died 50 years ago (29 January 1962). As a composer, he is famous for his Viennese-style melodies, such as Liebesfreud and Liebesleid, for his notorious pieces “in the style of” various 18th-century masters (which he passed off as their original works, claiming to have rediscovered them in old manuscripts), and for his arrangements of well-known works by other composers.
Ultimate Violin Classics: The Essential Masterpieces would be an appropriate title for this five-disc set of performances taken from EMI's archives, if it weren't for the word "The." These are certainly many of the greatest works for violin, but there are too many obvious omissions - solos by Bach, concertos by Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Brahms, to name just a few - for this to be considered a definitive collection of violin masterpieces. The collection is diverse: sonatas by Beethoven; concertos by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Bruch; and many small encore-type works for violin and piano.
50 Best is a series of 3-CD sets which feature genres of music ranging from symphonies, concertos and solo instrumental works to chamber music, songs and operas.
Fans of great violin playing naturally will want to hear this outstanding sampling of the art of the young Itzhak Perlman, most of which has never been released on CD. The violinist blasts through Paganini's Caprices Nos. 1, 16, and (of course) 24 with scrupulous technique and a total lack of inhibition. In the remaining works he's well partnered by pianist David Garvey, best known for his work with soprano Leontyne Price.
Deutsche Grammophon proudly presents 42 of its greatest ever recordings for violin, from its matchless catalogue of the finest violinists of the last 75 years. Fritz Kreisler began it all for the company by recording a series of his own compositions and arrangements. 31 violinists grace 111 The Violin, with recordings from the early 1900s to 2012.