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Blast from the past: violinist Carl Flesch

Thanks to my hand-dandy Music Diary from Boosey & Hawkes (call me old-fashioned, but no cold, electronic, life-organizing device for me), I noticed that Oct. 9 is the 136th birthday of Carl Flesch, the Hungarian-born violinist and teacher who died 65 years ago.

His pedagogical methods are still in use today, but I suspect a lot of violin students know little about him or his playing style. Like many other great musical figures from long ago, Flesch is easily overlooked in an age that is all about the now.

In addition to passing on his wisdom to several pupils who became major violinists, most notably Henryk Szeryng and Ida Haendel, Flesch left valuable recordings of his exceptional artistry. With the help of that wondrous treasury known as YouTube, I've put together a few audio examples of Flesch and his fiddle. Since this is his birthday, I figured he should have some company, so the third clip finds him being joined in a movement of the Bach Double by another legendary violinist, Joseph Szigeti:

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