This DVD features an historic performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, and much more. Virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999) plays with Anatal Dorati conducting a symphony orchestra comprised of some of the finest studio musicians in Hollywood, who played the big film scores of the era. Recorded in the Charlie Chaplin Studios in the Fall of 1947, the footage shows some age in the audio as well as the visual, but is still fantastic, and a joy to listen to as well as watch. The presentation and staging are very simple, as Menuhin was not a flashy performer, but rather a thoughtful one, with his aesthetically beautiful, chiseled features maintaining a calm serenity. The Mendelssohn concerto was the piece Menuhin played in his first public performance, at the age of 7, so this concerto has special significance in his life.
The disc also includes encore performances, and these have been filmed in a room, with piano accompaniment, and they are:
Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dances, No. 5 in G minor, and No. 4 in F sharp minor.
Pablo de Sarasate: Spanish Dances, Op. 21, No.1, Malagueña, and No. 2, Habanera.
Antonio Bazzini: Calabrese, Waltz in E minor, Op. 34.
The pianist for the Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 4 is Anatal Dorati, and for all the rest, Adolph Baller.
There is also "A Violinist in Hollywood," which is a conversation between Menuhin and his biographer Humphrey Burton, and another segment, "On the Encores," where they discuss the encore performances. There is no date given for these interviews, but Menuhin is quite elderly in them. Menuhin has been a hero of mine since childhood, for his superb musicianship, his artistic daring, and the humanity he expressed throughout his life. Running time for the performances is 44 minutes, "A Violinist in Hollywood," 36 minutes, and "On the Encores," 11 minutes. The DVD package contains a booklet with liner notes and 2 photos. Menuhin admirers will adore this DVD, and certainly violin students will learn much from it.