Yehudi Menuhin in Hollywood

Conversations with his biographer Humphrey Burton

In a long interview Yehudi Menuhin looks back upon his past and comments his playing.

In 1947, Yehudi Menuhin, under the direction of Antal Dorati was accompanied by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, especially formed for the occasion, and filmed at the Charlie Chaplin Studios in Hollywood. The film, which became a legend, was called "Concert Magic." At the time, Yehudi Menuhin was 32 and was at the height of his career (see the film Yehudi Menuhin Plays Mendelssohn).

Several decades later, interviewed by his biographer Humphrey Burton, Menuhin tells the story of how the film came to be, he also talks about the war and after the war, with special reference to the victims. During the conflict he did a lot for musicians in exile and for refugee children. He played in concerts for prisoners released from the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen, and in Berlin in ruins under the direction of Wilhelm Furtwängler.

From time to time, Humphrey Burton asks him to comment the images of Concert Magic, where we see him playing the Violin Concerto by Mendelssohn, the first concerto he studied as a child with his teacher Persinger and which he performed in concert for the first time at the age of 7. He expresses great joy at seeing again encores such as "Habanera" by Sarasate or the Hungarian Dances No. 5 and No. 4 by Brahms in which he is accompanied at the piano by Antal Dorati himself. A great moment.

With excerpts from:

  • Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 5
  • Bach: Chaconne BWV 1004
  • Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 4
  • Wieniawski: Scherzo-tarantelle op. 16
  • Bach: Air BWV 1068
  • Bach: „Lord, have Mercy on Me" BWV 244
  • Paganini: Moto perpetuo op. 11
  • Bach: Preludio BWV 1006
  • Paganini: 24 Caprice op. 1
  • Sarasate: Habanera op. 21
  • Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Violin Concerto op. 64
  • Bazzini: Calabrese – Waltz in E Minor op. 34
  • Schubert: Ave Maria

Movie director : Günter Atteln

Duration : 52 min
Recording date : 1947
Production date : 2006
Production : © EuroArts Music International / RBB / ARTE
Available version(s) : EN

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