A unique documentary. Menuhin filmed for Hollywood in the Mendelssohn Concerto.
This is one of the most surprising images, that of Yehudi Menuhin filmed in Charlie Chaplin's studios in Hollywood in 1947 and conducted by Antal Dorati with the Hollywood Symphonic Orchestra formed especially for the occasion. The idea of Paul Gordon, the head of the project, which was given what has become a legendary name, "Concert Magic," was to make a real concert-film to be distributed in film theatres. For this, he chooses as the soloist Yehudi Menuhin who is 32 years old and at the height of his career. Several pieces were filmed for "Concert Magic," including the Violin Concerto by Mendelssohn. These images, recorded in an afternoon, show Menuhin interpreting this piece he had played for the first time in concert at the age of 7. There had been no rehearsal, but was one needed? Only the frequent glances directed by the violinist to the conductor hint at this... An exceptional document.
The performances of Hungarian Dances No. 5 and No. 4 by Brahms that follow, perfectly reveal the agility of Menuhin, accompanied on the piano by Adolph Baller and Antal Dorti himself, whereas in Habanera by Sarasate, the filmmaker has the audacity to film the violinist from behind.
Orchestre de chambre de la RTF, Pierre Capdevielle
Conversations with his biographer Humphrey Burton