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Avior Byron will present a paper on Bronislaw Huberman in the 2010 'The Embodiment of Authority' Conference at Helsinki, Finland.   

 

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My name is Avior Byron and I am a musicologist, blogger and composer. I write books, articles and a blog about music, performance, research, and theory. Read more at my about page

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Bronislaw Huberman: “naked in charm and virtuosity?”

Robert Lawrence wrote on 18 January 1943 for the New York Herald Tribune the following questions: ‘Does the playing of German masterworks presuppose the negation of the suavity and rich timbre contributed by the Russian School? Is a critic wrong or esthetically blunted in decrying a performance that offers playing strong in its fidelity to the music but almost naked in charm and virtuosity?’ Although Lawrence argues that Huberman is a ‘great musician’, he prefers not to evaluate his performance. Nevertheless, he concludes his review suggesting that those ‘who prefer a constant flow of tonal amenities would be disappointed.’

Similarly, Thomas Archer of The Gazette in Montreal wrote on 20 November 1944 that there may be other violinists that may surpass Huberman ‘in the production of tone, but there are none … who do so in magnitude of ideas and closeness of approach to a composer’s intention.’
 
Alan Branigan wrote on 19 December 1944 for the Evening News Newarld: ‘a few scratched notes, a bow placed on the strings with a definitive crash, blurred runs and other unconventionalities… the effect was more fetching than some of the soulless smoothness we have heard on occasion.’

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