Lately, I came across Kreisler’s obituary in the New York Times dating back to 1962 with some new information of which I was not aware, and I’m therefore moved to pen below a fuller account of my Western Music World idol of the 19th-20th century – there’ll never be one like him again!]
Fritz Kreisler (born February 2, 1875 in Vienna, Austria) appeared as a child prodigy in his hometown, then attended the Conservatories of Vienna and Paris.
In his twelfth year he received the Grand Prix for violin at the Paris Conservatory. One year later he toured the United States in joint recitals with the pianist, Moriz Rosenthal, making his American debut in Boston on November 9, 1888. After returning to Vienna, he abandoned music and studied medicine at the Vienna Academy. Then, tiring of medicine, he went into the army and served for a year as an officer of an Uhlan regiment.
However, in 1899 he returned to his first love, although his return debut in Berlin did not get the recognition he desired. It was back in the U.S. over the period 1901 and 1902 that he won acclaim with his grace and charm, musical perception and humanity.
World War I interrupted his music career as he served with his Austrian regiment. He returned top the concert stage with a recital in New York in 1919 and for the next two decades he maintained his status As one of the world’s most highly honored and beloved performers.
Kreisler wrote a library of charming pieces for violin many of which have become staples in the repertory. They are too many to list here, but here is a romantic example of the great violinist’s popular compositions – Liebesfreud – in which you’ll feel Love’s Joy while listening to this performance by Mikhail Barash on YouTube.
References: Wikipedia, New York Times.
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