It was November 1945 in Moscow. The war had ended just a few months before. 29 year old Yehudi Menuhin came to Russia right after WWII to play in his parents' country of birth. The posters appeared: violinist Yehudi Menuhin is going to play three concerts, two solo recitals (with pianists Lev Oborin in Sonatas by Franck and Debussy, and Abraham Makarov accompanying ) and one with orchestra performing three concertos: Bach in D minor for two violins with David Oistrakh, Beethoven and Brahms, all with Alexander Orlov conducting. All income from these concerts would benefit wounded soldiers of the Red Army.
At this time I was a student at the Music School of the Moscow Conservatory. The rumors that this great American violinist, whose parents had been from Russia, was now coming to Moscow, excited the Soviet musical establishment to the point of frenzy. Once the concert was announced, tickets were out of reach for ordinary Soviet citizens. In fact, Professor Alexander Feodorovich Goedike, a famous organist and composer with whom I studied chamber music, once told me: "My dear, all the tickets have been sent to the Kremlin Communists". What to do? And so, my friend and classmate Lelik Zisman, also a violinist (as matter of fact, he was from Odessa) and I decided to ask the Director of the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory Yefim Borisovich Galanter for tickets. We went to his office and Lelik with tears in his eyes said: "We are students of Professors Zeitlin and Yampolsky (the most important violin teachers in USSR), please, help us!" –"Nothing left"-said Yefim Borisovich, but as though sensing the desperation of two poor Jewish boys, and perhaps recalling his own childhood, he took a piece of paper and wrote, "Let two pass," and signed. That evening we heard this famous recital, which fortunately was recorded, and now you can hear the same on our "time machine"!
From the recollections of Yuri Beliavsky
Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. November 16, 1945. Live broadcast.
Yehudi Menuhin, violin
Saint-Saens, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso;
Novacek, Perpetuum Mobile;
Tchaikovsky, Serenade Melancolique;
Dvorak- Kreisler,Slavonic Dance;
Kreisler, Caprice Viennois;
Debussy-Hartman, La Fille aus cheveux de lin;
Bartok, Six dances populaires roumaines;
Bloch Nigun from "Baal Shem".
Abraham Makarov, piano
"The Old Jew", painting by Ninah Beliavsky c.1981
Drawing of YB by Daniel Beliavsky c.1985
Photo of YB by Esther Shapiro c.1976
YB at the time of Yom Kippur War in Israeli Army c.1973
ולקינוח קטע מיוחד