Paraphrase: Fiddler like Hassid is Born Once in 200 Years

Ghenady Meirson
Submitted: Thu, December 20, 2012 - 10:18pm EST

This is how the great violinist Fritz Kreisler described violin prodigy Josef Hassid (1923-1950). Hassid's talent is hard to explain. He had to be touched by a divine power and his story is a tragic loss to the world.

In 1940 at age 17, Josef Hassid recorded only a handful of violin pieces along with one of the greatest collaborative pianist, Gerald Moore.

A year later Hassid was diagnosed with a severe mental disorder. Withdrawn from family, friends, violin and life in general, he was committed to an institution until the end of his life. He died at the age of 27.

A small collection of recordings by this teenager influenced generations of violinists. Some breathtaking performances included Hebrew Melody Op.33 by Joseph Achron (Rec 11/29/1940 Hassid/Moore) and Playera Op. 23, No. 1 by Pablo de Sarasate (Rec 6/28/1940 Hassid/Moore)

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"Melodie" by Tchaikovsky - Josef Hassid, Violin and Gerald Moore, Piano (1940)