April 22, 2016

Vilde Frang pays homage to Yehudi Menuhin on her violin hero's 100th birthday

Menuhin's childhood recordings "still fill me with awe", says the Norwegian violinist in this centenary tribute.

"Yehudi Menuhin's autobiography, Unfinished Journey, is one of the books that I take down from the shelf every now and then and that I like to have near me. It is highly entertaining also in a historic perspective, with many funny anecdotes about his colleagues; most of whom were the 20th century's finest artists and composers.

"Menuhin was not only the great violinist of the century, but also a great humanist. His writing is full of warmth and his memoirs contain lots of colourful stories. He really had an exceptional life.

"His key recordings for me are those from his years as a prodigy – I used to listen to them when I was the same age he was when he recorded them; a kid of ten or eleven (and I found him quite handsome looking). They still fill me with awe. The potential and sense of 'noblesse' in his playing is out of another world.

"I met him when I was eight, very briefly. At that time I was a little too small to realise whom I was actually smiling to the camera with. I just remember him as a very friendly old man, hailed by everybody around as a legend, visiting Norway‎."

The 100th anniversary of Yehudi Menuhin's birth falls on 22 April, 2016. Warner Classics celebrates with The Menuhin Century boxed set, available now.

Vilde Frang's new Korngold & Britten Concertos album is out now.

Menuhin Vilde FrangYehudi Menuhin with the young Vilde Frang (right) and her childhood duo partner Catharina Chen, who is today concert master of the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet Orchestra.