Regular readers know that Itzhak Perlman, the 71-year-old violin virtuoso, is one of my favorites. He has been for a long time; I was privileged to get to see him when I was a teenager in the early 1990s, and I’ve got tickets to see him again in April at the Lyric Opera House. This past Wednesday night I happened upon a documentary about Perlman that was released in 1978 – it’s called, “I Know I Played Every Note.”
While overall I would have preferred more time on his developmental path, and his work under Dorothy DeLay at Juilliard, the documentary did a great job focusing on Perlman as a modern family man. We meet his wife Toby and their three children, see their New York flat, their summer vacations in Aspen, and the family proclivity for tennis. Perlman likes (at that time, at least) to cook Chinese food. The film also showcases Perlman the pedagogue as he coaches some talented youngsters.
Peppered throughout are some great performances – one of my favorites is a duet with Pinchus Zuckerman, who Perlman affectionately calls “Pinkie.” The two are great friends, Zuckerman being a few years Perlman’s junior. Another great scene showcases Perlman with the pianist Vladimir Ashkenasy discussing their work to record the complete Beethoven violin sonatas.
It’s well worth a watch:
Thanks for reading.