The Corner

‘Rubinstein-God-Piatigorsky’

The below reminded me of a famous story in music. May I tell it? One of the greatest bands ever was the piano trio of Rubinstein-Heifetz-Piatigorsky (originally Rubinstein-Heifetz-Feuermann, but the cellist croaked — died young). Basically, no one could work with Heifetz, and the Rube wasn’t exactly easy either. The trio was always billed as “Rubinstein-Heifetz-Piatigorsky” — which rankled Heifetz, who thought he should go first. Rubinstein explained, “The tradition is that the pianist is named first, then the violinist, then the cellist. If God were the violinist, it would still be ‘Rubinstein-God-Piatigorsky.’” This did not cut ice with Jascha H. The band soon disbanded.

P.S. One of the great things about being at Bill Buckley’s table was hearing stories from Schuyler Chapin about Heifetz — Chapin once managed Heifetz, to the extent Heifetz could be managed.

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