Jascha Heifetz

Perhaps the most alluring aspect of being a full-time author, aside from the women, fame, money, dru- Hang on, that’s rock and roll isn’t it. Dammit.

Anyway, perhaps the most alluring aspect of being a full-time author is the idea that I could justify spending my life learning new and interesting things (AKA trawl the internet incessantly). The latest discovery was made whilst reading up on Niccolò Paganini’s 24 frankly terrifying capriccios. As a lapsed violin player myself they have always inspired in me a special reverence.

You should know number 24 because it’s like Pachelbel’s canon – it’s just everywhere. It really is something else. What you may not have seen, however, is footage of Jascha Heifetz playing it. As I have just discovered, Heifetz was a Lithuanian-born American who showed the 20th century how you really play a violin. His dexterity in the pizzicato sections is truly staggering.