Comic Relief

I’m working late tonight, as I often do on Tuesdays. To ease my toil, I generally listen to classical music on Pandora; one of today’s highlights was the pyrotechnic allegro ma non troppo from the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for Violin and Orchestra in A Minor, by Camille Saint-Saëns, as played by the incomparable, and instantly recognizable, Jascha Heifetz.

I couldn’t remember how long ago Heifetz had died, so I took a moment just now to look him up on Wikipedia. (It was 1987.)

The article contained two little anecdotes that I enjoyed so much I thought I’d post them here. The first took place at Heifetz’s Carnegie Hall debut, when he was only sixteen:

On October 27, 1917, Heifetz played for the first time in the United States, at Carnegie Hall in New York, and became an immediate sensation. Fellow violinist Mischa Elman in the audience asked “Do you think it’s hot in here?”, whereupon the pianist Leopold Godowsky, in the next seat, imperturbably replied, “Not for pianists.”

The second: somewhat later, Heifetz told Groucho Marx that he had been earning his living as a musician since the age of seven. Groucho’s repsonse: “And I suppose before that you were just a bum.”

OK — back to my oar, or I’ll get a taste of the lash.

PS — one more thing, from the One Eyed Man: jokes for intellectuals.


  1. the one eyed man says

    On one of Jascha Heifetz’s albums, he identifies one of the pieces he plays as “unquestionably the greatest piece of music ever written.” A pretty bold statement. Care to guess what it is?

    Posted March 11, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Wow. I figure it’s got to be either the Chaconne from Bach’s Partita for Violin #2, or Honey, by Bobby Goldsboro.

    Posted March 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    I have a recording of that Chaconne, by Gregory Fulkerson, that would make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

    Somehow I can’t seem to find my copy of Honey.

    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink
  4. Jokes for intellectuals? Ha! What a joke! I could laugh.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink
  5. the one eyed man says

    Ding! Ding! We have a winner! It was the Chaconne.

    Probably because the album pre-dates the recording of Louie Louie. The Kingsmen really gave JSB some stiff competition.

    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  6. Dom says

    Groucho’s joke reminds me of something PG Wodehouse said: “I’ve been writing stories since I was five. Before that I just loafed.”

    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink
  7. Apropos #12:

    Guy asks, “Is it journey of a thousand miles …?” or ” … journey of 10 thousand miles …?”

    Computer guy replies, “There is not difference in hex.”

    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    Both begin with a single step.

    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink
  9. A thousand (hex) = 10 thousand (dec)

    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  10. Malcolm says

    Forgive me, Henry, but that’s not correct.

    1000 hex = 4096 in decimal.

    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  11. A (hex) = 10 (dec)

    The “thousand” is spelled out so as not to be treated as part of the “number”.

    It’s a joke, Malcolm.

    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink
  12. bin digits: 01
    oct digits: 01234567
    dec digits: 0123456789
    hex digits: 0123456789ABCDEF

    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Permalink
  13. A little geopolitical humor:


    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
  14. Malcolm says

    Ah. I know my hex, of course, being a programmer. The joke, however, sailed right over my head. Sorry.

    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink
  15. No problem, bro.

    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink
  16. Bill says

    That was a lot of fun! especially the comments. Many thanks to One-Eye. (There’s a statement I never thought I’d make)

    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

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