The fullest story yet of the life and tragic death of Joseph Hassidmain
This online account of the sensational violinist – referenced as a character in my novel The Song of Names – has been compiled with many new documents by his cousin Gerald S. Spear.
On May 2, 1942 he was released to London in the company of his father and
Harold Holt, therapy overall having comprised 60 insulin induced comas and 25
electrically induced convulsions.
Lewin wrote… ‘his playing is more incredible and wonderful than ever before. Yet
there is some streak in it now that goes beyond understanding, an odd description
of him playing a tremendously difficult work like the Ernst concerto, deliberately
disrupting and multiplying its technical hurdles by ten, changing its double
stopping into three and four note chords, fantastically converting the slashing
single note runs into octaves and tenths, almost as if to torture himself with his
fabulous mastery, to conquer and destroy it.’…
Read on here.