Philippe Hirshhorn. Nothing about him has changed over the years gone by. The feeling I get pronouncing (writing) his name is still the same – the stinging of vinegar on an open wound. I tell myself – don't scratch it!


Those who leave us before their time do not age – we age. Though the images of those taken by the current may fade in time, it is they who don't recognize us, not we, them. But for Hirshhorn, it is the other way around. The aura surrounding him – known to connoisseurs – does not pale with time or for lack of worthy recordings. After all, how can one convey in a recording what is essentially beyond the sound of the violin itself? Had he not become a violinist, had fate chosen a different path for him, he would have been just as dazzling.


A great master of the Italian Renaissance exclaimed once with horror: "O, time, destroyer of things!" In Hirshhorn's portrait, there is nothing to be destroyed, nothing to decay in the grave. Materiality is absent. What we have is the memory of Phaeton – a blinding flash which gives rise to myths. "The myth of Hirshhorn" – why not? As a mythical figure, he could be the hero in a movie bearing his name. Starring Alain Delon, Vittorio Gassman, Gerard Philippe… Three points, three notes, each a third higher than the last. The triad is always in minor, even when it is written in major.

Leonid Girshovich