CHUCK BENEDICT: Sometimes the joint appearance of a violinist and
pianist onstage indicates that the soloist is the violinist and the
pianist is his accompanist.
SIDNEY WEISS: True, but that's not what the Weiss Duo is all about.
Jeanne is a wonderful concert pianist, and when we perform together, we
select music written to spotlight the violin and piano equally.
The Mozart B Flat violin/piano sonata (K. 454) we have chosen to
include Sunday night is a striking example of a dual instrument
spotlight. There may be moments in each of the three movements when the
focus would appear to be on one instrument, but each of us is aware at
all times that what we seek is a perfect collaboration.
CB: Is it important that you be an established team, or are you
equally at home in recitals with other performers?
SW: I have played with a number of other fine pianists, and I can tell
you that what Jeanne and I have is unique. We have a natural blend of
feelings about the music. In our performance this Sunday, we are
comfortable with the fact that we have performed these works together
many times. One of the delights in concertizing with Jeanne is our blend
of understanding about the music we play.
CB: You must have played together for a long time.
SW: All our performing lives. We met as music students in Chicago, and
we have played together 47 years.
CB: Does it ever get to be "the same old thing?"
SW: Oh, no. It doesn't matter how many times you have played a good
piece of music, every time you play it you find something new that you
had not discovered before, and the challenge of making the most of that
is part of the continuing fun.
CB: Your love for music seems to be all-consuming, even to the point
where you have made, with your own hands, more than a dozen violins. Do
you always use your own violins in recital?
SW: Yes, for years. The one I will use March 16 is one I made in
1964. It is modeled after a long model Stradivari. Between 1690 and 1700,
he made about 30 of these models. I loved the sound which I have heard
from that collection, so I modeled this one accordingly.