Since Casals had renounced to perform any more, Feuermann was regarded as the greatest active cellist. Casals himself hold him in highest esteem, as an instrumentalist and as a musician. The whole musical world mourned him when he tragically died from surgery complications on May 25, 1942. He was only 39.
Emanuel Feuermann began teaching the cello at Curtis Institute in 1941, and he was going to teach also chamber music. There Istomin could meet him and attend his concerts, a complete series of Beethoven î and a recital at the Curtis on March 27, 1942. Feuermann played, among other works, the Schubert Arpeggione Sonata and Stravinsky’s Suite italienne. Istomin was “thrilled and entranced”, considering Feuermann the equal of his great idol, Jascha Heifetz. He told James Gollin: “I was a Heifetz-Feuermann man!” At that time, Istomin believed in the progress of performing art and was convinced that every new generation would surpass the previous one. Invited to Prades festival in 1950, he dreaded to be disappointed by an aging Casals, unable to rival with Feuermann’s virtuosity. We know what happened.
Emanuel Feuermann plays Schubert‘s Arpeggione Sonata.