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Fritz Kreisler was a highly accomplished violinist and composer in the early 20th century. His compositions are regularly performed as encores and in recitals. In addition to performing the classic repertoire and his own compositions, Kreisler was known for premiering violin arrangements of unknown compositions by famous 17th and 18th-century composers, such as Vivaldi, Pugnani, and von Dittersdorf.
Except the compositions weren’t written by those famous composers. Instead, they also were Kreisler’s compositions – written so skillfully in the styles of the old masters that many experts were fooled.
The truth finally came out in 1935 when a music researcher pushed for more information about the original works Kreisler had arranged for violin. Kreisler eventually admitted that he had written the compositions early in his career when he wanted to enlarge his repertoire. He thought it would be “inexpedient and tactless” to perform…