C 818 101 B
C 819 101 B
C 820 102 B
C 821102 B
C 822 101 B It was in 1950 that Bruno Walter returned to Salzburg with the Fourth Symphony. Mahler was the man who had discovered Walter and furthered his career, and Walter had a quarter of a century earlier given the Fourth Symphony’s Salzburg première with the Vienna Philharmonic. He returned to conduct the symphony with the same orchestra in 1950, and as his soloist he brought Irmgard Seefried, whose voice was suitably joyful, yet also sounded as if lost in reverie. The symphony was followed by a gripping performance of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. Just a decade later, Rafael Kubelík made a similar pairing of Mahler with Viennese Classicism, again with the Vienna Philharmonic, when he performed Schubert’s Tragic Symphony No. 4 in c minor D 417 and Mahler’s Lied von der Erde. The Schubert symphony, with its melancholic opening movement and pugnacious closing Allegro, led as it were seamlessly into the fatalistic drinking song at the beginning of the Mahler and into the evening ambience of the ensuing movements. With Hilde Rössel-Majdan and Waldemar Kmentt, Kubelík had two soloists who were able to follow superbly the conductor’s precise phrasing and his ability to spread out the work’s sound colours before them.
In that same year – the last before the opening of the new „Great“ Festspielhaus – Leonard Bernstein came as a guest with the New York Philharmonic, of which he was chief conductor. Thus one of the most impressive musical personalities of the age arrived together with one of the American orchestras richest in tradition. Bernstein’s own work The Age of Anxiety, his Second Symphony for Piano and Orchestra (with Seymour Lipkin as piano soloist, negotiating agilely a musical language that ranged from Romanticism to jazz), impressed the public as much as did Dmitri Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, in which Bernstein realized brilliantly its grandiose climaxes and plumbed its musical depths.
Less emotional in his choice of works, but more virtuosic and full of spirit was the young Lorin Maazel, who four years later jumped in to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic. Maazel proved his touch with the sentimental and grotesque contrasts of the High and Late Romantics by presenting an unusual programme that featured Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony and Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel as its cornerstones. Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto formed a moment of repose in the centre of the programme, a work that Maazel, the orchestra and the soloist Géza Anda savoured in the loveliest spirit of unanimity.
It was Anda who, two years later, offered an evening devoted solely to works by Frédéric Chopin – another birthday boy in 2010. The 24 Preludes op. 28 were on the programme, as were the 12 Etudes op. 10 – hitherto unavailable in Anda’s interpretation – and the „second dozen“ of Etudes op. 25. This was a true tour de force, though that is not how Anda approached them, possessed as he was of a superb technique and high culture of touch. Rather are they a wholly uplifting, truly magical musical experience.
As an outstanding concert partner for the great orchestras and in his own solo recitals, Anda demonstrated a flexibility that was already a tradition in Salzburg, one founded anew by the instrumentalists of the early post-War years. Edwin Fischer was undoubtedly at the forefront here. He displayed his brilliant, infallible musicality in his trio performances with Wolfgang Schneiderhan and Enrico Mainardi, in solo recitals, and not least in the piano concertos that he performed as soloist-cum-conductor with the Vienna Philharmonic (he was one of the founding fathers of this particular interpretive art and possessed the authority that comes with it). All this is to be heard in our new collection in memory of Fischer, with recordings from the years 1946-54. There are piano concertos by Mozart, piano trios by the same composer, Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms, and then in Fischer’s final, gripping concert for the Salzburg public, we hear Beethoven’s sonatas opp. 28, 53 and 111.
Fischer’s long-time cello partner, Enrico Mainardi, was also almost an institution in Salzburg, both as master and mentor. In a duo with Carlo Zecchi on the piano, he constructed a filigree arch leading from Beethoven’s op. 102 No. 1 via Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata D 821 to Brahms’s op. 38, demonstrating masterly control and a superior ability to realize the contrapuntal aspects of the give-and-take of ensemble playing.
Nicolai Gedda, accompanied by Erik Werba, achieved a similar feat in the realm of the lied – and did it in four languages and with songs from the most varied epochs. The Swede Gedda found an enthusiastic audience in his song recital of 1959, offering lucidity in the manner in which he combined different registers and in the mellifluousness of his vocal line. His programme brought together compositions from Falconieri to Respighi and from Glinka to Shostakovich. Our series finds its culmination in a more „select“ group of songs by Hugo Wolf and Franz Schubert that Elisabeth Schwarzkopf sang between 1953 and 1963, with accompanists of the calibre of Wilhelm Furtwängler and Gerald Moore. Schwarzkopf’s diction and the manner in which she moulds the text in Wolf’s Spanish and Italian Songbooks have remained exemplary to the present day, and enabled her to make these works properly known for the first time. It also allowed her to make Schubert songs such as Gretchen at the spinning wheel and Love has lied into self-contained mini-dramas.
Chormusik & Oratorien
Edition zeitgenössisches Lied
Symphonie & Konzert