Karl Ristenpart

Biography

Born: January 26, 1900; Kiel, Germany   Died: December 24, 1967; Lisbon, Portugal  
This German conductor was heavily involved in creating three orchestras in his lifetime, most notably the Chamber Orchestra of the Saar. With this group he is often considered to have created one of the definitive recorded collections of Bach's orchestral music. These recordings originally saw the light of day in the early '60s as a Nonesuch release on both LP and cassette. Following an out of print period, it was cause for celebration among Bach Read more lovers when the French Accord label released a six-CD set comprising the entire set of Ristenpart recordings of Bach orchestral works. The conductor and his colleagues from Saarbrucken have also recorded impressive performances of works by Mozart and Haydn, among others. The lasting fame he received for these interpretations of Baroque music and Mozart overshadowed the fact that as the head of the Saar orchestra he brought in works by approximately 250 composers, at least half of them considered modern or contemporary. A possible influence in this direction was Ristenpart's mother, Paula Schramm, later Pauline Rettig. (Her second marriage was to Hermann Scherchen, the politically active conductor responsible for the premiere performances of what were at the time controversial pieces by composers such Berg and Xenakis).

Ristenpart studied at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin and Vienna, the latter city exerting a strong musical influence. In 1932, he was chosen as a conductor of the Berlin Chamber Orchestra, which also came to be known as the Chamber Orchestra of Karl Ristenpart. He also led a series of concerts with the Berlin Radio Orchestra, but began to have great difficulty in his career as a young conductor in Germany when the Nazis came to power. Following World War II, with that city divided into several foreign sectors, he was named conductor for "Radio in the American Sector of Berlin" or the Chamber Orchestra of R.I.A.S., the second of his important periods of orchestra development. This was the beginning of his breakthrough to fame as a conductor, although the post-war political situation created many financial problems for German radio broadcasting in the early '50s.

He first began working as conductor with the Chamber Orchestra of the Saar in 1953, and the ensuing collaboration with Ristenpart was fruitful, leading to many tours, recordings and partnerships with premier soloists such as flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal. Approximately 170 albums featuring Ristenpart and this orchestra have been marketed all over the world. These include several albums of Bach vocal cantatas, including an Archiv production featuring baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Herman Totcher playing oboe and oboe da caccia. Ristenpart was later based in Portugal, where he died in the late '60s. Unfortunately, the Chamber Orchestra of the Saar was unable to survive the dimming of its guiding light. German author Charles W. Scheel has published a biography of Ristenpart, so far available only in German from the Saarbrücker Druckerei und Verlag (printing and publishing house). Read less
Browse 1-16 of 16 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Archiv Produktion 1947-2013
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001833572 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Anonymous,  Adam de la Halle,  Raimbaut de Vaqeiras  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Hermann Töttcher,  Maria Jung  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart,  Fritz Lehmann,  Maurus Pfaff,  Safford Cape  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Karl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra,  Bach Festival Orchestra,  Frankfurt Music School Chorus  ... 
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  • 2.
    Music of Old Cities & Royal Courts
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 283312 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gregor Joseph Werner,  Frederick the Great  ... 
    Performer:  Tivadar Bantay,  Christa Richter-Steiner,  Theo Altmeyer,  Lisa Otto  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernhard Paumgartner,  Karl Forster,  Wolfgang Meyer,  Hans von Benda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica,  Baryton Trio,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    The Art Of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001717702 Release Date: 08/21/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Moore,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Hermann Töttcher,  Jörg Demus  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Otto Gerdes,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Karl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    The RIAS Bach Cantatas Project / Ristenpart, RIAS Kammerorchester & Kammerchor
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 21415 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Lorri Lail,  Annelies Westen,  Gerda Lammers,  Lilo Rolwes  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus,  Berlin RIAS Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Rias Boys Chorus
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  • 5.
    Maurice Andre Edition: Suites, Dances And Arrangements
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4676062 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Traditional,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Jean-Michel Defaye  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Karius,  Maurice André,  Gus Wallez,  Guy Pedersen  ... 
    Conductor:  Claude Pichaureau,  Marc Soustrot,  François Rauber,  Claude Lagrange  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Municipale D'alès,  Ensemble of Bologna,  Ensemble De Cuivres De Paris  ... 
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  • 6.
    Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Haffner Serenade / Ristenpart
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 5046661512 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saar Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 7.
    Maurice Andre Edition - Concertos Vol. 1
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4695722 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Marcel Lagorce,  Lionel André,  Pierre Pierlot  ... 
    Conductor:  Theodor Guschlbauer,  Jean-François Paillard,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Karl Ristenpart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.  ... 
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  • 8.
    111 - The Collector's Edition 2 [56-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4779142 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Harling,  Robert Lloyd,  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Nelson,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerzy Semkow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus  ... 
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  • 9.
    Icon - Fritz Wunderlich
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 29525 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Heinrich Finck,  Heinrich Isaac,  Adam Krieger,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Naumann,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Otto Steinkopf,  Gerhard Kastner  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Forster,  Hans Müller-Kray,  Berislav Klobucar,  Robert Heger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin St. Hedwig Cathedral Choir,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Haydn: Trumpet Concerto; Cello Concerto / Andre, Barboteu, Coursier
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 6661552 Release Date: 05/11/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Maurice André,  André Navarra,  Georges Barboteu,  Gilbert Coursier
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Karl Ristenpart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Saar Chamber Orchestra
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  • 11.
    40 Most Beautiful Love Themes - Vivaldi, Mozart, Debussy, Etc / Mehta, Ristenpart, Haitink, Scimone, Masur, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 511598 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Alessandro Marcello,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Sharon Isbin,  Cyprien Katsaris,  Alessio Bax,  Chloë Hanslip  ... 
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal,  Armin Jordan,  Paul Mann,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Basel Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Alain Marion - A Life In Music
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 298502 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Louis Noël Belaubre,  Alain Marion,  Jean Barthe,  Angèle Dubeau  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart,  Raymond Guiot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sarre Chamber Orchestra,  Orchestre Symphonique
    CD: $34.49
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  • 13.
    The Most Relaxing Flute Album In The World... Ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 33596 Release Date: 10/04/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Erik Satie,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Arthur Honegger  ... 
    Performer:  Ransom Wilson,  Mariko Anraku,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Philippa Davies  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Louis Auriacombe,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Karl Ristenpart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Nash Ensemble,  Toulouse Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 14.
    Original Masters - Dietrich Fischer-dieskau
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000480502 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Carl Orff,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini,  Frank Martin  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Jörg Demus,  Hertha Klust,  Karl Engel  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Frank Martin,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Dietrich Fischer-dieskau - Bach And Brahms
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 5013 Release Date: 07/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Hertha Klust
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Karl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Motet Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    Bach: Kantaten / Fischer-Dieskau, Lehmann, Ristenpart
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 449756 Release Date: 11/11/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Maria Jung,  Helmut Krebs,  Hermann Töttcher
    Conductor:  Fritz Lehmann,  Karl Ristenpart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Festival Orchestra,  Frankfurt Music School Chorus,  Karl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra
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