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Mozart, Beethoven, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Leitner

Release Date: 09/26/2006 
Label:  Profil   Catalog #: 4062   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartMax BruchLudwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Wolfgang SchneiderhanRudolf Koeckert
Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony OrchestraBamberg Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Wolfgang Teubner’s notes for Profil’s release of works for violin by Mozart, Bruch, and Beethoven don’t make perfectly clear what’s being featured: the Romance as exemplified by the slow movements of Mozart’s and Bruch’s Violin Concertos and Beethoven’s explicitly titled Romances or the conductor, Ferdinand Leitner. It couldn’t be the violinists, for no mention is made in those notes of Rudolf Koeckert or of the rather severely classical Šev?ík (and Flesch and Kulenkampff) student, Wolfgang Schneiderhan. Nevertheless, these solid performances from the Read more early 1950s (Mozart from November 1952, Bruch from May of the same year, and Beethoven from August 1953), restored by THS Studio Holger Siedler from the collection of Dr. Jens-Uwe Völmecke, also provide a snapshot of German/Austrian violin-playing during the period. Perhaps due to Schneiderhan’s German classicism, though he hardly fades in Joachim’s showy cadenzas to Mozart’s concerto, he doesn’t take through movement proper—or anywhere else in the work, for that matter—a dramatic stance foreshadowing later relationships with the orchestra. But every rule has its exception, and the bold opening recitative of Bruch’s concerto offers a marked contrast to his generally ascetic manner; yet a true authenticist should, of course, rise to the challenge of heroic works as well as to those of Mozart’s chamber-like concertos. Schneiderhan doesn’t burn with Menuhin’s divine fire, challenge Heifetz’s taut virtuosity, or even approach Stern’s ruddy ardor in the Fifth Concerto. But while the performance doesn’t sound stodgy, its virtues grow inward rather than outward toward the listener. And Menuhin, Heifetz, and Stern, no matter how intellectual their preparation, delivered crackling oratory, even on recordings. Still, Schneiderhan employs old-fashioned portamentos and rubatos in Bruch’s slow movement, allowing its humanity, though less of its sentiment, to peer more than tentatively through the disciplined exterior; and he comes charging out of his corner in a dashing finale. The engineers captured Rudolf Koeckert and the Bamberger Symphony with greater transparency and spaciousness, effectively showcasing the soloist’s and the conductor’s relatively massive conceptions of two of Beethoven’s relatively lightweight works. It’s hard not to discern, through the differences in the recorded sound, that Koeckert’s the more outgoing, brilliant soloist.

Only an occasional pop remains from the original source material. But since the recorded sound in Mozart and Bruch hardly enters the third dimension, Schneiderhan’s tone emerges as a more schematic than a palpable representation. Much of the breadth and depth of the orchestra’s sonority in both works having been lost, Bruch’s richer accompaniment offers more for an evaluation of Leitner’s work than Mozart’s does. Recommended to students of music history as documents of an era of performance practice that’s yet to be thoroughly investigated and that’s just now becoming more widely available on historical reissues. Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Violin no 5 in A major, K 219 "Turkish" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Wolfgang Schneiderhan (Violin)
Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1775 
Date of Recording: 11/1952 
Length: 27 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Concerto for Violin no 1 in G minor, Op. 26 by Max Bruch
Performer:  Wolfgang Schneiderhan (Violin)
Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Germany 
Romance for Violin and Orchestra no 1 in G major, Op. 40 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Koeckert (Violin)
Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1953 
Length: 7 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Romance for Violin and Orchestra no 2 in F major, Op. 50 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Koeckert (Violin)
Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1953 
Length: 8 Minutes 17 Secs. 

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