donderdag 27 oktober 2011

The human car-magnet… Abbey Simon (b. 1922)

Some guys have all the bad luck… Take Abbey Simon, pianist. Pupil of the legendary Josef Hofmann. He had a rocketing career in the 1950’s; a contract with Philips and all the potential to be “one-of the-greats”. That is, until he also attract the attentions of passing cars,  or… cars hat had the tendency NOT to pass, but to hit him… The first one was when he tried (I said tried) to cross the road in front of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. #Not. He slowly recovered from the accident,  that is until, well; you get the picture I guess… In 1954 his magnetism was focussed on pianism still, and inside the Concertgebouw hall (relatively save) he recorded Grieg’s piano concerto in a minor with the Residentie orchestra from the Hague (famous in that period!) and Willem van Otterloo conducting. As if it should be that way; the record was a “dump” from a… Hospital radio station ;-)
Click here for the MP3’s, right mouse-click if you want to save them on your computer.

zaterdag 22 oktober 2011

Your alternative suicide music…

Serendipity. When I was linking the Odnoposoff video in my last post, I finally found an other record I was looking for for ages… It’s the ultimate funeral or “oh-my-god-I-want-to-kill-myself” alternative for Albioni’s Adagio, (the people who know the brilliant Swedish arthouse movie “Fucking Amal” will probably know what I mean… :) called The Chaconne by Vitali. Equal to Albioni’s Adagio, it’s a fraud too… But who cares, sob along, light some candles and unashamedly let yourself flow in the stream of pseudo-baroque sadness… Especially when these qualities of the music are heightened by the violin playing of Ricardo Odnoposoff in this 1952 MMS recording. The appropriate inauthentic organ continuo by Heinz Wehrle comes as a bonus…

donderdag 20 oktober 2011

Ricardo Odnoposoff and my regret for hesitation...

Sometimes, you are just too late… In 2003 I found out that violinist Ricardo Odnoposoff, then 89 years old, was alive and kicking and living in Vienna. He had a new hobby, digital photography, and up-to-date enough in cyberspace to have an E-mail address where could reach him. I just found out his MMS recordings and had tons of questions about those subscription label records, which were pioneering in taking classical music to a new audience. Finally, when I had my questions ready in 2004 I learned Ricardo Odnoposoff had just passed away. Sometimes, you are just too late…

Ricardo Odnoposoff was born in Buenos Aires in 1914 of Russian emigrants. He studied with Leopold Auer and Carl Flesch. His career has spanned decades and he has played with all of the great conductors and orchestras of the world in that time. In the Concourse Musical International Reine Elizabeth of 1937, David Oistrakh won the first prize with 1620 points, and Ricardo Odnoposoff came second with 1564 points.

His activities during 1950-51 are evidence of his world-wide reputation: 48 engagements, 15 with orchestra, in Europe; a sold-out North American tour of 56 engagements; 49 engagements, 29 with orchestra, in Australia!

In my opinion, Odnoposoff resembles opera singer Benjamino Gigli in his statue as a performer; Not always the most "lucky" musical decisions, but boy what a tone!!

The following record was taped in 1950 for the infamous Allegro label. The (rare!) record itself lies in the vaults of the Dutch NOB fonotheek, the restoration of the sound recording was my job… Below the youtube movie is a HD link for better sound quality. All movements are in one movie (saves running to the computer :)

Ludwig van Beethoven:

Violin sonata no 4 in a minor op 23

Ricardo Odnoposoff, violin

Otto Herz, piano

woensdag 19 oktober 2011

Seven minutes of amazement… Authentic Ives from 1938

About two years ago an anonymous collector posted one 78rpm gem after another on youtube, just to disappear and leave his collection for prosperity … One of the records he left was this 1938 one with six songs of Charles Ives , sung by Mordecai Bauman (1912-2007) on the “New music quarterly” label. “Authentic Ives”, with a distinctively different, “heavier” pre DFD style of singing. Pianist is Albert Hirsch. Follow this link for seven minutes of amazement…

1. Charlie Rutlage
2. Evening
3. Resolution
4. Ann Street
5. Two little flowers
6. The greatest man

Go see the doctor…

When you visit a physician, you expect to walk away with all sorts of things. Hope, answers, maybe despair or clarity, even if the news is bad… But you actually do not expect to walk away with a bag of old LP’s. :-) That’s what happened to me last year. I told my physician about my hobby, collecting and restoring classical LP’s, and immediately he went into an other room and voila, I could transfer some very fine performances I did not heard before! The name “trio de Trieste” might not ring many bells today, but from 1933 till 1995 (!) this trio performed thousands of times around the world and recorded for HMV, Decca and Deutsche Grammophon. The original line-up consisted of Dario di Rosa, piano; Renato Zanettovich, violin and Libero Lana, cello. The latter was replaced in 1962 by cellist Amedeo Baldovino, who can be heard in this 1966 recording of Schubert’s second piano trio in E flat op 100 D929. Maybe not as passionately performed as other recordings of this trio, inward looking and loaded with suspense rather then brilliant fireworks. But didn’t Schumann said about this trio that it was “full of repressed fury and impassioned nostalgia”? Hope you will enjoy the performance! All the movements are put into one youtube file, something I like more than run to the computer every 15 minutes after a movement is over… Sound quality improvers when you put the video on HD quality, (720p) (HD direct link)