Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wolfgang Schneiderhan (1915 –2002)


This is my post from this week's Tuesday Blog.


In past Once Upon the Internet posts, I have shared parts of recordings featuring first chairs of the Vienna Philharmonic such as Walter Barylli and, more recently, Leopold Wlach. Today, I add a third post featuring a longtime member of the famed orchestra, violoinust Wolfgang Schneiderhan.



Schneiderhan was born in Vienna where he primarily studied under Julius Winkler. At age 10 he publicly performed Bach's Chaconne in D minor. The next year he made his debut in Copenhagen playing theMendelssohn Violin Concerto. In the late 1920’s, he moved for a time to England before returning to Vienna to become the first Concertmaster of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra from 1933 to 1937, and from 1937 to 1951 led the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He nevertheless maintained his career as a soloist in concerts and recordings - He was the soloist in the Viennese premiere of Elgar's Violin Concerto in 1947, and in September 1952 he made his benchmark Deutsche Grammophon recordings of all ten Beethoven violin sonatas with Wilhelm Kempff in the Konzerthaus, Mozartsaal, Vienna.

He held teaching posts in Salzburg, Vienna and Lucerne. In 1956 he founded the Lucerne Festival Strings together with Rudolf Baumgartner. He gave the 1959 premiere of his friend Karl Amadeus Hartmann's revised Concerto funebre.

Today’s post features tracks I downloaded a few years back from the old Japanese site Public Domain Classic. The main feature is a “famous reference performance by Schneiderhan with Paul van Kempen conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra recorded with true audiophile sound quality of the BrahmsViolin Concerto in D, probably sometime in 1952.

To complete the post, I added a pair of Beethoven sonatas from the 1952 set he recorded with Wihelm Kempff.

Happy Listening!


(All tracks feature Wolfgang Schneiderhan, violin)

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Concerto For Violin And Orchestra In D Major, op. 77
Berliner Philharmoniker
Paul Van Kempen, conducting

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Sonata No.8 in G Major, op. 30, no. 3 
Violin Sonata No.10 in G Major, op. 96 ('The Cockcrow') 
Wilhelm Kempff, piano