Max Rostal ∙ Violin Recitals 1956-1965 ∙ 2 CD


Max Rostal was a child prodigy, beginning study of the violin at the age of five and giving his first recital the following year. He studied in Vienna with Arnold Rosé, concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic and brother-in-law of Mahler, but the most important influence on him was his apprenticeship with Carl Flesch in Berlin. Flesch was one of the first to bring a method into violin teaching and to study it factually. Rostal became his assistant in 1928 and two years later was the youngest professor at the Berlin High School. One of many Jewish musicians who left Germany for Britain in 1934 and later became British citizens, Rostal settled in London where at first he taught privately. In Britain, Rostal formed a partnership with the pianist Franz Osborn and together they appeared many times at Dame Myra Hess’s National Gallery wartime concerts. Those who have heard a rare early recording that Rostal made have described his playing then as every bit as marvelous as Heifetz at his best. It is all the stranger, therefore, that his career as a soloist with orchestra never quite fulfilled that promise. Our discovery of these rare radio recordings brings his outstanding artistry back into the present.

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MAX ROSTAL plays Bach, Beethoven, Biber, Brahms, Mozart and Paganini

CD 1

Brahms: Violin Sonata No 1 in G Major, Op 78
Max Rostal · violin
Maria Bergmann · piano

Recorded · 04 February 1956 · Baden-Baden · Studio 6 · Südwestrundfunk · Radio Studio Recording

Brahms: Violin Sonata No 2 in A Major, Op 100
Beethoven: Violin Sonata No 7 in C Minor, Op 30, No 2

Max Rostal · violin
Heinz Schröter · piano

Recorded · 10 March 1961 · Hannover · Studio A · Funkhaus · Norddeutscher Rundfunk · Radio Studio Recording

CD 2

Beethoven: Violin Sonata No 6 in A Major, Op 30, No 1
Max Rostal · violin
Heinz Schröter · piano

Recorded · 03 February 1961 · Bern · Funkstudio · Radio Bern · Radio Studio Recording

Beethoven: Violin Sonata No 3 in E-flat Major, Op 12, No 3
Max Rostal · violin
Ilse von Alpenheim · piano

Recorded · 03 June 1965 · Berlin · Saal 3 · Sender Freies Berlin · Radio Studio Recording

Mozart: Adagio in E Major, KV 261 & Rondo in C Major, KV 373
Paganini: Caprice No 20 in D major

Max Rostal · violin
Eugen Huber · piano

Recorded · 11 January 1958 · Bern · Funkstudio · Radio Bern · Radio Studio Recording

Bach: Violin Sonata in E minor, BWV 1023
Biber: Passacaglia in G minor for solo violin

Max Rostal · violin
Lothar Broddack · piano

Recorded · 10 July 1958 · Ettlingen · Schloss · Süddeutscher Rundfunk · Live Recording

Article number: MC 2033 ∙ Double CD
UPC barcode: 791154054376
Recording dates: 1956 – 1965
Release date: July 2016
Total timing: CD 1: 74:11 ∙ CD 2: 79:39
Booklet: 8 Pages
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2016 Meloclassic

October 2016 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Max Rostal plays Bach, Beethoven, Biber, Brahms, Mozart and Paganini
Which brings us to this twofer of radio inscriptions made in Germany and Switzerland between 1956 and 1965. His Brahms G major is full of gemütlich slides redolent of ingratiating Viennese charm which, allied to his slightly sentimental phrasing in places, delivered in his characteristically silvery tone, is certainly a very personal approach. So, too, is his sedate view of the sonata’s opening movement, ma non troppo being taken to the limits. His tone is somewhat dry – the opposite of opulent – and there are pinched, nasal moments along the way. Generally, his negotiation of some of the passagework is somewhat pedantic, and the reading as a whole rather lacks ‘lift’. Maria Bergmann plays well throughout. The A major suits him better temperamentally, one feels, and his tempi here are up to the mark. Maybe the fact that his regular chamber partner Heinz Schröter was on hand helped. There’s still a bit of tremulous phrasing but far less gesturing. The recorded sound of these disparate recitals is excellent as is the documentation.
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May 2017 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Max Rostal plays Bach, Beethoven, Biber, Brahms, Mozart and Paganini
In addition to a very limited number of commercial recordings, Rostal graced the radio stations on occasion. In London, he broadcast for the BBC. What we have here are several broadcasts he made in Germany and Switzerland between 1956 and 1965. The focus is on core Classical repertoire. Although remembered principally as a pedagogue and rather underrated as a violinist, these valuable recorded documents will hopefully go some way to redressing the balance. These are most enjoyable discs of generous playing time, and finely restored. Documentation, as always with Meloclassic, is first class. I don’t think anyone buying this twofer will be disappointed.
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