Ludwig Hoelscher

8.99 €

sold out

LUDWIG HOELSCHER plays Dvorák, Valentini, Bach, Grieg and Chopin

‘Wartime German Radio Recordings’

1. DVORÁK: Rondo in G minor, Op.94 [08:20]
2. VALENTINI: Suite for cello and piano [12:00]

Recorded · 17 April 1943 · Berlin · Masurenalle · Haus des Rundfunks · Saal 2 · Reichssender Berlin · Radio Studio Recording
Ludwig Hoelscher · cello
Ferdinand Leitner · piano

3. BACH: III. Courante, Cello Suite No.3 in C Major, BWV 1009 [02:10]
4. BACH: IV. Sarabande, Cello Suite No.3 in C Major, BWV 1009 [02:05]
5. BACH: IV. Sarabande, Cello Suite No.6 in D Major, BWV 1012 [03:34]

Recorded · 30 October 1944 · Berlin · Masurenalle · Haus des Rundfunks · Saal 2 · Reichssender Berlin · Radio Studio Recording
Ludwig Hoelscher · solo cello

6-8. GRIEG: Cello Sonata in A minor, Op.36 [29:36]
9-10. CHOPIN: I. Allegro moderato and III. Largo, Cello Sonata in G minor, Op.65 [13:55]

Recorded · 24 November 1944 · Berlin · Masurenalle · Haus des Rundfunks · Saal 2 · Reichssender Berlin · Radio Studio Recording
Ludwig Hoelscher · cello
Michael Raucheisen · piano

Additional Information

Article number: MC 3002
Release date: 02 May 2014
UPC barcode: 0791154050446
Total time: 71:43

Producer and Audio Restoration: Lynn Ludwig
Booklet Notes: Michael Waiblinger
Design: Alessia Issara
Photographs: Landesarchiv Bayern, München
With special thanks to Ulrich Karla
From the Original Masters · © 2014 Meloclassic

Ludwig Hoelscher was born on August 23, 1907 in Solingen, Germany. He was the youngest of three children and was encouraged to play the cello by his father Heinrich, a jeweler and amateur violinist, who had set out to establish a “family string quartet”. His mother Elisabeth Humberg was a housewife. He began studying cello at age five. He received cello training from Hugo Becker, Julius Klengel and Wilhelm Lamping in Cologne, Munich, Leipzig und Berlin. On November 11, 1919 he gave his first public performance in Solingen. In 1930, he won the Mendelssohn Prize in Leipzig. He became well known when he met the German pianist Elly Ney in 1929. For the trio they recruited violinist Wilhelm Stroß, and they began their first tour together on 15 January 1932. The trio began touring all over Europe in England, Scotland, Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, Spain, and Sweden. They founded another piano trio to which the violinist Max Strub also later belonged.

His professional career in the thirties flourished in direct proportion to the enforced emigration of leading cellists in Germany. His remaining in Germany tarnished his international renown. In 1935 he appeared in Zwickau in the Schumann festival playing the Schumann Cello Concerto under Carl Schuricht. He also performed Schumann’s Piano Trio, Piano Quartet and Piano Quintet with Elly Ney (piano), Florizel von Reuter (violin) and Walter Trampler (viola). Hoelscher became part of the second Strub Quartet, formed in 1935, with Max Strub (1st violin), Jost Raba (2nd violin) and Walter Trampler (viola). This quartet collapsed in 1939 on Trampler’s emigration to United States.


Hoelscher is generally recognized as having been an ardent Nazi, hence his enthusiastic cooperation. No other Reich cellist, and perhaps few artists at all, promoted the Nazi cause with such dedication. In 1937 he became a member of the German Nazi Party NSDAP. His appearances also included concerts at the first Reich Music Days (Reichsmusiktage) in Düsseldorf in 1938, a recreation center, spas, and before German youth at an Adolf Hitler School and Reich Youth Leadership organization.

Furthermore, Hoelscher had completed some radio recording sessions, which would have also been used for propaganda purposes. He became appointed professor of cello at Staatliche Akademische Hochschule für Musik Berlin in April 1937 and professor of cello at Mozarteum in Salzburg in 1938. He played the Brahms Double concerto with the violinist Max Strub and the Vienna Symphony under Karl Böhm in Vienna on 13 December 1938. During World War II, he appeared in cultural propaganda programs in countries occupied by the Nazis. Just a few months before the war ended, on 2 December 1944, he played in Cracow with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the General Government (Philharmonie des Generalgouvernements) based on an invitation by Hans Frank, the appointed Governor of Poland would preside not only over the establishment of ghettos for over three million Jews, but also saw himself as a conveyor of higher German culture to replace inferior Slavic efforts in this sphere. In 1944, he was added to the Gottbegnadeten list (God-gifted list). This list exempted the designated artists from military mobilization during the final stages of World War II. He was the only cellist on the list. He spent the last days at the end of World War II at his house in Tutzing, Bavaria.


He was temporarily prohibited from performing publicly by the Allied Military Governments after the war, as was the situation for most of the German artists who had remained active during the Third Reich. By early February 1946, Hoelscher began to play repeatedly at Carl Jung’s residence, taking part in private concert series such as the “Musiktage in Schloß Boosenburg” (Music Days at Castle Boosenburg). Above all, he performed chamber music in an ensemble that was founded as a result of Jung’s soirées and became known simply as the Gieseking-Taschner-Hoelscher Trio. In the same month, Hoelscher had begun to tour the French zone, giving chamber music concerts with Gieseking. In her account of the informal gatherings organized by her father-in-law, Ursula Jung recalled the trio’s first concerts: “After the cellist Hoelscher and pianist Gieseking played only solo or duo works during the first five concerts, three fascinating days of music followed in which piano trios by Brahms and Schubert were played.” In 1947 he co-founded the Bach Week in Ansbach (Germany), a festival of concerts featuring the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.


When Gieseking passed away on 26 October 1956, Hoelscher wrote one of the more touching condolence letters, who was in Tokyo when he learned of the news: “The great tragedy that you have endured by the sudden death of your beloved father is also a tragedy for the entire musical world, for his friends, and also for me, for I had the great fortune, an unforgettable experience, to be able to make music at his side. And those years together were filled with so much human warmth, harmony and joy that a treasured friendship with him and all of you developed from it, one that has lived inside me ever since then. As terrible as the car accident was, when you lost your mother, at least your father was spared the worst. As before, he then travelled the world, as before his audiences were happy to witness such inimitable perfection through your father’s playing. Your dear parents live inside me as loved friends, your father as the most beautiful example of a gifted, sublime human being and artist.”

He held a teaching post at the Stuttgart School of Music from 1954 to 1972. He had undertaken tours throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. He was a prominent performer of contemporary German academic music, performing for the first time more than 50 new works, including works by Wolfgang Fortner, Karl Hasse, Joseph Rheinberger, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Hans Pfitzner, Walter Gieseking, Karl Höller, Harald Genzmer, Hans Werner Henze, Ernst Krenek, Heinrich Sutermeister, Peter Jona Korn, Günter Bialas und Wilhelm Keilmann. He may have been one of the greatest cellist of the modern, 2oth century style.

Hoelscher died on May 8, 1996 in Tutzing, Germany.

© Michael Waiblinger 2014

Download CD Front Cover · High Resolution

Download CD Tray Cover · High Resolution