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Rosl Schmid

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Rosl Schmid was one of the major German pianists of the 20th century, but has now unjustly faded into obscurity. These concertos were recorded in the 1940s and 1950s, at the height of her power, and are appearing on CD for the first time. Judging by these performances, she not only had great technique but also brought a keen lyrical and dramatic sense to her playing. Our discovery of rare recordings brings her artistry back into the present.


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ROSL SCHMID plays Beethoven, Weber and Strauss

1-3. BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No.2 in B-flat Major, Op.19 [28:07]
Rosl Schmid ∙ piano
Großes Münchener Rundfunkorchester
Joseph Keilberth ∙ conductor
Recorded ∙ 02 August 1943 ∙ Munich ∙ Sendesaal ∙ Reichssender München ∙ Radio Studio Recording

4. WEBER: Konzertstück in F minor for Piano & Orchestra, Op. 79 [16:02]
Rosl Schmid ∙ piano
Deutsches Philharmonisches Orchester Prag
Joseph Keilberth ∙ conductor
Recorded ∙ 08 January 1945 ∙ Prague ∙ Smetanasaal ∙ Reichssender Prag ∙ Radio Studio Recording

5. STRAUSS: Burleske for Piano and Orchestra in D minor, AV 85 [18:47]
Rosl Schmid ∙ piano
Bamberger Symphoniker
Joseph Keilberth ∙ conductor
Recorded ∙ 16 April 1958 ∙ Bamberg ∙ Dominikanerbau-Kulturraum ∙ Bayerischer Rundfunk ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Additional Information

Article number: MC 1013
Release date: 02 May 2014
UPC barcode: 0791154050132
Total time: 62:57

Producer and Audio Restoration: Lynn Ludwig
Booklet Notes: Michael Waiblinger
Design: Alessia Issara
Photographs: Valentin Kubina
With special thanks to Peter Ziegler
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2014 Meloclassic

Rosina ‘Rosl’ Schmid was born on April 25, 1911 in Munich. Rosl came from a middle-class family: her father Theodor was porcelain maker and her mother Amalie Reissner was housewife. Rosl began to study the piano at the age of five with Stephanie Hudnik, who didn’t charge any money for Rosl’s piano lessons. In 1917, she played for the wife of Duke Karl Theodor in Bavaria at the House of Wittelsbach. She continued her studies with Walther Lampe (1872-1964), a pupil of Clara Schumann, at the Academy of Music in Munich. She later took courses in composition from Joseph Haas. At the age of 16, she became organist at the Theatinerkirche. She made her début in 1929 playing Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto with the Munich Philharmonic under Siegmund von Hausegger.

She received the Felix Mottle Prize on graduating from the academy in 1931 and began her first major German tour in 1932, appearing with Herrmann Abendroth, Rudolf Volkmann and Hermann Zilcher. In 1936 she married Ernst August Schmidt and continued her studies with Robert Teichmüller (1863-1939) in Leipzig between 1938 and 1939. Teichmuller studied with Reinecke, Zwintscher, Paul and Jadassohn at the Leipzig Conservatory and embarked on a concert career. Nerve damage ended his career on the stage and he fashioned himself into a piano instructor. His reputation grew and he was hired in 1887 to lead the advanced classes in Leipzig and in 1908 he was made head of the department. In addition to his duties at the Conservatory, he was a prolific editor of the music of Bach, Mozart, Rubinstein, Reger, MacDowell, Liadoff, Balakriev and many more composers. Teichmuller list of pupils is quite vast including important pianists, composers and musicians of the period: Erwin Schulhoff, Eileen Joyce, Alfred Kitchen, Günther Ramin, Sigfrid Karg-Elert, Harry Dean, Kurt Hessenberg, Rudolf Wagner-Régeny, Herbert Albert, Rudolf Mauersberger, Ernst Oster, Georg Zscherneck, Viggo Kihl, Rupert Gliddon, Josef Evans, Pierre Souvaian, Mihail Jora, Carl Rupp Doering & Wife, Livia Rév, Enid Payne, Rosl Schmid, Andreas Barban, Fritz Reuter, Willy Burkhard, Sina Berlinski, and Angelos Seraidaris among others.

Schmid 3She had been awarded the 9th Prize at the International Eugène Ysaÿe Competition in Brussels in 1938:
1st Prize: Emil Gilels
2nd Prize: Mary Johnstone
3rd Prize: Jakov Flier
4th Prize: Lance Dossor
5th Prize: Nivea Marino-Bellini
6th Prize: Robert Riefling
7th Prize: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
8th Prize: André Dumortier
9th Prize: Rosl Schmid
10th Prize: Monique Yver de la Bruchollerie
11th Prize: Marcella Barzetti
12th prize: France Colette Gaveau

One month after giving birth to her daughter Ursula (April 13, 1939), Rosl was awarded the 1939 National Music Prize, at the Reich’s Düsseldorf music congress on 21 May 1939, for being the best German pianist of the younger generation of soloists, together with another beneficiary, violinist Siegried Borries, and composer Werner Egk. She formed a duo with Borries and recorded Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op.24 in December 1940 for Electrola. During World War II, she primarily performed in Germany and Austria. Her career was interrupted once again after giving birth to her daughter Almuth (December 23, 1943). After 1945, she mostly toured in Germany and was a frequent guest (1949, 1950, 1953 and 1966) with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Josef Keilberth, who was a close friend of her. However her concerts activity was somehow curtailed, and she continued mainly as a teacher. She was named professor at the State School of Music in Munich in 1948, where she taught until 1977. Maria João Pires was one of her students in 1960s. She died November 20, 1978 in Munich.

Rosl Schmid was one of the major German pianists of the 20th century, but has now unjustly faded into obscurity. From the three assembled performances here on MeloClassic, 1943-1958, Schmid possesses a stunning digital arsenal, explosive and thoroughly idiomatic in the repertory she champions. In the company of veteran German conductor Joseph Keilberth (1908-1968), she finds a collaborator of equally enthusiastic, plastic temperament.

Rosl Schmid’s unpublished radio recordings:

05 October 1940 in Stuttgart, Raum 1, Reichssender Stuttgart
Mozart: Piano Sonata in A minor, K.310/300d
Mozart: Piano Sonata in A major, K. 331

28 March 1941 in Munich, Senderaum, Reichssender München
Pfitzner: Piano Concerto, Op.31
Münchener Philharmoniker
Hans Pfitzner, conductor

04 November 1950 in München, Studio 5, Bayerischer Rundfunk
Schumann: Piano Sonata No.1 in F-sharp minor, Op.11

21 January 1951 in München, Studio 1, Bayerischer Rundfunk
Schumann: Piano Sonata No.2 in G-minor, Op.22

16 November 1951 in Hamburg, Norddeutscher Rundfunk
Reger: 6 Intermezzi für Klavier zu 2 Händen, op. 45

11 May 1952 in Munich, Studio 1, Bayerischer Rundfunk
Robert Heger: Variationen und Fuge über ein barockes Thema für 2 Klaviere, op. 32
Fritz Hübsch, piano

10 April 1954 in Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Altes Funkhaus Eschersheimer Landstraße, Hessischer Rundfunk
Borris: Piano Sonata in C Major, Op.13

22 October 1954 in Munich, Herkulessaal der Residenz, Bayerischer Rundfunk
Pfitzner: Piano Concerto, Op.31
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Eugen Jochum, conductor

29 March 1957 in Munich, Herkulessaal der Residenz, Bayerischer Rundfunk
Hans Vogt: Piano Concerto
Münchner Philharmoniker
Fritz Rieger, conductor

11 February 1962 in Bremen, Glocke, Radio Bremen
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Bamberger Sinfoniker
Eugen Szenkar, conductor

© Michael Waiblinger 2014

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