P0349. FRIEDRICH GULDA: Eroica Variations, Op.35 – recorded 1951, Genève; Sonata #28 in A, Op.101, recorded 1950, London (both Beethoven); w.Volkmar Andreae Cond. Vienna Phil.: Konzertstück in f (Weber), recorded 1955, Vienna. (Germany) Archipel 0336. Final copies. - 4035122403367
“Volkmar Andreae was one of the most important proponents of Bruckner’s music. Andreae was born in Berne, and as a young musician he often played piano for Brahms, a friend of Andreae’s parents. After studies in Cologne (1897–1900) and a two-year stint as a répétiteur at the Munich Opera, Andreae returned to Switzerland and worked as a choral conductor in Winterthur and Zürich. Andreae then attended a concert that completely altered the focus of his career. As he explained in 1951: ‘It all started when I heard Richard Strauss conducting Bruckner’s Third Symphony with the Berlin Tonkuenstler Orchestra at Zürich in 1902.... Deeply impressed by the music of Bruckner, I decided to dedicate my life to the service of the Austrian composer, who had died a few years before, virtually unknown outside of his native country.
There are perhaps two main reasons why Andreae is not better known today: his aversion to making studio recordings (‘I hate canned music’) and an apparent lack of interest in developing an international career. However, this was not due to lack of demand for his talents or unwillingness to travel. Again, as he wrote in 1951: ‘I regret deeply that I have not yet had a chance to present Anton Bruckner to musical audiences in the United States. When Gustav Mahler, who had heard one of my concerts, invited me to be his successor as conductor of the New York Philharmonic, I was unable to obtain a leave of absence from the Swiss Army, of which I was an officer’.
Andreae’s Bruckner style can be described as very direct, urgently swift, uncommonly lyrical, and expressive, with climaxes that are incredibly dramatic. All of these attributes exude a profound grasp of the music’s structure and a total familiarity with every musical nuance in the scores.”
- Jeffrey J. Lipscomb, FANFARE