P1188. FRIEDRICH WÜHRER: Beethoven & Schubert. (Germany) Meloclassic 1023, recorded 1952 & 1954, Stuttgart. Final sealed copy! - 791154053997
“Friedrich Wührer was one of the prominent representatives of the Austro-German school piano school. Wührer was revered as the sublime master by other great pianists of his time, especially by Walter Gieseking, Wilhelm Backhaus, and Wilhelm Kempff. Wührer recorded the first nominally complete cycle of Schubert’s piano sonatas, but he did not record commercially Schubert's ‘Wanderer Fantasy’ nor Beethoven's ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonate. Our unique CD collects these German radio recordings for the first time ever.
Friedrich Wührer was born on 29 June, 1900 in Vienna. His performing career began in the early 1920s, and he toured Europe (Russia, Spain, England and Czechoslovakia) and the United States in 1923. He was one of the first pianists to include piano works by Reger, Schönberg, Bartok, Mjaskowsky and Feinberg in his recital programs.
Wührer was a founder of the International Society for Contemporary Music in Vienna. He formed friendships with composers Hans Pfitzner and Max Reger, and became associated with Arnold Schönberg and his circle, participating in performances of Schönberg’s setting of 15 poems from ‘Das Buch der hängenden Gärten’, op. 15; his PIERROT LUNAIRE as part of a touring company presenting the work in Spain; and Webern’s Pieces for Cello and Piano, op. 11. Wührer also performed music by Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, and Paul Hindemith. Wührer made his Salzburg Festival début in 1938.
Wührer continued his advocacy for modern works at least into middle age. For instance, he gave the premiere of Pfitzner’s Sechs Studien für das Pianoforte, op. 51, of which he was the dedicatée, shortly after its composition in 1943, and in the 1950s he performed the Piano Concerto, op. 21, which was written in 1939 by Kurt Hessenberg. Nonetheless, notwithstanding his pioneering work for music of the Second Viennese School and other moderns of his day, Wührer’s principal focus as a performer, his posthumous reputation, and his recorded legacy came to rest on performances of music from the romantic era, particularly works in the German and Austrian traditions.
Wührer made numerous commercial phonograph records. While his discography includes 78 rpm records, such releases are outnumbered by his output during the early LP era, which was mostly for the American Vox label. Among his LP recordings was the first nominally complete cycle of Schubert’s piano sonatas.
Friedrich Wührer died on 27 December, 1975 in Mannheim.
- Margaretha Wührer-Jungbluth
“Meloclassic was founded in by Lynn Ludwig in Germany in December 2013, the label dedicated to releasing previously unissued historical recordings of live radio performances and broadcasts. Whenever possible, the discs include original radio announcements and applause. The recordings are meant to serve as historical documents. The sound quality tends to remain extraordinarily quiet, with no trace of tape or wire hiss."
—Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition, 20 July, 2014
"According to its website, Meloclassic is a ‘non-profit organisation dedicated to releasing previously unissued historical recordings of live radio performances and broadcasts’. The first thing to say is that the material, or most of it, is of exceptional artistic interest, and the sound (which is for the most part extremely clean) is thankfully free of excessive filtering….I look forward to hearing further releases in the not-too-distant future.”
- Rob Cowan, GRAMOPHONE, April, 2014
"Presentation is in a digipack with notes ‘tipped’ in – with excellent photographs, by the way, and helpful text, in English in the case of my copy. Surveying the available discs and seeing details of some of those to come - many violinists, chamber ensembles and pianists – I have no hesitation in saying that this is potentially the most exciting tranche of broadcast material to be made available in many years."
- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWebInternational, 14 June, 2014