S0212. LILLIAN FUCHS: The Six Suites for Cello Unaccompanied (Bach). (Canada) 2-Doremi 7801/02, recorded 1952-1954. [This recording is a rare presentation of Bach's Cello Suites played on the viola instead of the cello. The recordings were made from 1952-1954.] - 723724589629
"Lillian Fuchs was considered the FIRST LADY OF THE VIOLA, and enjoyed a very successful career as a performer, composer, and teacher. Her students at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music became the elite players of the viola in the US and her influence is still very much alive, 14 years after her death. The Bach suites that she recorded in the beginning of the 1950's were received with unanimous praise by her contemporaries, but since then they have disappeared from the market and have become collectors’ items….I was left with the sensation of having shared a unique moment, of the kind that transcends fashion or trends, and that can rightfully be called a legendary performance."
- Laura Rónai, FANFARE, Sept./Oct., 2005
“Lillian Fuchs, a renowned violist, composer, teacher and keeper of musical tradition, was ‘one of the best string players in America’, Harold C. Schonberg wrote in THE NEW YORK TIMES in 1962, and she went on to become one of the most respected string teachers in the world. She taught from 1962 to 1991 at the Manhattan School of Music, from 1964 to 1990 at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and from 1971 to 1993 at the Juilliard School, where she was an emeritus member of the faculty until her death.
‘I just developed quietly because nobody paid any attention to me even in my family’, she told THE STRAD magazine in 1986. ‘They were always fussing over Joseph. I didn't mind at all. I was delighted to be left alone’. She studied violin with the noted Franz Kneisel at the New York Institute of Musical Art, now the Juilliard School, and graduated with highest honors in 1924.
Ms. Fuchs made her New York début on the violin in 1926, but soon shifted her concentration to viola. She collaborated often in performance with her brother Joseph and her other brother, Harry, a cellist. She played in a number of chamber groups, notably the Perole String Quartet and the Musicians Guild, and appeared as a soloist with major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Casals Festival Orchestra.
Ms. Fuchs was the first violist to perform and record the six Bach suites written for solo cello. ‘The measure of an artist is the silence he or she can inspire’, Ross Parmenter wrote in THE TIMES in 1948 of her performance of the Sixth Suite. ‘The silence for her performance was so intense that someone rattling cellophane in the back of the hall was an irritation to almost the whole audience’.
Ms. Fuchs was an important teacher of chamber performance as well as of the viola. Her first pupil, she said in the 1986 STRAD article, was ‘this boy from the West Coast’: Isaac Stern. She also taught Pinchas Zukerman, and encouraged him to play viola as well as violin.”
- James R. Oestreich, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 7 Oct., 1995