S0368. ARNOLD ROSÉ: Bach, Simonetti, Wieniawski, Chopin, Popper, Svendsen, Ernst, Mendelssohn, Goldmark & Sarasate; Arnold Rosé & Alma Rosé: Concerto for Two Violins in d (Bach). (England) Symposium 1371, recorded 1902-29. - 760411371020
“Arnold Rosé made his first appearance in 1879 at a Leipzig Gewandhaus concert, and on 10 April, 1881 he appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic Society in the first Viennese performance of Goldmark's Violin Concerto under Hans Richter. Shortly thereafter he received an engagement as solo violinist and leader of the orchestra at the Hoftheater or Vienna Court Opera (later the Staatsoper). This orchestra, in unique Viennese tradition, played both in the orchestra pit and on the concert platform, and were the parent of the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra. He remained leader of these two venerable institutions until the 1930s. His reputation as an orchestral leader became legendary. For Sir Adrian Boult he was quite simply “Europe’s greatest orchestral leader of his time”. In 1882 he founded the famous Rosé Quartet who were regarded as the finest string quartet of their time. From 1893 to 1901 Rosé taught at the Vienna conservatory; he rejoined the faculty in 1908 and stayed until 1924. In 1888 Rosé made successful tours through Romania and Germany, and in 1889 was appointed concert-master at the Bayreuth Festival. The story is told that during a performance of Wagner’s Die Walküre the orchestra was losing its way. Rosé stood up and gave a confident lead, bringing the orchestra back together in pitch and tempo. Mahler, who was in the audience, is said to have exclaimed: “Now there IS a concertmaster!” Both Arnold and his brother Eduard, the cellist, were to marry sisters of Mahler. Gustav Mahler moved from Hamburg to Vienna in 1897 in order to take up the directorate of the Vienna Opera.
The Rosé family lived in comfortable circumstances, but life was never to be easy for Jews anywhere in Europe. Emperor Franz Josef had guaranteed “freedom of religion and conscience” in 1867, but the reality was often different. They had two children: Alfred (1902-1975), who became a pianist and conductor, and Alma (1906-1944) who was a very successful violinist, but whose career took a highly tragic turn as she ended up directing an orchestra of prisoners in the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. She eventually died in the camp. Arnold Rosé continued to play chamber music with Buxbaum and other colleagues. His last appearances were in 1945; thus his career stretched over 65 years. After he learned the terrible news of Alma's death at Birkenau, he found it difficult to continue with his work, and died soon afterward.”
- H. P. Casavant