C1716. SERGIU CELIBIDACHE Cond. RAI S.O., Torino, w. IDA HAENDEL: Violin Concerto in a (Casella), Live Performance, 13 March, 1957; SERGIU CELIBIDACHE Cond. Stuttgart Radio S.O., w. RONY ROGOFF: 'To the Memory of an Angel' Violin Concerto (Berg), Live Performance, 21 Oct., 1976. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-834. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Ida Haendel, the Polish-born prodigy with a fiery sound and unassailable technique who became one of the foremost violinists of her generation, was a student of the noted pedagogue Carl Flesch and the composer, pianist and violinist George Enescu, Ms. Haendel was a living link to an early-20th-century school of violin playing centered on simmering sound and dramatic phrasing. In lyrical passages, her ardent vibrato and swooping portamento lent her playing a strong vocal character, while her articulation in virtuosic passagework could be crisp to the point of percussive.
An example is her 1955 recording of the Brahms concerto with Sergiu Celibidache, a conductor with whom she had a close and sometimes tumultuous working relationship. Her signature piece was the Sibelius Violin Concerto which she played with a contained urgency that the critic Geoffrey Norris in THE TELEGRAPH of London once described as ‘fire and ice’ and ‘mind-blowing’. After a 1949 performance in Helsinki, Sibelius wrote her a letter and congratulated himself ‘for having found a performer of your standard’.
Until the 1980s, Ms. Haendel was virtually the only woman among the top tier of concert violinists. In later decades she complained about being sidelined by younger players in a market that prized attractive new faces. But well into her 80s she embraced any opportunity to play. In a 2004 documentary by the Dutch director Paul Cohen, she declared matter-of-factly, ‘I am the violin’.
The cellist Steven Isserlis, who played Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Ms. Haendel and the pianist Martha Argerich, said Ms. Haendel’s music making always conveyed passion. ‘It was strong, vibrant, focused and came from right deep inside her’, he said in a phone interview. ‘She really was the violin - there was no separation’.
Ms. Haendel, then living [in London], gave her first Proms concert in 1937 at the Queens Hall, playing the Beethoven concerto under the direction of Henry Wood. Her family was Jewish, and her father, who was in London with her and sensed that war was imminent, arranged for Ida’s mother and sister to join them in Britain. They became British citizens. During the war, Ms. Haendel performed for British and American troops and was featured in the morale-boosting concerts at the National Gallery put on by the pianist Myra Hess.
She entered into a fruitful artistic collaboration with the conductor Rafael Kubelik, with whom she recorded Bruch’s first violin concerto in 1948 and Beethoven’s in 1951. She also worked with the conductors Thomas Beecham, Charles Munch, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Simon Rattle, among others.
Her advocacy for the concertos written by Britten and Walton helped bring them into the mainstream. She also performed the premiere of Allan Pettersson’s second violin concerto in 1980 and was the dedicatee of Luigi Dallapiccola’s ‘Tartiniana Seconda’ in 1957. She was one of the first Western soloists to be invited to perform in China, part of a 1973 tour with the London Philharmonic.
Ms. Haendel moved to Montreal in 1952 and several decades later settled in Miami Beach. She lived in a house that she had bought for her father so he could be near the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, a close friend. She never married. She spoke of feeling unattractive and invisible to men. ‘Not only my father thought of me as an instrument only’, she said in one interview. Asked in the 2004 documentary what it had been like to be a child prodigy, she said, ‘I was old’, adding, ‘I’m more of a child now’.
Ms. Haendel traveled in 2006 to Auschwitz, where she played the Prayer from the ‘Dettingen Te Deum’ by Handel for a delegation including Pope Benedict XVI. Her recorded performance of the simple melody is impassioned, her tone anguished yet irrepressibly vibrant.
He said she often returned to a memory from early childhood. When she was a little girl practicing, her father would be listening in the other room and he would say, ‘I hear what you’re playing, but what does it mean?’ That question stayed with her, her entire life.”
- Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 8 July, 2020
"Rony Rogoff is the only violinist who uses the proper proportion for any given style and the best Mozart player in existence. He is one of the few who understand the meaning behind the notes and is capable of bringing it through." –
“Rony Rogoff was born in Israel and was taught initially by his father, who was a founding member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and by Ramy Shevelov. He then studied at the Juilliard School in New York with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay as well as in Switzerland with Joseph Szigeti.
As a soloist he was accompanied by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta, as well as by the leading orchestras in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo, Manila, Caracas, the radio orchestras in Copenhagen and Stuttgart, the Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the 'Rheinland-Pfälzische Staatsphilharmonie' under conductors like Sergiu Celibidache, Leonard Bernstein, Enrique García Asensio, Aldo Ceccato or Arthur Fiedler.
The long lasting collaboration with Sergiu Celibidache was the most influential in Rogoff’s professional life. Not least, the continuous exchange with many international first class artists has helped him to develop into one of the most experienced violin teachers of our time. Indeed, the teaching practice has become more and more important for Rogoff and is claiming more and more of his time. His master classes for violin and chamber music in South America, Japan, the Philippines, Italy, Austria (summer school of the Mozarteum) and Germany (working for nine years continuously in CJD institutions Elze and Berchtesgaden) have become legendary.
In 1994, Rogoff started founding a chamber orchestra with students in Italy. Initially situated near Vicenza and named 'I Cameristi - La Scuola di Rony Rogoff', the orchestra quickly gained an outstanding reputation and was soon invited to the renowned Italian festivals in Bologna and Venice. In Venice they performed Brahms’ complete chamber music as well as the first Serenade for Orchestra. The cycle was recorded live and issued on CD (released by Mondo Musica and highly praised by the media in Germany and Italy). After becoming incorporated into the Fondazione Cini in Venice the orchestra was renamed as 'Accademia Musicale di San Giorgio'. Recorded performances of demanding works like Bruckner’s String Quintet, Richard Strauss’ Metamorphoses, Arnold Schönberg’s 'Transfigured Night' and 'Suite in G', Béla Bartók’s Divertimento, as well as symphonic works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, etc., demonstrate the unique qualities of this ensemble. He worked as the Artistic Director of the ensemble until 2002.”
- El Sistema, Venezuela
"Celibidache was the most phenomenally gifted musician. He could shape a piece any way he liked, and did....of his musicianship, his ability and his showmanship there can be no doubt. His intellect was prodigious - he spoke fifteen languages, or it may have been thirty. Who knows? He was a truly, truly great musician. He was certainly a character and conductor one can't ignore in terms of the development of conducting in the second half of the twentieth century".
- Norman Lebrecht
"The transcedentally-endowed Romanian conductor, Sergiu Celibidache, studied Philosophy and Mathematics at the University of Bucharest. In 1936 he went to Berlin and continued his studies, largely concerning himself with wave mechanics, but also with musical studies. He wrote his doctorate on Josquin des Pres. From 1939 to 1945 he studied at the Berlin College of Music under Fritz Stein, Kurt Thomas and Walter Gmeindl.
After completing his studies, Sergiu Celibidache was immediately able to work with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra because the orchestra's previous conductor, Wilhelm Furtwängler, was suspected of collaboration and received no permit for public performances. For three years, he conducted most concerts of the famous orchestra and proved his exceptional personality. After Wilhelm Furtwängler's return as the head of the orchestra he mainly worked as a guest conductor without committing himself to any single orchestra for a long period because his demands were almost impossible to fulfill, and he himself was not willing to make any concessions to his musicians or audience. At first, he continued to work mainly with Berlin orchestras - the Philharmonic Orchestra and the RIAS Berlin Radio Orchestra. After the appointment of Herbert von Karajan as the principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Celibidache did not conduct the orchestra again for another 37 years.
1948 saw the debut of Sergiu Celibidache in London. Then he frequently conducted in Italy. From 1959 he was regularly invited by the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra. From 1960 to 1962 he held master courses at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena; the young conductors were extremely keen to be admitted. In 1962 he became the director of the Stockholm Radio Symphony Orchestra, which he completely rebuilt. From 1973 to 1975 he was the primary permanent guest conductor of the French Orchestre National. In 1979 he became the director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, which he made one of the best orchestras in the world. In Munich he held master courses in orchestral conducting. Despite his severe illness he didn't stop conducting until a few months before his death."
- Zillah D. Akron