C1952. FRITZ RIEGER Cond. ORTF Orch.: A Midsummer Night's Dream - Overture (Mendelssohn; Symphony #8 in F (Beethoven); Suite française d'après Rameau (Egk); w.IVRY GITLIS: 'To the Memory of an Angel' Violin Concerto (Berg), Live Performance, 6 April, 1967, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées; FRITZ RIEGER Cond. Münchner Phil., w.HANS RICHTER-HAASER: 'Emperor' Piano Concerto #5 in E-flat (Beethoven), Live Performance, 16 Feb., 1972, Hercules Hall, München. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1182. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“The Israeli violinist, very much a musician’s musician, is not so well known to music lovers in general perhaps because he was never signed by a major record label and his art was focused on live music-making. His deeply personal, idiosyncratic interpretations, though, won him numerous admirers, particularly fellow violinists.
Born in Haifa, Gitlis studied with Mira Ben-Ami before travelling to France, at the suggestion of Bronislaw Huberman who helped to raise funds. In Paris, he studied with Marcel Chailley, and then, at the Paris Conservatoire, with Jules Boucherit. Later, he’d work with Georges Enescu, Jacques Thibaud and Carl Flesch.
After the war, which he spent in London, he took part in the Long-Thibaud Competition, taking fifth place. A move to the United States followed and he undertook a number of tours, perming under the batons of Eugene Ormandy and George Szell. The 1960s saw concerts in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Odessa, making him the first Israeli violinist to play in the USSR.
In 1972 he founded the Festival de Vence as part of his aim to make classical music accessible to all, and he performed with musicians from all genres to break down barriers. He continued to perform into his late eighties, and a number of live recordings were released. To mark Gitlis’ 90th birthday Decca France issued a four-CD collection ‘Ivry Gitlis – The Violin Virtuoso’.
Gitlis is the subject of a documentary by Tony Palmer and he was one of the commentators in Bruno Monsaingeon’s classic ‘The Art of Violin' from 2001. He also appeared in a number of films in acting roles.”
- GRAMOPHONE, 29 Dec., 2020
“Hans Richter-Haaser became a pupil of Hans Schneider at the Dresden Academy of Music, where he won the Bechstein Prize when he was 18. He made his début in Dresden (1928), and thereafter performed throughout Germany and worked as a freelance pianist, conductor and composer until 1939. During World War II, where he had to serve the German Wehrmacht from the first to the last day of the World War II, he had no opportunity to play for years on end, while fighting with an anti-aircraft unit, and his technique slipped; however, he regained it after the war. Other than Kempff, Gieseking or Rummel, he wasn’t included to the German God-gifted list assembled by Goebbels and Hitler. A prisoner of war at the end, he resumed playing in U.S. military hospitals and later conducted orchestras in several small German towns.
In 1946 he moved to Detmold where he took over the artistic direction of the city orchestra. But by 1947 he had already been entrusted with a piano masterclass and became professor in 1953. This must be seen as a substantial foundation for the rank and renown of the Detmold Music Academy, and he hold this position until 1963. In 1949, he returned to the concert circuit and in the ensuing years his recitals in London, Paris, The Hague and other European capitals, performances at the Edinburgh Festival, and appearances with orchestras under such famous conductors Karajan, Böhm, Paray, Jochum, Fricsay and Sawallisch soon earned him a post-war reputation as one of Europe’s foremost pianists in the spectral romantic traditions, preceded by a reputation throughout Europe as the successor of Gieseking and Backhaus.
His American début in 1959 clearly proved him to be one of the biggest keyboard talents to arrive in Manhattan in years. His recital a year later at Carnegie Hall on 12 December, his only New York recital of the season, Herr Richter-Haaser played a program of Schubert, Beethoven, Liszt and Debussy. Three elements of his controlled and sensitive touch were evident in the Schubert c-minor Sonata (Opus Posth.). In the Liszt Ballade #2 in b minor, the pianist produced a wonderfully clear, pure and sometimes ringing tone. In the impressionistic ‘L’lsle Joyeuse’ by Debussy, he carried off the soaring scale passages with marked clarity of tone and apparent ease. Beethoven’s ‘Fantasia in g minor’ followed. The most distinctive and attractive trait in Herr Richter-Haaser’s tone was brought out in the Beethoven Sonata, in A-Flat Major, Op. 110 - a piercing, sonorous, ringing quality.
His recordings are however, sadly, few and far between. He also was a composer of 2 piano concerti, chamber music, piano pieces, and songs.
Richter-Haaser died in Braunschweig on 13 December, 1980, aged 68.”
- Michael Waiblinger
“Rieger was born in Oberaltstadt, Karkonosze, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary. From 1931 to 1938 he worked in Prague. In August 1941 he became director of the Bremen Opera, and in August 1944 he took up the position of director of the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra. Rieger was a member of the Nazi party.
In 1949 Rieger was announced as the chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra by the city government, replacing the modernist Hans Rosbaud who had been appointed by U.S. occupation authorities. According to author David Monod, the decision to release Rosbaud and replace him with the ‘young and relatively unknown but suitably conservative’ Rieger was caused by a desire to attract larger audiences with more traditional programs, a necessity in the wake of currency reform in the western part of Germany. In 1952, Rieger announced that the orchestra would eliminate almost all modern music from its concerts. Rieger continued to lead the Munich orchestra until 1966. Fritz Rieger was chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 1971 to 1972. He died in Bonn, Germany, on 20 September 1978.”