S0405. WALTER BARYLLI, w.Krauss Cond. Vienna Phil.: Violin Concerto #4 in D, K.218, recorded 23 April, 1944; WALTER BARYLLI & PAUL DOKTOR, w.Prohaska Cond. Vienna Staatsoper Orch.: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, K.364, recorded 1951, Westminster (both Mozart). (Austria) Preiser 90760. - 717281907606
"This Preiser release of a long-ago historical recording is remarkable in several ways; first, that the principal artist represented was still living at the time of its release. Second, it is the first release ever of this 23 April, 1944, recording of violinist Walter Barylli performing Mozart's Fourth Violin Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic under Clemens Krauss. Preiser does not specify if this recording comes from disc or a tape, but the sound is absolutely spectacular for 1944; it must be an early magnetophon tape. In any event, the recording was discovered in the archives of the Stiftung Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv in 2006, and the 1951 Westminster recording used as companion piece - with Barylli, legendary violist Paul Doktor, and the Vienna Opera Orchestra in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante.
Walter Barylli is an Austrian violinist who had a distinguished career based in his native Vienna, as Konzertmeister of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, founder and leader of the Barylli string quartet, and Professor of violin at the Vienna City Academy. Walter Barylli was born in Vienna on 16 June 1921. He studied at the Vienna Music Academy with the Philharmonic Konzertmeister Franz Mairecker, and in Munich with Florizel von Reuter, a violinist who had achieved outstanding success early in life. In 1936 Barylli gave his first public performance as a soloist in Munich, and made his first gramophone recordings in Berlin. Over the next two years he made an international career as a soloist. Mairecker advised him that in autumn 1938 a first violin desk would become available with the Vienna Philharmonic. Travelling to the audition at Vienna by train from Stuttgart on 12 March 1938, Barylli became aware of the preparations for the invasion of Austria and realised he must make his career with an orchestra rather than as a travelling soloist: he won the position and became a member of the VPO.
During the War he first brought the Barylli Quartet together. He re-founded it in 1945, but its life in public performance lay mainly between 1951 and 1960. The group became the 'home' quartet of the Vienna Musikverein. They performed in Europe and overseas, and made several appearances at the Salzburg Festivals. The group concentrated on classic repertoire, especially Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, Schubert and Brahms. They collaborated with Antoine de Bavier, Jörg Demus, Paul Badura-Skoda, Edith Farnadi and Wilhelm Huebner.
Urgently recommended for its value as a historical document no less than for its exuberant- occasionally transcendent- readings, especially of the Sinfonia Concertante."
"Clemens Heinrich Krauss was a leading Austrian conductor, particularly associated with the music of Richard Strauss, who got to his major positions by the resignation of conductors less sympathetic to the German Nazi regime.
His mother was Clementine Krauss, a leading Viennese actress and singer. He was also related to Gabrielle Krauss (1842 - 1904), an important nineteenth century soprano. His father was a figure in the Austrian Imperial Court. When Clemens went into music, he used his mother's name because of its theatrical history.
He made the rounds of regional centers, conducting in Riga (1913 - 1914), Nuremberg (1915), and Sczeczin (1916 - 1921). The latter appointment gave him ample opportunity to travel to Berlin to hear Artur Nikisch conduct the Philharmonic, a major influence. His next appointment was back in Austria, where he became director of the opera and symphony concerts in Graz. In 1922 he joined the conducting staff of the Vienna State Opera and teacher of the conducting class at the State Academy of Germany. In 1923 he became conductor of the Vienna Tonkünstler Concerts (until 1927), and Intendant of the opera in Frankfurt am Maine and director of the Museum Concerts in 1924, until 1929.
He visited the United States in 1929, conducting in Philadelphia and at the New York Philharmonic. Also in 1929 he was appointed director of the Vienna State Opera. Its orchestra, in its independent concert form as the Vienna Philharmonic, appointed him its music director in 1930. He was a regular conductor at the Salzburg Festival from 1926 to 1934. In 1933 and 1934 he gave up his Vienna positions, becoming director of the Berlin State Opera in 1935 after Erich Kleiber resigned in protest over Nazi rule. Leaving Austria for Nazi Germany was no hardship for Krauss, who was a friend of both Hitler and Göring. In 1933 he took over the preparations for the premieres of Strauss' opera ARABELLA when the principled conductor Fritz Busch left. In 1937 he was appointed Intendant of the Munich National Theater, following the resignation there of Knappertsbusch. He became a close friend of Richard Strauss, wrote the libretto to the opera CAPRICCIO (which he premiered in Munich in 1942), and DER LIEBE DER DANAE. He also conducted the premiere of Strauss' anti-War cantata FRIEDENSTAG.
After the Munich opera house was bombed, shutting it down, he returned to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra until it closed shortly before the end of the War (1944-45). After the War, Allied officials investigated his pro-Nazi activities and because of them forbade him from appearing in public until 1947. Notably, however, they also found that he had frequently acted to assist a number of individual Jews escape the Third Reich machine. When his ban was lifted he resumed frequently conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, including its famous New Years Day concerts.
He conducted at Covent Garden in London (1951 to 1953) and in the 1953 Bayreuth Festival [whose RING of that season is famously notable]. He was married to the soprano Viorica Ursuleac. He was in Mexico on vacation when he died there in 1954."
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com