Discussion:
A. Busch/ F.Busch Beethoven Violin Concerto
(too old to reply)
c***@yahoo.com
2005-12-04 00:44:18 UTC
Permalink
My first exposure to Adolf Busch was quite recent, when I got from BRO
(it's still available) the excellent APR set of Busch/Serkin sonata
recordings, which features superlative playing from Busch and
surprisingly good sound. So I was excited to find his Beethoven VC a
few days ago on Archipel. But this issue seems like trouble: I vaguely
recall reading that the opening measures of this performance went
missing on the original tape, and here it seems to me that an alternate
performance has been surreptitiously patched in (the tempo is a bit
slower, the ambience a bit different). Can anyone confirm?

Also a problem is that Busch's violin tone is edgier and harsher than
on the APR disc, and overall the sound quality is quite artificial.
While I'm sure the original source here is nowhere near as good as
that of the Busch/Serkin studio recordings, I really wonder what
Archipel has done here. (Also, the Brahms Double Concerto w/ Hermann
Busch, cond Kletzki, that provides the Archipel coupling sounds like it
is pitched sharp. Again, can anyone confirm?)

This is all a pity because the performance is fabulous, a lovely
classical rendition with a beautifully developed line, lots of rhythmic
backbone, and a gorgeous slow movement The accompaniment by Fritz is
also inspired: the opening of the slow movement for example, is
as good as I've heard it (easily one of the best things I've heard
from Fritz).

Is there a more recommendable cd version?

Tia
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-12-04 01:53:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@yahoo.com
My first exposure to Adolf Busch was quite recent, when I got from BRO
(it's still available) the excellent APR set of Busch/Serkin sonata
recordings, which features superlative playing from Busch and
surprisingly good sound. So I was excited to find his Beethoven VC a
few days ago on Archipel. But this issue seems like trouble: I vaguely
recall reading that the opening measures of this performance went
missing on the original tape, and here it seems to me that an alternate
performance has been surreptitiously patched in (the tempo is a bit
slower, the ambience a bit different). Can anyone confirm?
Also a problem is that Busch's violin tone is edgier and harsher than
on the APR disc, and overall the sound quality is quite artificial.
While I'm sure the original source here is nowhere near as good as
that of the Busch/Serkin studio recordings, I really wonder what
Archipel has done here. (Also, the Brahms Double Concerto w/ Hermann
Busch, cond Kletzki, that provides the Archipel coupling sounds like it
is pitched sharp. Again, can anyone confirm?)
This is all a pity because the performance is fabulous, a lovely
classical rendition with a beautifully developed line, lots of rhythmic
backbone, and a gorgeous slow movement The accompaniment by Fritz is
also inspired: the opening of the slow movement for example, is as good
as I've heard it (easily one of the best things I've heard from Fritz).
Is there a more recommendable cd version?
I have it on CD as Istituto Discografico Italiano IDIS 334. I used to have
a private LP pressing made by Brüder Busch Gesellschaft, which (if you
examined it closely enough you could tell) was pressed by HMV....
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Ward Hardman
2005-12-04 06:07:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by c***@yahoo.com
My first exposure to Adolf Busch was quite recent, when I got from BRO
(it's still available) the excellent APR set of Busch/Serkin sonata
recordings, which features superlative playing from Busch and
surprisingly good sound. So I was excited to find his Beethoven VC a
few days ago on Archipel. But this issue seems like trouble: I vaguely
recall reading that the opening measures of this performance went
missing on the original tape, and here it seems to me that an alternate
performance has been surreptitiously patched in (the tempo is a bit
slower, the ambience a bit different). Can anyone confirm?
Also a problem is that Busch's violin tone is edgier and harsher than
on the APR disc, and overall the sound quality is quite artificial.
While I'm sure the original source here is nowhere near as good as
that of the Busch/Serkin studio recordings, I really wonder what
Archipel has done here. (Also, the Brahms Double Concerto w/ Hermann
Busch, cond Kletzki, that provides the Archipel coupling sounds like it
is pitched sharp. Again, can anyone confirm?)
This is all a pity because the performance is fabulous, a lovely
classical rendition with a beautifully developed line, lots of rhythmic
backbone, and a gorgeous slow movement The accompaniment by Fritz is
also inspired: the opening of the slow movement for example, is as good
as I've heard it (easily one of the best things I've heard from Fritz).
Is there a more recommendable cd version?
I have it on CD as Istituto Discografico Italiano IDIS 334. I used to have
a private LP pressing made by Brüder Busch Gesellschaft, which (if you
examined it closely enough you could tell) was pressed by HMV....
And how do these sound, and is the intro patched in? Or was this just
an ego-splurge?
Mark Obert-Thorn
2005-12-04 02:54:27 UTC
Permalink
This was recently reissued on Biddulph 80211-2. The opening there is
not patched in from some other performance as it is on some other CD
issues.

Mark Obert-Thorn
Fred Maroth
2005-12-05 07:03:14 UTC
Permalink
And soon you'll be able to the live perf. from the day before, in good
sound, to be released for the first time on Music & Arts CD-1183 in March
2006... Tully Potter writes about this recent find in his liner notes:

"
During January and February 1942, Fritz Busch conducted the New York
Philharmonic-Symphony in a series of concerts for the orchestra's centennial
season at Carnegie Hall, and Adolf was soloist in four. He had thought of
playing the Brahms Concerto but it was allotted to Heifetz; and so on 29 and
30 January he introduced New Yorkers to the Reger Concerto, in his own
manuscript reworking, 'something that is very dear to my heart', as he put
it to Fritz. To hear the Busch brothers perform the Reger Concerto, many
people today would walk as far as Bach did to hear Buxtehude, but the New
York critics knew better: Olin Downes complained of 'the grossness, the
complacency, the tedium and the execrable taste of this concerto',
describing it as 'beer and sausage in unlimited proportions', and Oscar
Thompson, who condescendingly referred to the brothers as 'the two sturdy
lads from Westphalia', found it 'an indifferently dull concerto'. By
contrast Robert Sabin, editor of Musical America, said that the performance
he heard was among the most memorable musical experiences of his life; and
even the critics had to report that soloist and conductor were heartily
applauded and called back several times.



On 7 and 8 February the Busch brothers again collaborated with the
Philharmonic-Symphony, in the Beethoven Concerto, Adolf airing a new set of
cadenzas written the previous year. Fortunately Downes - who had written of
a 1939 Busch performance of the Beethoven with Barbirolli that 'there is no
denying that there are longueurs in this concerto' - was not present but the
Saturday-evening interpretation gained mixed notices, the best being very
good, the worst very bad; and perhaps the violinist was not at his best. Two
critics indicated that he seemed nervous - hardly surprising, when it was
his first performance for years of a work he had been accustomed to play
almost every week. He was certainly in excellent form on the Sunday
afternoon: the CBS network broadcast was taken down by at least two home
recordists and one of those documents is here released for the first time.
It makes an admirable corrective to the official Columbia recording, made
next day at Liederkranz Hall. Unfortunately the production was delegated to
the talented but inexperienced Goddard Lieberson. Busch was palpably under
strain in the opening movement, his nervousness exacerbated by Lieberson's
insisting he stand on a raised platform, which made him feel remote from his
brother and the orchestra and brought him too close to the microphone. The
resulting poor balance caused him to reject the recording and it was not
issued until after his death.



The live performance is everything one might expect. Fritz Busch's opening
tutti is a model, flexible without changing tempo all the time (Walter),
classical without holding the music in a straitjacket (Toscanini) or
over-accenting (Solti). As the Allegro ma non troppo develops, we hear how a
great classical conductor can hold things together firmly and positively,
yet unobtrusively. Adolf's account of the solo part is altogether more
assured than in the studio, beginning with the broken octaves at his first
entry. There is no obvious point-making in the first movement, even in the G
minor episode, but Busch has a way of getting under the skin of the music
without having to 'do' much. The performance seems to go more quickly than
in the studio, yet the timings for all three movements are virtually
identical in both performances (great musicians do not change their tempi
overnight). The Larghetto, which for many players is no more than an
intermezzo, is the heart of the Busch interpretation. Beethoven's
instruction 'dolce' brings rapt concentration, rather than mere sweetness,
and in the passage marked to be played on the two lower strings - where
Leonid Kogan and Yehudi Menuhin were always at their best - Busch seems to
move into another world. The finale, in which the Busch brothers create
something more substantial than usual, without compromising Beethoven's
bucolic frolic, has some delightfully spontaneous touches. How fortunate
that both this performance and the Brahms are supported by such an excellent
orchestra as the NYPSO.



By further good fortune, in that same month of February 1942 Busch recorded
both Beethoven Romances for the WOR radio station in New York. The orchestra
was the station's own and the conductor was the WOR director of music, the
former cellist Alfred Wallenstein. Although these pieces are not the equal
of the Larghetto in the Concerto, they are very pleasing in the hands of a
master. Busch used to play them a good deal before the war - one or other of
them would often be included in his marathon concerto programmes - and he
certainly had the measure of them. His interpretations are admirable
examples of his wonderful rhythmic control in slower music, and his tone is
here heard at its best.



For Hans von Bülow and later German musicians, the 'three Bs' were Bach,
Beethoven and Brahms. All three were meat and drink to Busch, who was one of
the great Bach players of his time. In the early 1930s HMV wanted to record
him in the D minor Double Concerto with Menuhin; but he refused to take
part in what he saw as a publicity stunt and the recording was offered
instead to Menuhin's other teacher George Enescu, who proved more
accommodating. In the fullness of time Busch did record the Double Concerto
(partnered by his pupil Frances Magnes) and the E major Concerto for
American Columbia with his Chamber Players; but for some reason he did not
get round to the A minor. So it is serendipitous that this live performance,
in excellent sound, has survived from a broadcast of one of the Chamber
Players' regular subscription concerts in Town Hall, New York. The outer
movements display some of Busch's characteristic staccato but the heart of
the interpretation is the slow movement, in which his famous long, slow bow
strokes are in evidence - he could hold a single bow longer than any of his
contemporaries. The continuo piano here is played by one of his protégés,
Lukas Foss, who as 14-year-old Lukas Fuchs spent some days at the Busch
family home in Basel in the summer of 1937. Later, as fellow immigrants, the
two met up again in America."


©2006 Tully Potter



Tray card:



Adolf Busch plays Bach and Beethoven in wartime New York:

Previously unreleased public performance recordings



01. Bach - Violin Concerto in a minor, BWV 1041 - I. Allegro
04:02

02. ~ II. Andante
07:57

03. ~ III. Allegro assai
04:04

Adolf Busch, Busch Chamber Players, Lukas Foss, continuo

Town Hall (NY) March 26, 1943

04. Beethoven - Violin Concerto In D Major,Op.62 - I. Allegro ma non troppo
21:44

05. ~ II. Larghetto
09:38

06. ~ III. Rondo (Allegro)
09:20

Adolf Busch, New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra,

cond. Fritz Busch, Carnegie Hall (NY) Feb 8, 1942

07. Beethoven - Romance No. 1 In G Major, Op. 40
06:21

08. Beethoven - Romance No. 2 in F Major, Op. 50
07:57

WOR radio orchestra, cond. A. Wallenstein

"America Preferred" program (War Bond benefit) (NY), Feb 21, 1942



Total
1:11:03



Sound restoration: Ed Wilkinson

Note: Tully Potter

...
Post by Mark Obert-Thorn
This was recently reissued on Biddulph 80211-2. The opening there is
not patched in from some other performance as it is on some other CD
issues.
Mark Obert-Thorn
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-12-05 07:48:04 UTC
Permalink
What's the total timing of this performance of the Reger Concerto?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Fred Maroth
2005-12-05 16:49:10 UTC
Permalink
The Reger was not b/cast & not recorded... We are releasing the Beethoven VC
(live perf.)... Didn't you ready Tully Potter's note? Fred M.
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
What's the total timing of this performance of the Reger Concerto?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Todd Schurk
2005-12-05 17:07:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Fred Maroth
The Reger was not b/cast & not recorded... We are releasing the Beethoven VC
(live perf.)... Didn't you ready Tully Potter's note? Fred M.
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
What's the total timing of this performance of the Reger Concerto?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Wonderful news indeed about the previously unreleased Busch Brothers
Beethoven performance!! It will be on my "to Buy" list for 2006.
Congrats and thanks to all concerned-we will be in your debt,...and
keep 'em coming! These artists deserve to be remembered and honored.
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