Friday, 26 August 2011

Uninspired?

Archiv 13 021 cover

Mozart Piano Concerto in A K.414
Heinz Scholz (fortepiano by Anton Walter, c.1780,
from Mozart’s Birthplace, Salzburg)
Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, Bernhard Paumgartner
Archiv 13 021 (rec. 1-2 September 1952,
Festspielhaus, Salzburg)

The reviewers were right, for once – this is a somewhat routine interpretation (see reviews in The Gramophone of  this issue and reissue, recoupled with Sonata K.311, see earlier Grumpy-post). Though they preferred it to Neumeyer’s Sonata, which I don’t.

But most emphatically not a routine production! It’s surely the first recording of a Mozart concerto on a period instrument – and not just any period instrument but Mozart’s own Walter, from the Birthplace museum in Salzburg. You’ll find plenty about the instrument on the web. According to this 10-inch disc’s ‘archive card’, the poor old dear was  hauled onto the stage of the Festspielhaus for this recording! The sound is better, I feel, than the second Gramophone review makes out; I wonder how much ‘help’ they gave the fortepiano, which is pretty quiet.

Note that the better-known (and, frankly, better) Haydn Society recording of K.453 in G by Ralph Kirkpatrick and the Dumbarton Oaks Chamber Orchestra under Alexander Schneider, though earlier (rec. March 1951, New York, I gather), was made on a modern instrument built by Challis. You can hear that recording by courtesy of fellow-blogger Lawrence Austin or via the British Library’s Archival Sound Recordings site.

The next recording of K.414 on a period instrument was only in 1969, by Jörg Demus and the Collegium Aureum (issued in the UK and reviewed in 1975), an LP that has not been reissued, I believe.

So who was Heinz Scholz? As far as I can ascertain this was his only recording. He did some fingering for Schott’s ‘Wiener Urtext’ edition of the Sonatas. It’s not an uncommon name but was/is he related to keyboard-builder and restorer Martin Scholz, who worked in Germany and Switzerland?

Anyway, it can’t have been easy to record on the Walter; as I remember, András Schiff’s recordings on it were a little dull. Like me, in fact, at the moment.

Three mono FLACs, fully tagged, in a .rar file, here.

5 comments:

  1. Inspired indeed! I have a great affection for your approach here, giving important attention to the most vulnerable of the crops (your word, Nobly Rotten, rings in my memory; in recent Riesling Recognizance i was delighted to discover that the Germans call this Edelfäule, an equally pleasing term) and those of the most dubious -- err, complex -- virtues! Taking some of this Edelfäule daily is also an excellent cure for Dog-In-The-Manger complex. I have some nice complimentary cheese that I will try and post soon.
    Thanks and hats off!

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  2. Just checking in... Listened... most inspired! Very interesting and charming performance, and in great sound (very good transfer!) -- Enjoyed immensely!

    Thanks!

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  3. Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed it! As it happens, I had a fabulous old nectar on Sunday - Muré's Clos Saint Landelin Tokay Pinot Gris Sélection de Grains Nobles 1983, which I bought myself at Muré's shop in Alsace, I guess in the early 1990s. The colour was aged Archiv album-cover Maria-Theresiengelb! And we had it with lemon polenta cake made by my genius friend Jolyon! Perfect! G

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  4. Time to thank you for this and the Kuhnau transfers, which are both quite ear-opening and interesting to me. This last year I have pursued an enlightening year-long baroque and renaissance music survey that has brought me into contact with a lot of composers I did not already know (digression: I managed to secure what I think was the last orchestra seat for FRETWORK's Feb. Carnegie Hall concert!) Anyhoo.. many enjoyable musical discoveries would not have been possible without downloads like yours here. Pardon me while I go and Kuh-now.

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  5. Dear Squirrel, Thank you so much for the kind comment (and well done getting that seat - Fretwork is my equal-favourite viol consort!). I hope your survey continues fruitfully into 2012. I've always loved early music and as I get older (and grumpier), I find myself more and more drawn to it. Thank you too for all your posts and friendship and Happy New Year! G

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