WOLFSTHAL Beethoven and Mozart Violin Concertos (1928/29) - PASC239

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WOLFSTHAL Beethoven and Mozart Violin Concertos (1928/29) - PASC239

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MOZART Violin Concerto No. 5
BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto
Recorded 1928 & 1929
Total duration: 67:21

Josef Wolfsthal, violin
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
conductor Manfred Gurlitt
Berlin State Opera Orchestra
conductor Frieder Weissmann

This set contains the following albums:

Josef Wolfsthal's two 1920s electric concerto recordings

A tragic early death robbed the world of a possible violin superstar

Pupil of Carl Flesch, teacher of the young Szymon Goldberg, chamber recital partner to Hindemith and Feuermann, Josef Wolfsthal (1899 – 1931) seemed to have a bright future before him when he was cut down at the age of 31 during an influenza epidemic.

Although he recorded fairly extensively during the 1920s for a number of German labels, most of his discs were of short encores. The selections presented here are his only electrical concerto recordings. A comparison of the Beethoven with his acoustic version of some four years earlier shows that he was already beginning to move away from the use of portamento in favor of a more modern, streamlined style of playing.

In the Mozart, there is a brief cut of some orchestra-only material in the middle of the second movement, made in order to fit the work onto eight sides. In addition, the final side (starting at Track 3, 6:25), made a year after the rest of the recording, was set down after Parlophon had switched from the Western Electric system to their own proprietary (and decidedly inferior) technology, which tended to make upper frequencies sound uncomfortably harsh.

The sources for the present transfers were American Columbia “Viva-Tonal” pressings for the Mozart (the most quiet form of issue for this inherently noisy recording) and German Polydor pressings for the Beethoven.

Mark Obert-Thorn

MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K.219, “Turkish”
Frieder Weissmann / Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Recorded 15th and 19th September, 1928 and *9th September, 1929 in Berlin
Matrix nos.: 20911, 20916, 20918, 20919, 20927, 20928, 20929 and *20930-2
First issued on Parlophon P-9359, 9360, 9457 and 9458

BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61
Manfred Gurlitt / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded 1929 in Berlin
Matrix nos.: 1534 ½ bm, 1535 ½ bm, 1536 bm, 1537 bm, 1538 bm, 1547 ½ bm, 1548½ bm, 1549 bm, 1550 bm and 1551 bm
First issued on Grammophon 95243 through 95247

Josef Wolfsthal, violin

Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn
Cover artwork based on a photograph of Josef Wolfsthal

Total duration: 67:21