Portrait Johanna Martzy: Violin Concerto, Violin Sonatas & Violin Pieces, Berlin 1953-1966 Johanna Martzy

Cover Portrait Johanna Martzy: Violin Concerto, Violin Sonatas & Violin Pieces, Berlin 1953-1966

Album info



Label: audite Musikproduktion

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Concertos

Artist: Johanna Martzy, Jean Antonietti, RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester & Ferenc Fricsay

Composer: Antonín Dvořák, Johannes Brahms, J.S. Bach, G.F. Händel, Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Fritz Kreisler, Joseph-Hector Bent O'Neill, Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Manuel de Falla

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Antonín Dvorák (1841 – 1904): Violin concerto in a Minor, op. 53:
  • 1I. Allegro ma non troppo11:31
  • 2II. Adagio ma non troppo09:56
  • 3III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo11:07
  • Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897): Violin sonata no. 1 in G Major, op. 78:
  • 4I. Vivace, ma non troppo10:08
  • 5II. Adagio07:32
  • 6III. Allegro molto moderato08:03
  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750): Violin sonata no. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001:
  • 7I. Adagio04:26
  • 8II. Fuga05:34
  • 9III. Siciliana03:52
  • 10IV. Presto03:00
  • Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 - 1759): Violin sonata in a Major, op. 1 no. 3:
  • 11I. Andante02:11
  • 12II. Allegro01:54
  • 13III. Adagio01:06
  • 14IV. Allegro03:01
  • Antonio Vivaldi (!678 - 1741): Violin sonata in D Major, rV 10:
  • 15I. Moderato (a fantasia)02:15
  • 16II. Allegro moderato02:45
  • 17III. Largo01:27
  • 18IV. Vivace02:36
  • Fritz Kreisler (1875 - 1962): Rondino über ein thema von Beethoven:
  • 19Rondino über ein Thema von Beethoven02:44
  • Joseph-Hector Fiocco (1703 - 1741): Suite no. 1 in G Major:
  • 20Suite No. 1 in G Major (Allegro)03:20
  • Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937): Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré:
  • 21Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré, M. 7402:54
  • Manuel De Falla (1876 - 1946): Danse espagnole:
  • 22Danse espagnole (from La vida breve)03:35
  • Total Runtime01:44:57

Info for Portrait Johanna Martzy: Violin Concerto, Violin Sonatas & Violin Pieces, Berlin 1953-1966

The Hungarian violinist Johanna Martzy was considered one of the great hopes of her generation during the 1950s. From her base in Switzerland, she conquered all the major European concert stages from 1950 onwards. Through a chain of unfortunate events, her career had already passed its apex during the early 1960s. At the end of the decade, her career that had begun so brilliantly finally came to a complete standstill. The doubts of this serious and introverted musician outweighed her longing and temptation to live a life in the limelight. Because Johanna Martzy’s recording career only lasted four years, her name has become a legend amongst experts; her recordings are rare collector’s items. Her highly conscious, careful selection of repertoire was completely consistent with her way of making music. The clear, brilliant tone, without any frills, of her preferred Carlo Bergonzi violin lends her playing a definite profile that is easy to recognise. She limited herself to a very manageable number of works ranging from Bach to moderate modern composers, but mastered these utterly. In 1953 she was engaged by the RIAS (today: Deutschlandradio Kultur) to participate in a production of the Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53 of Antonín Dvorák on the occasion of a concert with Ferenc Fricsay and the RIAS Symphony Orchestra. Since the orchestra at that time stood under the shock of impending disbandment, a recording of this same work with Deutsche Grammophon was made in order to gain financial support. Although both recordings were made in the same recording room within just a few days of each other, they are markedly different, especially in their respective sounds. The radio recording, which was long thought to have been identical to the recording made for commercial release, is being issued here for the first time.

During the 1960s, when Johanna Martzy had begun to withdraw from the major concert stages for private reasons, she regularly came to Berlin to give recitals with her piano partner Jean Antonietti. On these occasions, she also visited the recording studios of the RIAS a number of times. All of the recordings made there that still exist today can be heard in this edition. Johanna Martzy’s mastery and beauty of tone on these recordings are utterly convincing, and show that she was still at the height of her powers at that time.

Her death in 1979, hardly noticed by the general public, thus signified a tragic loss for the musical world.

“Another invaluable collection of Martzy recordings, including a glorious account of the Dvorak Violin Concerto recorded for Berlin radio in 1953, two days before the same artists recorded it commercially.” (BBC Music Magazine)

“Beauty of tone is a distinctive hallmark of the Handel Sonata. It is a performance of refinement and nobility, with both players demonstrating a great affection for the music...Audite have done a wonderful job re-mastering these original analogue tapes from the RIAS archives, and sound quality throughout is top-notch.” (MusicWeb International)

“a magnificent performance of great power and intensity, especially where it is most necessary, in the Adagio. I normally find non-Czech interpretations of this concerto easy to resist but Martzy and Fricsay pay such attention to the rhythms that the result is irresistible. Even if you have the DG version, you need this one.” (The Strad)

Johanna Martzy, violin
Jean Antonietti, piano
Ferenc Fricsay, conductor

Johanna Martzy
was a Hungarian violinist born on October 26, 1924 (Heifetz was 23 years old.) She is remembered for her short career. Martzy began studying violin at age six. Soon afterward she started lessons with Jeno Hubay at the Liszt Academy in Budapest and continued with him until 1937. By age 13 she was already touring Hungary and Romania. Her debut, playing the Tchaikovsky concerto, took place in 1943 with Mengelberg conducting the Budapest Philharmonic. In October of 1947, she won first prize in a competition in Geneva, Switzerland. In February of 1949 she made her debut in Amsterdam (again with the Tchaikovsky concerto), accompanied by the orchestra of the Concertgebouw. Once established, Martzy enjoyed great success throughout Europe. Her first appearance in England was in 1953. Her New York City debut, with the New York Philharmonic, came in November 1957 playing Bach’s E Major concerto, an unusual work with which to debut. In December 1958, she played the Mendelssohn concerto with this same orchestra with Bernstein at the podium. Bernstein had just been appointed chief conductor of the Philharmonic. She continued touring worldwide until 1976 though by 1969 she had effectively slipped from the limelight. Some say it was because she had by then married a very rich man – Daniel Tschudi – and lacked any financial incentive to stay active. She did comparatively little recording – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Dvorak, Bartok, Stravinsky - though many tapes of radio broadcasts still exist. Rumors have circulated that she chose to give up her recording career rather than give in to Walter Legge (EMI’s Director.) Martzy mostly played a Carlo Bergonzi violin (1733) though she also owned a 1733 Stradivari (previously owned by Kreisler and Huberman) and a Peter Guarnerius - Carl Flesch’s old violin. She died in Switzerland, her death virtually unnoticed, on August 13, 1979, at age 54.

Booklet for Portrait Johanna Martzy: Violin Concerto, Violin Sonatas & Violin Pieces, Berlin 1953-1966

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