Saturday, 7 April 2012

Something a bit longer

I have spent most of the day preparing a wall ready to be daubed with paint tomorrow and I have a dripping nose, so thought to listen to some Schubert for comfort. BBC Radio 3 has had wall-to-wall Schubert the week before last but I can't think they broadcast these performances. Another good blogger, Grumpy Nick is coming over tomorrow in order that we do Coleridge-Taylor Festival!

Schubert: Piano Trio in E-flat major, D.929 (Op.100)
Michael Raucheisen,  piano, Jani Szántó violin 
& Josef Disclez, cello
Polydor: 95225-95229 
[526bi IV-541 bi IV] 
Recorded 1928, Berlin
Score at IMSLP

Schubert: Ave Maria D. 839 
arr. for violin & piano by August Wilhelmj 
Georg Kulenkampff, violin & Franz Rupp, piano
Polydor: 95229 
[371 be] 
Recorded 1928, Berlin
Score at IMSLP

2 Flac files in a .rar file, HERE at Mediafire. [about 118Mb].

The labels on the records have the rather bizarre name of the group as Munich Chamber Music Combination. I know from the German catalogues and WERM that the members of the 'Combination' are in fact Raucheisen, Szántó and Disclez [biogs below]. The recording was undoubtedly issued as part of the great Schubert Centenary celebrations, each side with the usual 1928 copyright date on the discs. That the records could only be obtained in the UK and USA via specialist shops, or on special order has made them difficult to find, and unlike a great number of the Polydor issues, this particular set did not make an appearance on Brunswick or Decca labels. I do not believe it was reviewed in The Gramophone or reissued on CD.

The recording takes up nine sides so a ‘lollipop’ filled the tenth side. I know it is Ave Maria by Schubert but this performance by the violinist Georg Kulenkampff with Franz Rupp as his accompanist is utterly lovely,  portamento and rubato, what happened? why did we loose these so so human qualities in our music making for so long, big softy that I am. The trio is not half bad either just in case you think I’m slacking here. Note at the end of the Ave Maria someone is hammering!

Towards the end of the 19th century the school of Munich composers led by Ludwig Thuille began to gain a reputation which spread beyond the city. The representatives of the Munich school active in the early years of the 20th century, such as Courvoisier, von Franckenstein and von Waltershausen, were succeeded by Haas, Kaminski and others such as Fritz Büchtger, Karl Höller, Harald Genzmer, Günther Bialas, Wilhelm Killmayer and Josef Anton Riedl, while Carl Orff and Karl Amadeus Hartmann achieved international standing. (Cribbed from Grove) Something more for me to explore!

Below are biogs of the three performers, Raucheisen is well documented but I have found it difficult to locate much information on his partners in this recording; any further information gratefully recieved.

Michael Raucheisen

Michael Raucheisen (1889-1984) was born in Rain, Swabia From 1902 Raucheisen lived in Munich, and from 1920 until the end of his pianistic activity in 1958, in Berlin. He studied at the Munich High School for Music. Around 1906 he played first violin at the Prinzregententheater and was organist in St. Michael. In 1916 he focused exclusively on the role of the piano accompanist and from the beginning of the 1920s until the end of the Second World War he was song accompanist for many singers, including Frida Leider, Erna Berger, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Karl Schmitt-Walter, Karl Erb and Helge Rosvaenge, to mention only a few. From 1933 he strove to create a complete catalogue of German language songs on gramophone recordings, for which, from 1940, he became head of the department of song and chamber music at the Berlin Rundfunk. After the War he was banned from his work for some years on account of his possible collaboration with the Nazi regime, and afterwards he appeared only occasionally in public.

Jani Szántó

Jani Szántó (1887-1977), a Hungarian violinist he studied in Budapest, Vienna, and Leipzig and was  appointed professor at the State Academy of Music in Munich in 1918 and with Felix Saupe, Haas and Josef Disclez he form the Munich String Quartet in 1920. He had left Germany in 1939 to escape Nazi persecution, and became the director of the Philadelphia Musical Academy in 1943 there he remained the director until he retired in 1962.

Josef Disclez (1888-1955) was born at Namur, Belgium, trained at the Brussels Conservatoire and subsequently worked in Brussels, Berlin and Munich and from 1914 he was principle cellist in the Bavarian State orchestra and a professor at the State Academy of Music in Munich.


  1. Wonderful! Thanks, I love the old Polydors and I'm very curious to hear the Munich Chamber Music Combination!

  2. Wow, I've never heard this, and can't wait to do so! What a great start you have here on your blog....please keep the goodies coming!

  3. Music for a Dripping Nose, he,he


  4. I've just discovered your blog, and it's wonderful, quite as fine as your website was. I'm downloading everything you've posted as I write.

    BTW the Schubert set was issued in the USA, as Brunswick 90328-42 per the 1936 Gramophone Shop Encyclopedia, but I'm sure it's quite rare. Certainly I've never seen it.

  5. Thanks for kind words and the information. This accounts for it being so uncommon I believe - As a rule if a Polydor was issued on Brunswick then it was then not used by Decca or in fact any other company. Thus this item would have been available only from 1929 to 1931 on Brunswick when Warner bought the company. The recording would then have to be imported from Germany thereafter. By 1936 with Szántó being Jewish it may actually not have been available at all in Germany!

  6. Thank you very much! I was just reading Brusilow's book "Shoot the Conductor" and very happy to find recording of Jani Szanto, who was the greatest influence on Brusilow.
    Appreciate your blog very much!