Mendelssohn/Bruch/Berg: Violin Concertos - Karel Ančerl
Karel Ančerl (April 11, 1908 - July 3, 1973) was a Czech conductor, renowned especially for his performances of contemporary music and for his interpretations of music by Czech composers.
Ančerl was born into a prosperous Jewish family in the village of Tuèapy in southern Bohemia. After graduating from the Prague Conservatory (Prazská konzervator), he pursued his conducting studies under Hermann Scherchen and Václav Talich. He was assistant conductor at the Munich premiere of Alois Hába's quarter-tone opera Mother (1931) and conducted the orchestra of the avant-garde theatre Osvobozené divadlo in Prague (1931-1933). Conducting work for Czechoslovak radio was interrupted by World War II which resulted in his being imprisoned with his family in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942 and then sent to Auschwitz in 1944. Unlike his wife and young son, Anèerl came out of Auschwitz alive.
After the war, Ančerl conducted for Radio Prague until 1950, when he became artistic director of the Czech Philharmonic, a post he held successfully for eighteen years. Following the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, Anèerl immigrated to Toronto, Canada, where he worked as music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra until his death in 1973.
As a conductor, Anèerl helped foster a distinctly Czech orchestral sound, both with the Czech Philharmonic and elsewhere. Highly regarded also as a studio artist, Ančerl made a wide range of recordings on the Supraphon label, including repertoire by various Czech composers (remastered in the Karel Ančerl Gold Edition).
Volume #3: Mendelssohn/ Bruch/ Berg: Violin Concertos
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809 - 1847)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 64 26:42
1. Allegro molto appassionato (attacca) 12:38
2. Andante (attacca) 8:24
3. Allegretto non Troppo - Allegro molto vivace 5:40
Max Bruch (1838 - 1920)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No.1 in G minor, Op. 26 26:17
1. Overture. Allegro moderato (attacca) 8:30
2. Adagio 9:37
3. Finale. Allegro energico 8:07
Alban Berg (1885 - 1935)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra "To the Memory of an Angel" 26:04
1. Andante - Allegretto 11:20
2. Allegro. Ma sempre rubato. Frei wie eine Kadenz - Adagio 14:44
Total Time for this CD is: 71:24
℗ 2002 Supraphon a.s.
© 2002 Supraphon a.s.
As a conductor, Ančerl followed a recognizably Czech tradition. Along with Václav Talich, Karel Šejna, Václav Neumann and others, he helped foster a distinctly Czech orchestral sound. Rhythmic sharpness, vibrant dynamics, and a keenly etched sound were hallmarks of his conducting style. While these characteristics were especially evident when he conducted his home orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, he also persuaded orchestras as diverse as the Toronto Symphony, the Vienna Symphony and the Royal Concertgebouw to play with a distinctive Czech sound.
Ančerl remains highly regarded as a recording artist. His broad range of recordings for the Czech Supraphon label have been carefully remastered for the Karel Anèerl Gold Edition, which was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque by l'Académie Charles Cros. In addition to performances of Czech composers, including Antonín Dvoøák, Bedøich Smetana, Leos Janáèek, Bohuslav Martinù and Miloslav Kabeláè, Anèerl is also admired for his interpretations of 20th-century composers, such as Gustav Mahler, Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich, as well as the Toronto-based organist/composer Healey Willan. He also championed less widely known Czech composers, such as Jan Hanus, Isa Krejèí, Otmar Mácha and Ladislav Vycpálek. Performances with several orchestras have appeared on labels such as Tahra, CBC Records and EMI. Line Classics has issued some radio recordings made during the late 1940s, when Anèerl returned to Prague. A video of a rehearsal with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has also been issued and it depicts two key elements of his conducting style - a fastidious attention to detail and an infectious sense of rhythm and vibrancy.
Josef Suk, III - violin
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra - Conductor Karel Ančerl
This a Supraphon recording with a SPARS: Code ADD, using the 24 bit digital re-mastering, recorded at the Rudolfinum Studio, Prague, on March 25-26, 1964 (Mendelssohn); September 11-12, 1963 (Bruch); January 18-19, 1965 (Berg). Supraphon is oriented mainly toward the publication of classical music, with the emphasis on Czech and Slovak composers and artists. Significant domestic and foreign soloists, chamber ensembles, orchestras, and conductors all contributed to its collection of recordings. Just listening to these recordings, playing back through my 7.1 Blu-ray A/V system, I found the music is very pleasant, structured well and exhibit true tonal colors of the instruments. The spatial dimension is very good as you can place the position of violin and orchestra, along the depth of the music gives the listener a full-bodied sound. The sound quality is excellent with genuine reproduction with precise depth gradation, original dynamics, and natural tonal colors. It feels as though you are at a live performance as the spatial dimension is that precise with excellent vividly real artistic performances. At first you may think they are simple melodies in the music, but upon listening several times, you begin to hear the complexities and the nuances within the music itself and they blend together well. The timbre and the sonority of the violin and orchestra are well-cast. Interestingly this disc is very well-engineered as the overall sound from the disc is indistinguishable from a live performance. You will be pleased at the overall quality of these recordings.
These recordings are truly excellent examples of a true master playing the music as intended for the world to be heard, using excellent accompaniment, these are what an audiophile would seek as reference.