5   Recordings Carl Flesch
by
J. Sánchez-Penzo

The data for the sections 5.1 and 5.2 was compiled by Cheniston K. Roland, Violin Historian of Liverpool.

5.1 Discography

An Introduction to the Discography of Carl Flesch by Cheniston K. Roland

We are fortunate that of all the great violin pedagogues, who have recorded, the largest legacy that we have inherited is that of Carl Flesch.

It is even more fortunate perhaps for us that his recording years (1905 - 1936) spill over into the electrical process.

This is indeed historically very fortunate when we consider that we only have two sides of a 78rmp recorded by Leopold Auer made at the advanced age of 75. Auer's 1927 recording was never issued commercially, having been made as a gift for his pupils on his birthday.

Carl Flesch first made records for the Odeon Company in Amsterdam in 1905. For these recordings he did not use his own violin. In his book "The Memories of Carl Flesch" first published in 1957, when writing of this recording session, he states that he used a Stroh violin with a metal horn.

In 1914 Flesch was engaged by   Thomas Edison to record five discs on the advanced Edison Diamond Disc process. Unfortunately after Flesch had played what he thought would be the titles he himself would like to record, Edison had other ideas. Edison chose the pieces to be recorded on the basis of what would probably be the most commercially successful recordings, namely those that would be big sellers. However, Flesch did manage to record one piece of music, which he had originally intended. It transpired that one of Edison's favourite pieces was Schubert's "Ave Maria." During their conversations Flesch had discovered that Edison could not tolerate octaves because of his impaired hearing - so the piece was recorded without the octaves. Carl Flesch was to record a further 40 sides during his association with the Edison Company.

  When the company folded Flesch's discs disappeared from the market brought about by the fact that they were manufactured specifically to be played on the Edison Diamond Disc gramophone, which also gradually disappeared when manufacture ceased. Now we have to rely on private collections to supply copies of Flesch's recordings when making new compilations.

In 1914 Flesch was engaged by Thomas Edison to record five discs on the advanced Edison Diamond Disc process. Unfortunately after Flesch had played what he thought would be the titles he himself would like to record, Edison had other ideas. Edison chose the pieces to be recorded on the basis of what would probably be the most commercially successful recordings, namely those that would be big sellers. However, Flesch did manage to record one piece of music, which he had originally intended. It transpired that one of Edison's favourite pieces was Schubert's "Ave Maria." During their conversations Flesch had discovered that Edison could not tolerate octaves because of his impaired hearing - so the piece was recorded without the octaves. Carl Flesch was to record a further 40 sides during his association with the Edison Company. When the company folded Flesch's discs disappeared from the market brought about by the fact that they were manufactured specifically to be played on the Edison Diamond Disc gramophone, which also gradually disappeared when manufacture ceased. Now we have to rely on private collections to supply copies of Flesch's recordings when making new compilations.

In the early days of gramophone recordings time limitations restricted the length of the music. The music had to be around 2 to 2.5 minutes (10 inch) and 3.5 to 4.0 minutes (12 inch). When the double-sided 12-inch record came on the market around 1916, artists were able to record longer works. This eventually lead to the concerto recordings. The first complete concerto recording, of Mozart's Violin Concerto in G K218, played by Jelly D'Aranyi was issued by the Vocalian Company in 1924.

Alas, with Carl Flesch we do not have a commercial recording of a major violin concerto other than the Bach Double with Joseph Szigeti. We do have the Mozart and Handel violin sonatas recorded in 1936 in Paris, that are some of the best examples we have of Flesch's playing. My own favourite recording of Carl Flesch is the 1929 recording of the Handel March that I consider to be some of the most perfect playing available on record.

Recordings of Carl Flesch have appeared on many LPs and CDs. It is interesting to note that Flesch's recordings have been constantly re-issued in one form or another mainly in Russia and Japan where in both countries he has remained very popular with violin aficionados.

But perhaps the most important re-issue so far is the three CD set of Symposium Records (1987) "CARL FLESCH HISTORICAL RECORDINGS 1905 - 1936." These CDs contain many recordings from the Raymond Glaspole collection with additional material and the private recordings of his father provided by Carl F Flesch. Cheniston K Roland (Violin Historian) provided advice and encouragement. In the booklet included with this CD set there is a foreword by Sir Yehudi Menuhin. The booklet also has contributions from many of Carl Flesch's outstanding pupils. Details of these CDs are listed at the end of the Discography.

The live recordings listed circa 1936, we must consider a bonus, the sound quality is of no matter. If some enterprising violin collector had not had the forethought to make these recordings the violin world would have been deprived of hearing Carl Flesch the concerto player. There are so many violinists of the past who were only able to record short pieces for the gramophone. In his recordings it is clear we are hearing a master demonstrate the true architecture of a great concerto performance. As styles change performances like these have gradually faded and are now seldom heard on the concert platform. A contributing factor is of course that many of Flesch's pupils have gradually passed on to the great heavenly conservatoire where it is hoped they still perform according to the principles of their great pedagogue Carl Flesch.

 

Composer/Work Accompanied/Label
Anonymus
  • The Foggy, foggy dew American folksong
H. Kaufman pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82327
Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685 - 1750)
  • Concerto in D minor for 2 violins BWV 1043
J. Szigeti vln
Orchestra con'd W Goehr
LX659/60
rec. 30/8/1937
Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685 - 1750)
  • Partita No. 1 in B minor for solo vln BWV 1OO2
    Sarabande (5th mvt)
 
Odeon RX67780
Bohm, Carl (1844 - 1920)
  • 6 Pieces, Op. 314 for vln & pf
    No. 2. Cavatina in D
with piano
Edison Diamond Disc 82348
Brandl, Johannes (1760 - 1837)
  • Der Liebe Augustin (The old refrain)
    Du alter Stefansturm
    arr. vln & pf by Kreisler
Liachowsky pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82321
rec. 1924
Dawes, Charles Gates (1865 - ?)
  • Melody in A (1912) vln & pf
with piano
Edison Diamond Disc 82346
rec. 1926
Dobroven, Issay Alexandrovich (1894 - 1953)
  • Hebrew Melody vln & pf
Ignanz Strasfogle piano
HMV EJ438
rec. 1929
Dvorák, Antonín (1841 - 1904)
  • 8 Slavonic Dances, Op. 46
    Slavonic dance No.2 in E
    arr. by Kreisler
with K. Ruhrseitz pf
Edison Diamond Disc 80878
Dvorák, Antonín (1841 - 1904)
  • 8 Slavonic Dances, Op. 46
    Slavonic dance No.7 in C
    arr. vln & pf
W. Liachowsky
Edison Diamond Disc 82311
rec 1924
Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm (1814 - 1865)
  • Elegie in C, Op. 10 vln & pf
with piano
Edison Diamond Disc 82348
Falla, Manuel de (1876 - 1946)
  • 7 Canciones populares españolas (1914)
    No.1: El paño moruno
    arr. vln & pf by Kochanski
with piano
Edison Diamond Disc 80894
Falla, Manuel de (1876 - 1946)
  • 7 Canciones populares españolas (1914)
    No.4: Jota
    arr. vln & pf by Kochanski
with piano
HMV EW68
Falla, Manuel de (1876 - 1946)
  • 7 Canciones populares españolas (1914)
    No.4: Jota
    arr. vln & pf by Kochanski
with piano
Edison Diamond Disc 80894
Falla, Manuel de (1876 - 1946)
  • 7 Canciones populares españolas (1914)
    No.4: Jota
    arr. vln & pf by Kochanski
with Ignaz Strasfogl pf
Jap Victor JE 18
rec. 1929
Faure, Gabriel (1845 - 1924)
  • Berceuse, Op. 16
    vln & pf arr. by Kochanski
with piano
Polydor (68059 rec 1/4/24)) 65983
Faure, Gabriel (1845 - 1924)
  • Berceuse, Op. 16
    vln & pf arr. by Kochanski
with piano
HMV EW68
Fiorillo, Federigo (1755 - after 1822)
  • 36 Étude - Caprices, Op. 3 solo vln
    Caprice No.28, in D
    arr. vln & pf by Randegger
with W. Liachowsky pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82313
Franck, César (1822 -1890)
  • Panis angelicus (1872)
    arr. vln & orch.
with P. De Haan-Manilarges & orch.
Odeon 30263
(rec 30/1/24)
Gärtner, Eduard (1862-1918)
  • Aus Wien
    arr. vln & pf by Kreisler
with H. Kaufman pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82330
rec. 1924
Grieg, Edvard (1843 - 1907)
  • 4 Norwegian Dances, Op. 35
    No.2: Norwegian dance in A
    arr. vln & pf by Flesch
with K. Ruhrseitz pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82349
Grieg, Edvard (1843 - 1907)
  • 4 Norwegian Dances, Op. 35
    No.2: Norwegian dance in A
    arr. vln & pf by Flesch
-
Polydor 62471, 67532
Grieg, Edvard (1843 - 1907)
  • 4 Norwegian Dances, Op. 35
    No.2: Norwegian dance in A
    arr. vln & pf by Flesch
with R. Bauman pf
Edison Diamond Disc 80889
Händel, Georg Friedrich (1685 - 1759)
  • From the "Choice of Hercules"
    Air: "There the brisk, sparkling nectar drain"
    arr. vln & pf as "March" by Flesch
with Ignaz Strasfogl pf
HMV EW67 (rec 1929)
Händel, Georg Friedrich (1685 - 1759)
  • From the oratorio "Solomon"
    Air: "Beneath the vine"
    arr. vln & pf as "Pastorale" by Flesch
with R.Bauman pf
Edison Diamond 80893
(rec, 21/3/1928)
Händel, Georg Friedrich (1685 - 1759)
  • Violin Sonata No.13 in D major vln & pf by
    Allegro (2nd mvt)
with piano
Odeon RX67782
Händel, Georg Friedrich (1685 - 1759)
  • Violin Sonata No.5 in A major vln & pf
with F Dyck pf
Polydor 67178?
(90006 rec 25&26/11/36)
Händel, Georg Friedrich (1685 - 1759)
  • From the "Dettingen Te Deum"
    No. 17: "Gebet"
    arr. as "Gebet" (Prayer) vln & pf by Flesch
with R. Bauman pf
Edison Diamond Disc 80889
Händel, Georg Friedrich (1685 - 1759)
  • From the "Dettingen Te Deum"
    No. 17: "Gebet"
    arr. as "Gebet" (Prayer) vln & pf by Flesch
with Ignaz Strasfogl pf
HMV EW67 (rec 1929)
Heuberger, Richard (1850-1914)
  • Der Opernball, Op. 40
    Im chambre separee
    arr. vln & pf as "Midnight bells" by Kreisler
with H. Kaufman pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82330
rec. 1924
Hubay, Jenö (1858 - 1937)
  • Scènes de la Csárda vln & pf
    No. 3: Hejre Kati, Op. 32
with R. Bauman pf
Edison Diamond Disc 47001
(rec 24/3/28 Electric)
Kreisler, Fritz (1875 - 1962)
  • Rondino on a theme by Beethoven vln & pf
with K.Ruhrseitz
Edison Diamond Disc 80865
rec. 1926
Kreisler, Fritz (1875 - 1962)
  • Rondino on a theme by Beethoven vln & pf
with piano
Polydor 65984, 68058
Lotti, Antonio (1666 - 1740)
  • Arminto - pasticcio
    Pur dicesti
    arr. by Flesch as "Aria in A"
with R. Bauman pf
Edison Diamond Disc 80893
rec. 1926
Lotti, Antonio (1666 - 1740)
  • Arminto - pasticcio
    Pur dicesti
    arr. by Flesch as "Aria in A"
with R. Bauman pf
Polydor 65983, 68057
Lotti, Antonio (1666 - 1740)
  • Arminto - pasticcio
    Pur dicesti
    arr. by Flesch as "Aria in A"
with R. Bauman pf
Odeon RX67780
Martini, G. B. (1706 - 1784)
  • Sonata, in F Op. 2 /12
    Gavotte
    arr. by Burmester
with piano
Odeon RX67787
Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix (1809 - 1847)
  • Songs without words, Op. 62
    No. 25 in G "May breezes"
    arr. by Kreisler
with W. Liachowsky pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82321
rec 1924
Mozart, Wolfgang Aamadeus (1756 - 1791)
  • Violin Sonata in B flat, KV 378, vln & pf
with F. Dyck pf
Polydor 67179/80,
90004/5
Paganini, Niccoló (1782 - 1840)
  • Caprices, Op. 1, solo vln
    Caprice No.20 in B flat
with piano
HMV EJ438
Pierné, Gabriel (1863 - 1937)
  • Serenade in A, Op. 7
    arr. vln & pf
with piano
Odeon 2060, 30383,
S004X, RX67778
Rubinstein, Anton Gregoryevich (1829 - 1894)
  • Soirees de Saint-Pétersbourg, Op. 44
    No.1: Romance in E flat
    arr. vln & pf
with piano
Edison Diamond Disc 82346
rec. 1926
Sarasate, Pablo de (1844 - 1908)
  • Danzas españolas, Op. 21
    No.1: "Malagueña"
with H. Kaufman pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82327
(rec 1/4/24)
Schubert, Franz (1797 - 1828)
  • Gesänge
    No.6: Ave Maria, D 839
    arr. vln & pf by Wilhelmj
with piano
Edison Diamond Disc 82063
Schumann, Robert (1810 - 1856)
  • Kinderszenen, Op. 15 pf
    No. 7: Träumerei
    arr. vln & pf
with piano
Odeon 2060,30383,
8004X,RX67779
Smetana, Bedrich (1824 - 1884)
  • From my Homeland
    No. 2: Andantino
K Ruhrseit piano
Edison Diamond Disc 80865
rec. 1926
Tartini, Giuseppe (1692 - 1770)
  • Violin Sonatas, Op. 1
    Sonata No.10 in g: "Didone abbandonata"
    Largo (3rd mvt)
with piano
Odeon 8005X, RX67787
Tartini, Giuseppe (1692 - 1770)
  • Violin Sonata in g minor "Devil's Trill"
    Larghetto affettuoso (1st mvt)
with piano
Odeon 8006X,
(RX67792 rec 1905)
Tchaikovsky, Pjotr I. (1840 - 1893)
  • Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35
    Canzonetta (2nd mvt)
with piano
Edison Diamond Disc 80878
(rec 20/11/26)
Tchaikovsky, Peter (1840 - 1893)
  • Serenade mélancolique in b flat, Op. 26
    arr. vln & pf by Wilhelmj
with piano
Polydor 65984, 68060
Tenaglia , Antonio Francesco (1650-?)
  • Have pity, sweet eyes
    arr. as "Aria in F' by F. Ries
with piano
Odeon 8006X
(RX6779 rec 1905)
Titl, Anton Emil (1809-1882)
  • Serenade
    arr. vln & pf by Flesch
with W. Liachowsky pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82313
Vieuxtemps, Henri (1820 - 1881)
  • Morceaux de salon, Op. 22, vln & pf
    No 3: Rêverie
with R. Bauman pf
Edison Diamond Disc 47001
(rec 23/3/28 electric)
Vieuxtemps, Henri (1820 - 1881)
  • Salonstücke, Op. 32, vln & pf
    No.2: Rondino
with H. Samuels pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82072 (rec 9/4/1914)
Weber, Carl Maria (1786 - 1826)
  • Violin Sonatas, Op. 10
    Violin Sonata No.1 in F:
    Romanze (2nd mvt)
    arr. as "Larghetto" by Kreisler
with W. Liachowsky pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82311
rec. 1924
Weber, Carl Maria (1786 - 1826)
  • Violin Sonatas, Op. 10
    Violin Sonata No.1 in F:
    Romanze (2nd mvt)
    arr. as "Larghetto" by Kreisler
with piano
Polydor 62471, 67531
Wieniawski, Henri (1835 - 1880)
  • Légende, Op 17
with K. Ruhrseitz pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82349
Wieniawski, Henri (1835 - 1880)
  • Mazurkas, Op. 19
    No.2 in D: "Dudziarz"
with H. Samuels pf
Edison Diamond Disc 82072
(rec 7/4/1914)
Wieniawski, Henri (1835 - 1880)
  • Mazurkas, Op. 19
    No.2 in D: "Dudziarz"
with piano
Odeon 30382,
8005X, RX67788

Copyright Cheniston K Roland (Violin Historian) 1999

 

5.2 Non Commercial Off The Air Recordings

Composer/Work Accompanied/Rec. Date
Beethoven, Ludwig v. (1770 - 1827)
  • Violin Concert in D major op 66
Lucern Orchestra
Conducted P Klezki
c. 1943
Brahms, Johannes (1833 - 1897)
  • Violin Concerto in D major op 77
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted E Flipse
17th February 1939
Flesch, Carl (1873 - 1944)
  • Talk given in French during the interval of the Beethoven Violin Concerto
-
c. 1943
Saint-Saëns, Camille (1835 - 1921)
  • Havanaise op 83
Scottish Sympnony Orchestra
Conducted G Szell
c. 1937
Suk, Josef (1874 - 1935)
  • Fantasie in G minor op 24
Scottish Sympnony Orchestra
Conducted G Szell
c. 1937

Copyright Cheniston K Roland (Violin Historian) 1999

 

5.3 CD Set: Carl Flesch Historical Recordings 1905 - 1936

Carl Flesch Historical Recordings 1905-1936
Symposium Records 1032/3/4.
A Track Title
1 - 11 Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major Opus 61
12 - 14 Mozart: Violin Sonata No. 10 in B flat major KV 378
B Track Title
1 - 4 Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major Opus 77 (commencing at bar 111)
5 Suk: Fantasie for Violin and Orchestra in G minor Opus 24
6 Saint-Saens: Havanaise Opus 83
C Track Title
1 Tenaglia, arr. Ries: Aria in F minor: "Begl'occhi mercé!"
2 Tartini: Sonata in G minor:"The Devil's Trill", 1st mov.
3 Fiorillo, arr. Randegger: Caprice No. 28 in D major
4 Wieniawski: Mazurkas, OP. 19:No. 2, Dudziarz
5 Vieuxtemps: Salonstücke, Op. 32: No. 2, Rondino
6 Tchaikovsky: Concerto in D major, Op. 35: 2nd mov.
7 Ernst: Élegie in C minor, OP. 10
8 Hubay: Scénes de la Csárda, Op. 32: No. 4, Hejre Kati
9 Vieuxtemps: Morceaux de Salon, Op. 22: No. 3, Réverie
10 Sarasate: Danzas Españolas, Op. 21: NO. 1, Malagueña
11 Fauré: Berceuse, Op. 16
12 Anonymous, arr. Alexander: The foggy, foggy dew
13 Händel, arr. Flesch: Solomon: "Beneath the vine" ("Pastorale")
14 Händel, arr. Flesch: Dettingen Te Deum: "Verlieh uns Herr, zu schirmen ..." ("Prayer")
15 Händel, arr. Flesch: The Choice of Hercules: "There the brisk, sparkling nectar drain" ("March")
16 Paganini: Caprice in B flat, Op. 1, No. 20
17 Speech



 

5.4 CD Set: La Storia Discografica del Violino

La Storia Discografica del Violino 1 - La Scuola Ungherese Libro I: Joachim/Auer/Hubay/Flesch
Recordings made from 1903 to 1936
Istituto Discografico Italiano - IDIS 276
Track Title
... ...
10 Haendel: 10. sonata op. 1, n. 14 in La maggiore, Adagio - Allegro - Largo - Allegro
Felix Dyck, pianoforte
11 Haendel: Preghiera
Ignaz Strasfogel, pianoforte
12 Haendel: Marcia
Ignaz Strasfogel, pianoforte
13 Paganini: Capriccio n. 20 in Re maggiore
Ignaz Strasfogel, pianoforte
14 Fauré: Berceuse, Op. 16
Ignaz Strasfogel, pianoforte