Music Examples of Karl Ulrich Schnabel


Mendelssohn: From Songs without Words

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47) published his forty-eight Songs Without Words in eight volumes of six pieces each in the years 1829-1842. The title originated with Mendelssohn who also wrote many songs with words. Mendelssohn’s title indicates a piano piece in the form of a song, with a song-like melody and a definite piano accompaniment. They were among the earliest examples of short lyrical piano pieces which became the standard for piano music in the nineteenth century. At some time, each of the pieces was given a title, whether Mendelssohn had done so or not. Only the ones with Mendelssohn’s own titles and a few others which are so commonly called by their acquired names are listed by name above. Karl Ulrich Schnabel recorded a collection of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words in 1934, long before the days of long-playing records when recording complete cycles became the norm. It is unfortunate that he never recorded the other pieces in the series, but he has selected a representative group and played them better than one is ever likely to hear them done today. [Program notes by Dr. David Goldberger]


This video comprises Volkslied (Folk Song), Opus 53, No. 5 in A minor; Opus 62, No. 4 in G major; and Spring Song, Opus 62, No. 6 in A major. The recordings are from TownHall Records THCD74


JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH: Capriccio on the Departure of his Dearly Beloved Brother, BWV 992 The Capriccio is one of the earliest surviving works of Bach (1685-1750) and perhaps the only keyboard work with a definite program by Bach himself. Long thought to have been written when Bach was still in his teens, later research has shown that “his dearly beloved brother” left to be an oboist in the Swedish King’s Guards a year or two later. K.U. Schnabel made thi recording in 1935 at the age of 26. The complete Capriccio is part of the TownHall Records THCD-74 “THE SCHNABELS – A MUSICAL LEGACY”


Karl Ulrich Schnabel (1909-2001) and Leonard Shure (1910-1995) recorded the Chopin Rondo in C Major for two pianos in 1931. They met in Berlin, Germany, when Leonard Shure was studying with Artur Schnabel, Karl Ulrich’s father. At that time Karl Ulrich Schnabel was already teaching, also preparing students for his father.¬† TownHall Records issued the restored 78 RPM disk on the double CD THCD-58 entitled Karl Ulrich Schnabel – The Tenth Decade – A Celebration.