SMF Hosted by Columbia Radio WKCR

Radio host Teri Noel Towe welcomed Ann Schnabel Mottier, François Mottier and Britta Matterne for a three hour radio show entitled “All Things Schnabel.”

Most of the featured music selections have been taken from CDs published by the Schnabel Music Foundation in cooperation with TownHall Records. Where appropriate the CD label [THCD-XY] is shown in the listing.  

Photo at Columbia University Radio: Left to Right: Britta Matterne (Production manager SMF), Ann Schnabel Mottier, Teri Noel Towe (Radio Host.) Photo Francois Mottier getting ready for the radio show "All Things Schnabel" March 18, 2019.
L to R: Britta Matterne, Ann Schnabel Mottier, Teri Noel Towe, Radio Host at WKCR Columbia University Radio, New York, NY.
A selection of 8 CDs produced by the Schnabel Music Foundation, ready to be used for the radio show at WKCR.
A selection of 8 CDs produced by the Schnabel Music Foundation, ready to be used for the radio show at WKCR.

Below are four segments representing the complete broadcast. 

The first segment of 52 minutes contains:

  1. Artur Schnabel in concert at Carnegie Hall with the Mozart piano concerto #27, Leon Barzin conducting the National Orchestra Association, March 1939 (32 min) [THCD-74]
  2. Claude Mottier recorded during his senior recital at Hartt School of Music presenting the Bartòk Suite Opus 14. Start at 41 min; [not published]

Second segment of 37 min. The music selections are:

  1. Therese Behr with unknown accompanist on a private home recording of 1904. Starts at 13 min 45 sec. Duration 11 min. 45 sec. [not published]
  2. Therese Behr Schnabel accompanied by Artur Schnabel in 1937: Der Erlkönig. Start at 31 min. 20 sec. [Arabesque Z6574]

Third segment of 31 min. The selections are:

  1. K.U. Schnabel and Helen Schnabel: Mendelssohn Allegro Brillant, Op. 92. Start at 1 min 14 sec. Duration 7 min 11 sec. [THCD-77B]
  2. K.U. Schnabel: Mozart Andante K.V. 616 Start at 14 min 18 sec. Duration 9 min. 27 sec. [THCD-68]

Fourth segment of 32 min.

  1. Helen Schnabel: Malipiero Poemi Asolani. Start at 31 min. 56 sec. duration 6 min. [THCD-66]
  2. Helen Schnabel: Artur Schnabel’s Seven Pieces for Piano (1947) Start at 42 min 41 sec. Duration 12 min. 50 sec. [THCD-65]
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Sarah Cahill hosted the Schnabel Music Foundation on KALW radio on February 24, 2019

Sarah Cahill in the KALW studio.

On Sunday February 24, 2019 Sarah Cahill received Ann and François Mottier for the yearly two hour radio show on the San Francisco radio station KALW.  This show was focused on Karl Ulrich Schnabel to draw attention to the US Premiere of his 1933 film Das Kalte Herz (The Cold Heart) at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive [BAMPFA] on March 2.

Below is the recording of the show divided into three segments.  The source of the musical selections are CDs issued by the Schnabel Music Foundation through TownHall Records as shown below.

Segment 1 features

  1. Helen and Karl Ulrich Schnabel in the Mendelssohn Allegro Brillant [THCD-77]
  2. K.U. Schnabel playing Beethoven Op. 109 Piano Sonata [THCD-68]

Segment 2 features:

  1. Talk about relationship and approach to musical interpretation between Artur and Karl Ulrich Schnabel (about 10 minutes)
  2. Helen and Karl Ulrich Schnabel in 4-hand recording of Debussy: Six Epigraphs [THCD-76]

Segment 3 features:

  1. Talk about Karl Ulrich Schnabel and his silent film The Cold Heart
  2. Karl Ulrich Schnabel and Leonard Shure at two pianos Chopin Rondo in C Major, [THCD-58]. Start at 14 min 39 sec.
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50 Years of Music – Original German Letters by the Schnabels

as-ts-schuberWhen Artur Schnabel moved to Berlin in 1900 he was eighteen years old and completely unknown.  and for both’s good fortune she made the acquaintance of Artur.  Therese Behr, a famous Lieder singer, was searching for a pianist/accompanist, and for both’s good fortune their agent, Hermann Wolff, sent Artur Schnabel for a series of concerts.  Therese liked Artur’s playing and so she started a collaboration with him that grew over the time.  From then on they corresponded regularly; first the notes exchanged were business only, such as agreeing on rehearsal times.  Soon their meetings became more personal, even amorous until they got married in 1905.  As both were traveling constantly they kept in touch with letters as, fortunately for us, the telephone was not yet ubiquitous. It was the only way they could communicate while traveling.

Starting in 2014 the German musicologist Britta Matterne worked on preparing an edition of the correspondence between Artur and Therese Schnabel. Ann Schnabel Mottier is co-editor. On September 14, 2016, the 140th birthday of Therese Schnabel, the completed German edition of the correspondence edition was launched at the C. Bechstein Centrum Frankfurt.

Tas-ts-rueckenhe correspondence presented in this edition covers the whole time from 1900 to 1951.  During this span Artur Schnabel rose from unknown accompanist to a world renown soloist. On the political stage many events changed the face of the world we live in: the Great Depression – Nazi Germany and World War II with the exodus of the Schnabels to Italy and England, and finally the USA. Especially during the war years, but also at other times, Artur and Therese Schnabel traveled together.  In those periods Therese wrote about the couple’s life and experiences to their son Karl Ulrich Schnabel.  Since she wrote in the name of both these letters are included in the edition, primarily to maintain an uninterrupted flow and account on the couple’s life.

The first two volumes of the three volume set contain the letters.  The third volume contains extensive footnotes, a comprehensive register of referenced people , many with short biographies. 

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Karl Ulrich Schnabel’s Film of 1933 Restored

Paper Burgdorf-DKH
Newspaper review of the private showing of  Karl Ulrich Schnabel’s film “The Cold Heart,” in Burgdorf, Switzerland. The front row in the photo shows from left: Margrit Läubli (famous Swiss Cabaret actress), Yvette Mottier, Lenka Bozonova Althaus; back row:  Markus Altenberger (image restoration), Manuel Zach, Robert Israel (film music), with Raff Fluri and  Simon Häberli (graphic designer).
Karl Ulrich Schnabel was an avid film buff all his life.  When he was just over twenty years old he acquired a film camera and started to experiment with it.  In 1932/33 he wrote a script for a film version of the Wilhelm Hauff fairy tale “The Cold Heart.” With his friends and family serving as actors, extras, and stagehands he directed a silent full feature film.  After the flight from Berlin in 1933 the film lingered in Berlin until it was discovered by Raff Fluri, a young film director in Switzerland. Now the film restoration has been completed.
On Saturday, April 30 the completed film by Karl Ulrich Schnabel was shown for the first time to the sponsors, funders and collaborators.   Robert Israel, noted musician and film music creator, who composed and directed the sound track for the silent movie had arrived from the Czech republic. Ann Schnabel and Francois Mottier joined the event in Burgdorf (near Berne) in Switzerland via Skype to greet the audience and to wish Robert Israel a happy birthday.  At the end of the movie Ann Schnabel was again available via Skype to answer questions about the movie.
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Artur Schnabel’s Cadenzas for Mozart Piano Concertos K. 467, K. 482, K. 491, K. 503


The latest music publication by the Schnabel Music Foundation is about to hit the shelves: Pianist Sarah Cahill has written an introduction for the cadenzas.
A recent Facebook post by Pianist and Radio host James Irsay reads as follows:

Today Ann and François presented me with a pre-release copy of her grandfather’s cadenzas to four Mozart concertos, the first ever edition. Most striking, as those familiar with Artur Schnabel’s recording will know, is the cadenza to the first movement of the c minor, no. 24 K491. How appropriate that this movement of this concerto gets the boldest, most imaginative treatment; the movement utilizes all 12 notes of the chromatic scale before the theme’s first statement is completed, and we’re not talking about any actual chromatic scales here. Inspired by Mozart’s music, Schnabel uses all 12 notes in about 1 1/2 measures of the cadenza, measure 7 til about half of m.8. That sets the tone (in a manner of speaking) for the whole cadenza.

Interesting how, in his recording with Susskind, Schnabel brings out the middle notes of the syncopated chords of the cadenza’s opening to emphasize the descending melodic “cells”, which are repeated in the LH octaves. That’s his first brilliant stroke – to imitate the orchestra’s lead-in before the cadenza’s beginning.

Many consider this cadenza “weird’, “far out”, and ill-suited to Mozart’s music. But the craft applied by Schnabel in its composition, the molecular cohesion of Mozart’s essential building blocks, binding every measure to the next, renders the cadenza perfectly consistent and meaningful in the context of Mozart’s brilliant first movement. The vital inner workings are a perfect match with Mozart’s Allegro, giving the material new breadth. And of course Artur Schnabel kicks it… totally SICK perfomance of that cadenza !! (“Sick” in a good way, need I mention…)

Yes, the cadenza’s concluding emphasis on the notes B and E flat (the ear hears B and D sharp), creating the expectancy of a return in e minor, provide a … well…. unusual orchestral re-entry in c minor… now that’s what we call fearlessly holding to one’s vision; we salute you, Artur Schnabel!

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Cello solo Sonata on CD by Sam Magill

Sam Magill and Beth LevinCongratulations to Samuel Magill and Beth Levin for their new CD “Cello Music from Austria-Hungary” which includes a wonderful interpretation of Artur Schnabel’s Solo Cello Sonata.

Read about the project here and order the CD from

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Documentary “Artur Schnabel: No Place of Exile”

Please visit the website for a documentary about Artur Schnabel, composer and pianist.

Waldhaus Hotel in Sils Maria, Engadin, where Artur Schnabel spent his summer vacation and composed his Seven Piano Pieces in 1947. One of the film locations.

Waldhaus Hotel in Sils Maria, Engadin, where Artur Schnabel spent his summer vacation and composed his Seven Piano Pieces in 1947. One of the film locations.



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Resurrection of K.U. Schnabel’s Full-length Fairytale Film of 1933

Karl Ulrich Schnabel produced a full-length film “Das kalte Herz” (The Cold Heart), based on a fairytale by Wilhelm Hauff.  He wrote the screen play, directed, filmed, and edited the movie that featured family members and friends, mostly acting and music students in Berlin. The main character was played by Franz Schnyder, a Swiss actor at the beginning of his professional career. A young Swiss filmmaker, Raff Fluri, discovered a copy of the film on VHS cassette in the archive of Franz Schnyder who had become a successful film director.   
Karl Ulrich Schnabel filming sequence in his film "Das Kalte Herz" (Cold Heart)

Karl Ulrich Schnabel filming sequence in his film “Das Kalte Herz” (Cold Heart)

After researching the history of the film Raff contacted The Schnabel Music Foundation hoping that the family of K.U. Schnabel might be able to shed some light on the background of this movie.  In 2015 the film was digitized and restored. The renowned composer and sound producer for old silent movies, Robert Israel, created the sound track for the Cold Heart.  The premiere will take place in 2016.

More on the history of this film project can be found, in German, at this web site: here.  
For English use this link.
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Upcoming Edition of Correspondence between Artur and Therese Schnabel

The correspondence between Artur and Therese Schnabel starts in 1900 when the still unknown pianist Artur Schnabel was hired to accompany the renowned and revered singer Therese Behr. The last letters from Therese Schnabel chronicle the crushing final days of Artur before his death in 1951 in Axenstein, Switzerland as reported by Therese in her reports to their son Karl Ulrich. The letters cover the blossoming of mutual love, their marriage and raising of two sons; a fascinating history of political upheaval through two World Wars, experiencing travel through Europe, America, and Australia by a musician from the “old world,” evolution of the music making scene and business, and much more.thumb_IMG_2920_1024

Meeting of Editors and Publisher in Hofheim/Frankfurt, Germany, October 2015. L. to r.: Peter Mischung and François Mottier

The original German correspondence edition in two volumes and one additional volume of annotations is scheduled to be available in September 2016. The publisher is the Wolke Verlag, Hofheim, Germany. An English translation is already being prepared for publication latest in 2017.

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Allan Evans, our Advisor and new Project Coordinator

Allan EvansWe are honored and pleased that Allan Evans, professor at Mannes College – the New School, New York, and director of the Arbiter of Cultural Traditions Company (reformed in 2002 from the former Arbiter Recording Company) has joined the Schnabel Music Foundation as Project Coordinator for the English edition of the correspondence between Artur and Therese Schnabel. He will also be In charge of preparing and restoring newly discovered or acquired historic recordings of Therese Behr and Artur Schnabel for publication by Arbiter Records. Allan’s vast knowledge will be an invaluable asset to SMF as adviser in musical matters.

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