Beside recordings of Artur, Karl Ulrich and Helen Schnabel, we expect to be broadcasting a few unknown recordings by Therese Behr Schnabel and Claude Mottier.¬†
WBAI can be heard in the greater New York City area at 99.5 MHz FM or worldwide streaming on the Internet at¬†http://wbai.org/playernew.html¬†.¬† We hope that you will be able to listen in.
The latest sheet music publication of the Schnabel Music Foundation features Artur Schnabel’s entries into a student composition competition Professor Theodor Leschetizky had sponsored in 1898. With each of the three pieces Schnabel garnered a prize.¬† Leschetitzky thus handed Schnabel only the first prize, bestowing the second and third prize to the next two entrants. The three pieces are:
- Diabolique [Capriccio]
- Douce Tristesse [R√™verie]
- Valse mignonne [Kleiner Walzer/Little Valse]
The Teaching of Karl Ulrich Schnabel
Born in Berlin in 1909, Karl Ulrich Schnabel‚ÄĒson of the pianist Artur Schnabel and the singer Therese Behr‚ÄĒstudied with his father as well as with Leonid Kreutzer at the Berlin Hochschule f√ľr Musik. He gave his debut in 1926. Apart from his remarkable international solo career, he formed the Schnabel Piano Duo, first with his wife Helen, and later with the Canadian pianist Joan Rowland. After the war, Karl Ulrich Schnabel became famous as teacher of piano master classes around the world. Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank, Richard Goode and Peter Serkin were among his students. Karl Ulrich Schnabel died in 2001. His archive is held at the Akademie der K√ľnste, Berlin.
Richard Rhodes was born in Devonshire, England, in 1929 and was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he obtained an Honours Degree in Modern History. A member of the English Bar, he practised international law in South America, Paris and Geneva, where he lives today. About his experiences in South America as oil executive he wrote the satirical novel Gushing. He is married to Luba, the daughter of the conductor Leopold Stokowski. For more than 30 years Rhodes took lessons with Karl Ulrich Schnabel. In his preliminary notes, the author writes: ‚ÄúAs a musician, Karl Ulrich Schnabel had a sensibility to and understanding of great music that I have never encountered in anyone else. That is why I decided to write this book.‚ÄĚ
Artur Schnabel the composer
In 1901 Schnabel gave his very successful piano d√©but, playing his own Piano Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic. Hardly had he turned 21 than he achieved his final breakthrough with his rousingly acclaimed performances of the Brahms concertos. Later he founded the Schnabel Trio. He keenly followed new developments in contemporary music and was familiar with Schoenberg’s works long before they achieved recognition. This left a mark on his own music, which invariably belonged to the avant-garde of its day. His Notturno for low female voice and piano (1914) was premi√®red by his wife Therese Behr-Schnabel in 1918, probably with Schnabel himself at the piano. It was the first work he composed after a long hiatus, and it stands at a new stylistic threshold. If the works of Schnabel’s youth were beholden to Brahms, here he abandons functional tonality and the straitjacket of time signatures. Though the piece owes something to Mahler, Busoni and Schreker as well as Schoenberg, it is completely independent in its handling of form, phrasing and musical logic. Schnabel’s First String Quartet (1918) is a large-scale piece that clearly reveals the outline of classical four-movement form. But the thematic workmanship is now merely a pretext for events that hover around an ‘episodic centre’. Schnabel’s greatness as a composer is apparent in the constructive criticism that his music brings to bear on the outdated criteria of musical coherence.
The monumental Piano Quintet composed by Artur Schnabel in 1914 has finally been recorded by the Pellegrini Quartet with Irmela Roelcke playing the piano part. Before the recording the Quintet was performed in concert a number of times. The premiere performance in modern time was on April 4, 2008 in the concert hall of the Akademie der K√ľnste, Pariser Platz by the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, Germany.¬† The double CD also features three Piano Pieces from 1906, the Piano Sonate (1923), Three Fantasy Pieces for Piano, Violin and Viola (1898), and Lieder, sung by Sibylle Kamphues, Alto, Opus 11 and 14 (1899-1903).
The Schnabel Music Foundation supported the production of this double CD.
The November/December 2009¬†issue of International Piano featured a five page tribute written by Stephen Wigler to Karl Ulrich Schnabel’s 100th birthday.¬† In that article Wigler recounts how Claude Frank and Leon Fleisher reminisced about their experiences as students of Artur and Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and how much more they valued what Karl Ulrich taught them.¬† In the same article the achievements of the Schnabel Music Foundation are mentioned with the three books, seven CD titles, and the growing list of newly engraved or reprinted compositions by Artur Schnabel.