A classic and historic concert this week. From the 1959 Vienna Festival, a performance by The Bamberg Symphony, conducted by Joseph Keilberth and featuring the legendary Edith Peinemann, violin in a concert of music by Hindemith and Pfitzner.
A short concert at a little over 45 minutes, rebroadcast in 1967 and paired with a performance from the 1961 Vienna Festival. This week it’s 1959. The concert starts with a performance of the Hindemith Konzerthaus for Strings and Brass op. 50 and ends with the Violin Concerto of Hans Pfitzner, with Edith Peinemann as soloist. I am sure there was an additional piece or two, but this was all that was broadcast – and we’re grateful for it.
Both the Hindemith and the Pfitzner are seldom performed pieces, which is a shame as they are both exquisite. Edith Peinemann is one of those violinists who have achieved cult status among other violinists as well as considered by many to be the finest violinist of her time. She’s recorded very little during her career, which began in 1956. She made her American debut in 1962, some three years after this appearance. During her American debut, her appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra and her performance of the Dvorak Violin Concerto brought a rave review and some six curtain calls.
Joseph Keilberth became Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony in 1949. Made up primarily of German musicians who were expelled from Czechoslovakia after the War, Keilberth remained their Principle conductor all the way until his death in 1968. Record collectors know him from his many recordings for Telefunken during the early years of the lp. He was also a frequent conductor of Opera at Beyreuth. While conducting a performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at the Munich Opera, he collapsed and died from a heart attack on July 20, 1968.
As I said, a short concert this week – but a gem.