July 1, 2020 – Editors note: With the sad news today of the passing of Ida Haendel, I am re-running this concert which was originally posted in 2018 as tribute to this remarkable and brilliant artist.
Another historic concert this week. The legendary violinist Ida Haendel joins Zubin Mehta and The New York Philharmonic in a program of music by Jan Sibelius, George Crumb and Antonin Dvorak.
Starting with the seldom played Scene With Cranes op. 44 Number 2 by Sibelius – followed by his violin Concerto , with Ida Haendel as soloist. After intermission the Orchestra jumps into George Crumb’s “A Haunted Landscape For Orchestra” and the concert concludes with Carnival Overture by Dvorak.
From her Wikipedia Page:
Born in 1928 to a Polish Jewish family in Chełm, Ida Haendel’s talents were evident when she picked up her sister’s violin at the age of three. Major competition wins paved the way for success. Performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto, she won the Warsaw Conservatory’s Gold Medal and the first Huberman Prize in 1933. At the age of seven she competed against towering virtuosos – the likes of Oistrakh and Neveu – to become a laureate of the first Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in 1935.
These accolades enabled her to study with the esteemed pedagogues Carl Flesch in London and George Enescu in Paris. During World War II she played in factories and for British and American troops. In 1937 her London debut under the baton of Sir Henry Wood brought her worldwide critical acclaim, and began a lifelong association with the Proms, where she has appeared 68 times.
Haendel has made annual tours of Europe, and also appeared regularly in South America and Asia. Living in Montreal from 1952 to 1989, her collaborations with Canadian orchestras made her a key celebrity of Canadian musical life. Performing with the London Philharmonic in 1973, she was the first Western soloist invited to China following the Cultural Revolution. Although she worked particularly with Sergiu Celibidache, she was also associated with Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir Adrian Boult, Sir Eugene Goossens, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Charles Munch, Otto Klemperer, Sir Georg Solti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Bernard Haitink, Rafael Kubelík and Simon Rattle, with whom she recorded the Elgar and Sibelius violin concertos, available on Testament SBT 1444.
In 1993, she made her concert début with the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 2006 she performed for Pope Benedict XVI at the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Later engagements include a tribute concert at London’s National Gallery in honour of Dame Myra Hess’s War Memorial Concerts, an appearance at the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana Festival in 2010, and a performance of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in Miami with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Her major label recordings have earned critical praise, particularly her performance of the Sibelius Concerto which elicited a fan letter from its composer: “I congratulate you on the great success, but most of all I congratulate myself, that my concerto has found an interpreter of your rare standard”. The Sibelius Society awarded her the Sibelius Medal in 1982.
Ida Haendel has said that she has always had a passion for German music. Her recording career began on 10 September 1940 for Decca, initially of short solo pieces and chamber works. In April 1945, she recorded both the Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn concertos followed in 1947 by the Dvořák concerto. Her recording career spans nearly 70 years for major labels including EMI and Harmonia Mundi. In 1948-49 she recorded Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, with Rafael Kubelik conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. Other acclaimed recordings are her renditions of the Brahms Violin Concerto (including one with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sergiu Celibidache…Celibidache’s last studio recording)…and Tchaikovsky’s with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted Basil Cameron.
Among her later recordings were the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006 by J S Bach, recorded at Studio 1 Abbey Road, London in 1995 recorded in analogue and issued by Testament.
She is equally passionate about the music of the 20th century, including Béla Bartók, Benjamin Britten and William Walton. Among her premiere performances have been Luigi Dallapiccola’s Tartiniana Seconda, and Allan Pettersson’s Violin Concerto No. 2, which was dedicated to her. Paying special tribute to her teacher George Enescu, her Decca recording of his Violin Sonata with Vladimir Ashkenazy in 2000 earned her a Diapason d’Or.
Historic and certainly a worthy inclusion in the Anti-Road Rage Wednesday sweepstakes.
Crank it up and enjoy.