Mischa Elman, violin – Los Angeles Philharmonic, Janos Ferencsik, guest Conductor – September 5, 1963 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
Another historic concert from Los Angeles this week. The legendary Mischa Elman is soloist in this all Beethoven concert, guest conducted by Janos Ferencsik and recorded on September 5, 1963. Never broadcast, long-thought destroyed, virtually unknown.
An all-Beethoven concert, beginning with the Leonore Overture No. 3, followed by the Violin concerto and ending with Symphony Number 3 “Eroica” – as well as the occasional appearance of overhead airplanes.
Mischa Elman (January 20, 1891 – April 5, 1967) was a Russian-born Jewish-American violinist, famed for his passionate style, beautiful tone, and impeccable artistry and musicality.
In 1903, he began to play concerts in the homes of wealthy patrons of the arts, and he made his Berlin debut in 1904, creating a great sensation. His London debut in 1905 included the British premiere of Alexander Glazunov’s Violin Concerto in A minor. He played in Carnegie Hall in 1908, making a great impression on his American audience. He toured Australia in 1914.
In 1917, he was elected to honorary membership in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity. He sometimes performed in as many as 107 concerts in a 29-week season. The Elman family moved to the United States, and Mischa became a citizen in 1923. In 1943, he gave the premiere of Bohuslav Martinů’s second concerto, which was written for him. Sales of his records exceeded two million.
A frequent accompanist in chamber works during Elman’s early American career was Emmanuel Bay, who was born on exactly the same day as Elman, January 20, 1891. But Elman also performed and recorded with Josef Bonime, Carroll Hollister, Wolfgang Rosé and others, and from 1950, his steady accompanist and recital partner was Joseph Seiger. He also briefly performed and made recordings with the Mischa Elman String Quartet.
Elman’s recorded legacy spanned more than six decades. His first 78 rpm discs were made for Pathe, in Paris, in 1906; his final LP sessions were for Vanguard, in New York, in 1967. The greater part of his discography was recorded for the Victor Talking Machine Company/RCA Victor, with whom he had an exclusive relationship through 1950. Thereafter, he recorded for Decca/London and later the Vanguard label. Regrettably, Elman’s discs have never been reissued on CD in a systematic manner (whereas almost every recording which his contemporary Jascha Heifetz made has been readily available on CD for years).
Enjoy the show.