Ludwig Hoelscher, cellist

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Ludwig Hoelscher, cellist

Post by Lance » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:58 pm

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Membran 234337, 10 CDS
The Complete Telefunken Recordings
[All remastered from the original tapes]

Membran offers some very good prices on their ten-CD boxed sets. Sometimes I've been very happy with the results, but early on, transfers were just fair or less. It seems that much of what they issued was taken in transfers from LPs, tapes, or maybe even CDs because of Europe's legal orders on dates of recordings, which is more firm in the USA.

However, I was happy to see a reasonably-priced 10-CD of all of Ludwig Hoelscher's Telefunken recordings. No dates are shown in the accompany booklet as to when the recordings were actually made, however credit for the remastering is given to Parlophone's Abbey Road Studios, which is, essentially EMI now taken over by Warner.

I really first got to know of Ludwig Hoelscher (1907-1996) through his recordings of the five Beethoven cello and piano sonatas recorded with pianist Elly Ney, who, on her own, was one of the most incredible Beethoven pianists I knew. I was so entranced with her playing that I even visited her grave in Tutzing, Bavaria when I visited Germany. At that time, I did was not aware of her Nazi affiliations. She was frequently called "Hitler's pianist." Her daughter, the actress Leonore, advises (in other sources) that her mother only met Hitler once and he was hardly aware of her having heard only a portion of something she played. Nonetheless, if one removes the Nazi references while listening to the pianist, you will find it extraordinary playing of Beethoven. Paired with her friend, cellist Ludwig Hoelscher, it was quite the dream collaboration as rendered in these mono recordings of all five sonatas plus three sets of cello variations. I am not aware of Nazi afilliations Ludwig Hoelscher may have had with the Nazi movement, but I suspect there was some involvement.

All recordings are mono with the exception of the Dvorak Cello Concerto, Op. 104 with Joseph Keilberth conducting who also has somewhat of a cult following. Unfortunately, there is no total package listing of a breakdown of works. However, composers include Chopin, Respighi, Fauré, Dvorak pieces, Gaillard, Couperin, Frescobaldi, Debussy, JS Bach (all Sarabandes from the six cello suites), Valentini, Gluck, Schubert/Cassadò, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Mendelssohn. Piano collaborators outside of Elly Ney in the Beethoven include pianists Hans Altmann, and Michael Raucheisen, the latter of whom was an extraordinary collaborator with many of the great singers of his time as we well as instrumentalists, very much in the Gerald Moore tradition.

This is a deluxe-boxed edition with a pull-off cap cover on top, and it is a bit wider than it should be to accommodate the 10 CDs plus the booklet. For me, this is a surprise release, one of those I "had to have," as Hoelscher was a supreme cellist, not to mention Elly Ney's contribution in this set. •
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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