Radio recordings from 1944 and 1947
A musical connection between the old Austria-Hungary and the modern, post-war Germany
recorded 1944 / 1947
In 1941, at the age of 19, Gerhard Taschner became one of the Berlin Philharmonic’s youngest concertmasters. He so magnetized his audiences that the orchestra used his portrait to advertise its concert programs. After the war he enjoyed a brilliant career as a soloist. In Europe, he was seen as the successor to Busch, Huberman and Kreisler. In South America, he was nicknamed the "Manolete of the violin" - after Manolete, the renowned bullfighter.
Taschner married Moravian origins, a stormy temperament and the characteristic musical imprint of Hubay in Budapest and Huberman in Vienna with an unusually straightforward, virtually "classical" perception. Experts will immediately compare his 1944 Bruch violin concerto recording (Berlin Philharmonic under Hermann Abendroth) with Kulenkampff’s 1941 recording, thereby sensing the modernity of the 22-year old Taschner. Archiphon has carefully restored this recording without sacrificing the original sonority.
After the war was over, the score to Khachaturian’s violin concerto was made available to Taschner by the Russian occupying forces. It was Taschner who made the work known in Germany. The Archiphon release is the third recording in an epoch-making series: Oistrakh 1944 (who premiered the concerto in 1940), Kaufman 1946 (the first American release) and Taschner 1947 (with the RSO Berlin under Artur Rother) - both the youngest and fieriest of the three recordings. Also appearing on CD for the first time is Sarasate’s "Zigeunerweisen", which Taschner recorded in 1944 with Michael Raucheisen. This recording made its way to Russia as war booty, but was returned in 1991.
Connoisseurs never forgot Taschner. Now, lovers of the violin have rediscovered him too. This is evidenced by a recent book on Taschner as well as articles in ZEIT, FONO FORUM and THE STRAD, not to mention a popular double CD issued by EMI with violin concertos recorded in the 1950s. The Archiphon CD comes at just the right time to fill in the missing 1940s.