Sound Fountain




Walter Schneiderhan (1901-1978)


Beethoven's Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 8, performed by Helen Airoff and pianist Céliny Chailley-Richez (released in 1952), is coupled with Sonata No. 2 performed by Walter Schneiderhan and pianist Erich Berg (sometimes named Heinrich Berg) on





























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When he was already in his fifties, Walter Schneiderhan (Vienna, April 9, 1901- Vienna, December 21, 1978) recorded for Vox, Pantheon, and SPA (Society of Participating Artists).
His earliest LP recordings however, were made for Don Gabor's Remington Records Inc.


There are many talented artists who are not successful in pursuing a solo career and do not rise to fame, or only for a short period in their lives. Most of the time because the personal make up of the artist does not allow it or the circumstances are simply unfavorable.
Walter Schneiderhan at the beginning of his career.
Photo Reform, Karlsbad (today Karlo Vivary, Czech Republic)

It is true, as a soloist Walter Schneiderhan is considered less talented than Wolfgang Schneiderhan. But it is also true that, while he lived in the shadow of his younger brother Wolfgang (1915-2002), he was an excellent chamber music player but also had a repertory of solo concertos. There are a few recordings of this Austrian musician that do deserve attention. Among them the Remington discs, despite the fact that these are the outcome of a limited budget, the limiting technical aspects, and a limited recording time.
On March 26th, 1950, violinist Walter Schneiderhan performed with the Niederösterreiches Tonkünstler-Orchester and conductor Kurt Wöss, in the Musikvereinssaal in Vienna. He played Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. Less than a year later he was the soloist in the Brahms Concert on January 7. It is not sure on which day the above photograph was taken.
Picture courtesy Markus Hennerfeind, researcher of the Tonkünstler Orchester.

Walter Schneiderhan formed a trio with flutist Camillo (Kamillo) Wanausek and pianist Helen Schnabel. They recorded 'Trio for Flute, Violin and Piano' by Carl Philip Emanuel Bach for the Society of Participating Artists (SPA 37). Also for SPA he recorded Concertos in F and A (Tartini) with conductor F. Charles Adler (SPA 46).

With Gustav Swoboda (violin) and Senta Benesch (cello) he recorded Trios Nos. 1 to 6 by Boccherini (Westminster 18050, 18051, 18052). With Gustav Swoboda (violin), Alfred Holetschek (harpsichord) and Senta Benesch (cello) recordings were made of Sonata, Polonaise No. 2 and Trio Sonata, all by Telemann (Westminster 18031). And for the Boston based Unicorn label he recorded a Concerto by Michael Haydn (UN LP 1018) with F. Charles Adler conducting. In the recording entitled 'Chamber Music' by Boccherini, he plays together with Antonio Janigro (cello), Richard Adeney (flute), Gustav Swoboda (violin), again for Westminster.

Schneiderhan is soloist (together with cellist Nikolaus Hubner) in Sinfonia Op. 18, No. 4, by Johann Christian Bach, conducted by Paul Sacher (Philips A0642L, Columbia ML 4869).
On Vox there is the recording of Brahms's Violin Concerto with Edouard van Remoortel and the Bamberger Symphoniker (PL 16010), also released earlier as Pantheon. Furthermore he recorded Mozart's Violin Concerto K 219 with conductor Ernest Matisson and Bruch's concerto with Charles F. Adler, both with the Orchestra of the "Wiener Konzertvereinigung". Just to mention a few.

On the Remington label we find the Violin Concerto of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdi with Thomas Sherman conducting (RLP-149-14), recorded on July 22, 1950 in Vienna in the Mozartsaal of the Konzerthaus and released in the Spring of 1951.

He also recorded Ludwig van Beethoven's Sonata No. 2 which was issued on R-199-95, and Sonata No. 7 on R-149-35, both with pianist Erich Berg, also referred to as Heinrich Berg (1915-1976). RLP-149-35 was released in September 1951 and R-199-95 in the following year.

It is not clear why Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata, also played with Erich Berg, was released on the Plymouth-Merit label and not on Remington.


The above picture is of Walter Schneiderhan in the mid nineteen fifties when he had recorded the Bruch Violin Concerto with F.C. Adler conducting, and the Mozart K 219 Concerto with Ernest Matisson. In both cases with the Wiener Konzertvereinigung. These performances were released on Tefi Schallbänder (Tefifon Schallband label). See
RIAS Symphony Orchestra

Walter Schneiderhan's name (his Christian name also spelled Walther) can be found on many discs when playing solos in various compositions like Schönberg's 'Pierrot lunaire' where he plays the violin and the viola, he takes part in J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6 (Complete) from 1954, conducted by Jascha Horenstein. Other soloists in this recording are Nikolaus Harnoncourt (viola da gamba) and Paul Angerer (harpsichord). Walter Schneiederhan accompanied Kathleen Ferrier singing 'Erbarme dich, mein Gott'. He did the same for Dutch alto Aafje Heynis.

The Society of Participating Artists Inc. (SPA) released a recording of Symphony No. 3 of Gustav Mahler in July 1952, a 3 LP set. The soloists are Hildegard Roessel-Majdan (Alto), Eduard Koerner (Post Horn), Walter Schneiderhan (Violin), Vienna Saengerknaben, F. Charles Adler conducting the "Vienna Orchestra" - SPA 20/21/22, later reissued in the fall of 1955 on two discs as SPA 70/71.

He also played the solo violin in a rare recording of Scheherazade with Jean Fournet conducting the "Wiener Symphoniker". At right the cover of the later release of this 1959 recording on Fontana 700 062 WGY (stereo). The recording was issued earlier on Philips 850 204.

Walter Schneiderhan was a professor at the Conservatory of Vienna and was a member of the Wiener Symphoniker. He was the leader of that orchestra from 1948 on and in that capacity he received the 'Bruckner Ring' in 1966.

Rudolf A. Bruil - February 12th, 2006



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