release of Mozart's Piano Concerto performed by Fritz Weidlich on Plymouth P-12-13
Iimage of violinist
Siegfried Borries taken from an old publication
was the piano teacher of the young Otmar Suitner at the Städtische Musikschule
(City Music School) of Innsbruck, Austria. That was before Suitner went to Salzburg
in 1940 to continue his studies there with Franz Ledwinka (piano) and Clemens
Krauss (conducting), and eventually become the famous conductor.
is said that Dr. Hans Wolf - who also recorded for the Remington label - did study
with Fritz Weidlich for a short time after Wolf had returned to Austria with the
US Army in 1945. More significant however is the fact that
Hans Wolf helped Weidlich obtain permission from the occupational forces
to entertain the citizens of Innsbruck with the newly rebuilt Tiroler Symphony
Orchestra in 1945.
the back of the cover of Remington R-199-89 is printed this brief biographical
Weidlich was born on July 12, 1898 at Vienna. He was a student at the Vienna University,
but his studies were interrupted for several years owing to the outbreak of World
In 1934, after twelve years of touring as an opera conductor, he was
recalled to Vienna to conduct at the Vienna Volksoper.
Later, Weidlich accepted
the position of director and head of the Municipal Conservatory in Innsbruck where
he supervised the entire concert life of the city. Later he became head of the
liner notes were obviously written when the release on R-149-43 was prepared in
1951, or in the summer of 1952 for the issue on the 12 inch disc with reference
R-199-89, well before Fritz Weidlich unexpectedly died. The number 7 in the date
of birth (July 17), probably handwritten by
Prawy, was accidently read as a 2 by the copywriter of the liner notes,
hence July 12. This short annotation never was corrected and further details about
Weidlich were never added. Once a release had been published, corrections were
know more about Fritz Weidlich's career, one has to consult the extensive article
Kurz and published in the September 1952 edition of "Amtsblatt".
Kurz gives many details and background information. The web site of the
Symphonieorchester, also provides some historical facts. And there are
related pages about various composers and performers.
of the available documents reveal that Fritz Weidlich was a musician 'pur sang'
who, after leaving the army at the end of World War I, started in 1919 as an orchestra
violinist. Three years later he was already serving as a Kapellmeister, first
in Lübeck. In 1928 he became an opera conductor in Troppau, and six years
later, in Vienna. But not for long, as he accepted the post of Director of the
Städtische Musikschule in Innsbruck in 1935. He introduced himself to the
public by playing and conducting from the piano a Haydn Concerto. In 1937 he became
Innsbruck's opera conductor.
The next call was to Lemberg (Lwow, Lviv). Through the ages this town
had been under Russian, Austrian, Polish and Ukrainian rule and it had
a history of murdering Jews. And from 1941 on Lviv or Lwow (Lemberg
in German), situated in the Galizien District, was part
of Hitler's so called "Generalgouvernement".
the Nazis carried out their atrocities in 1941, right after the day
the occupation by the Russians had ended. They built a concentration
camp at the outskirts of the city, the Janowsk Camp. The Jews were interned
and murdered, or transported to other camps. A small number survived
in the sewers as a Polish Catholic sewer maintenance worker and burglar,
Leopold Socha, along with his friend and co-worker Szczepek Wróblewski,
hid and cared for a group of Polish Jews who had escaped the massacres
and deportations during the liquidation of the Lwów Ghetto, as
Wikipedia tells. Many posts of musicians had become vacant, and also
that of conductor of the Opera. Weidlich may have been attracted to
the rich cultural life of the city. Despite all what had happened he
seized the opportunity to take up the post of conductor. It is reported
that young Stanislaw Skrowaczewski sneaked into the conservatory to
attend rehearsals led by Weidlich. There Weidlich conducted Verdi's
Aida in 1942. See
Lviv Opera House.
Weidlich left Lwów by the end of August, 1943, and moved to Bratislava
(Preßburg), where he took up the post of Music Director. One and a half
year later he conducted there for the last time, on February 19, 1945. He then
returned to Innsbruck where he was "saved" by Hans Wolf and was allowed
to start rebuilding the Tiroler Symphonieorchester (Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra).
- Haydn Symponies. No. 88 conducted by Paul Walter and No. 100 ('Military') conducted
by Fritz Weidlich. Cover by Einhorn
tenure was very successful. He worked with many well-known violinists: Siegfried
Borries, Ginette Neveu, Ricardo Odnoposoff,
Walter Schneiderhan, and Max Strub.
The cellists he accompanied included
Gaspar Cassadó, Pierre Fournier, Ludwig
Hoelscher, Enrico Mainardi, and Maurice Maréchal. When he did not perform
the solo part in a concerto while conducting the orchestra from the piano, he
accompanied other pianists, Ernst von Dohnanyi, and Friedrich Wührer. In
his twenties he had accompanied pianist Joseph Pembaur (a pupil of Bruckner),
and later accompanied bass singer Josef von Manowarda, and tenor Julius Poelzer,
artists of the interbellum.
Weidlich managed a heavy schedule throughout his entire professional life. He
performed, he taught, and he composed (although he was rather modest about his
own creations). He also travelled to Italy, to Germany, and he even conducted
in Tripoli (it is not sure if this was Tripoli in Greece, in Libya or in Lebanon).
performed all of the Beethoven Sonatas in concert and Schubert's complete Sonatas
in a series of radio broadcasts. On top of that he promoted the music written
by composers from Tirol who belonged to the ATK, 'Arbeitsgemeinschaft Tiroler
Komponisten'- Composers Collective of Tirol (Tyrol).
K 219 performed by Violinist Eva Hitzker on R-149-37
Amtsblatt, September 1952 edition. Courtesy of Günter Mühlberger, Ph.
University of Innsbruck
Remington Recordings of Fritz Weidlich:
and R-199-89 - Haydn: Symphony No. 100, Military
Fritz Weidlich conducting
the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra
R-149-43 was issued in the fall of 1951.
R-199-89 was coupled with Symphony No. 88 conducted by Paul Walter, issued one
year later in the fall of 1952.
Warren DeMotte wrote: "Weidlich is prosaic and coarse."
DeMotte's severe judgement, when playing the record on modern equipment, the performance
shows subtleties, good phrasing and it is evident that Weidlich is in full command
of the orchestra.
- Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20, K 466
Fritz Weidlich, soloist, conducting
the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra from the piano. Released in 1951. Also issued
as Plymouth P-12-13.
- Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5, K 219
Eva Hitzker (violinist) and the
Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra conducted by Fritz Weidlich.
Cecil Smith comments in The New Republic of April 23, 1951: "Mozart's A major
Violin Concerto, played by Eva Hitzker and the Salzburg Festival Orchestra under
the direction of Fritz Weidlich, is also every way enjoyable."
- Tchaikovsky: Andante cantabilé from String Quartet No. 1, Waltz from
Serenade for String Orchestra - Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K 525
Fritz Weidlich conducting the SalzburgFestival Orchestra.
recordings were not evaluated in The Long Playing Record Guide or reviewed by
the critics of High Fidelity Magazine. The technical and artistic qualities were
rarely on a par with the recordings of the major labels. C.G. Burke, in
the 4th instalment of his discography of recordings of works by Mozart, "Mozart
on microgroove" (High Fidelity November-December 1953), comments on various
recordings of Serenata Notturna (Eine kleine Nachtmusik) as follows:
overloaded with precautions. ...
Weidlich. Ordinary, not bad by the conductor
since his orchestra has no suavity. Satisfactory sound. ...
Decidedly refined, but graceless and hurried.
Kleiber. Dull sound...
Pompous fussy and labored. Scrawny sound... (...)" - C.G. Burke - High
Weidlich was born in Vienna on July 17, 1898. He died unexpectedly at the relatively
young age of 54 in Innsbruck, on August 16, 1952, of heart failure.
Research and text (c) Rudolf A. Bruil. Page first published on
the Internet on June 28, 2012.