release of Mozart's Piano Concerto performed by Fritz Weidlich on Plymouth
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
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 War I.
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 Innsbruck
liner notes were probably 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 seldom made.
know more about Fritz Weidlich's career, one has to consult the extensive
article written by
Kurz and published in the September 1952 edition of "Amtsblatt".
Kurz gives many details and background information. The web site of
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 (Lvov, 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 Lvov (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. Therefor many posts had
become vacant, of musicians, and also 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
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,
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
from Amtsblatt, September 1952 edition. Courtesy of Guenter Muehlberger,
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
Warren DeMotte wrote: "Weidlich is prosaic and coarse."
Despite 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,
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:
Fair, overloaded with precautions. ...
Weidlich. Ordinary, not bad by the conductor since his orchestra
has no suavity. Satisfactory sound. ...
Koussevitzky. Decidedly refined, but graceless and hurried.
Kleiber. Dull sound...
Furtwangler. Pompous fussy and labored. Scrawny sound... (...)"
- C.G. Burke - High Fidelity, 1953.
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
Research and text (c) Rudolf A. Bruil. Oage first published
in the Internet on June 28, 2012.