Long Playing recording "Young Violinist's Editions, YV-3 , Series 1, Volume
3 ": Jan Shermont (violin) accompanied by Otto Schulhof (piano). They
play three student concertinos for violin and piano (by Accolay, Seitz,
and Ortmans). Cover submitted by violin teacher Mrs. Patricia Jaeger,
picture of young Michèle Auclair at the beginning of her career
when she received instruction from the famous couple.
Pashkus with Ossy Renardy.
Donald Gabor followed his own bliss as an entrepreneur - and as a music
lover, what he most certainly was! Obviously he wanted to attain a high
turnover in order to be able to invest in more recordings, to expand
his business and to be able to pay his personnel.
Gabor undeniably knew how to practice usury by releasing the same recordings
on different labels and in various couplings, and by creating series
for specific target groups. Yet, in essence, his ideas did not exclude
having a mission. On the contrary.
Gabor's creation of the 'Music Plus!' Series enforces this premise.
The series was produced for schools and for any person who wanted to
know more about famous composers and their famous compositions.
the case of the Young Violinist's Edition he was aiming at a
different target group which consisted of the many students in schools
of music, colleges, and universities, and of the many youngsters studying
with their private teachers, and of course the many amateurs practising
without any assistance. For this series Gabor did not use existing material,
but new sound recordings were deliberately made. Don
Gabor asked world famous pedagogues Theodore and Alice Pashkus
(who were living in New York at the time) to set up and supervise a
special series of instructional and inspirational recordings for young
and aspiring violinists in accordance with the teachings they received.
and Theodore Pashkus in
the nineteen forties.
Image Copyright and courtesy of Yorgos Manessis.
Image submitted by Stéfanos Theodoridis, Greece.
records with material for study and adding a printed score and instructions,
does not represent the complexity of teaching and instructing upcoming
and renown concert violinists. To experience the full meaning, it would
have been necessary to be present when Alice and Theodore Pashkus were
teaching the brain and training the physical aspects of playing the
violin. Nevertheless it is because of Donald Gabor's adventurous attitude
that the series existed and that there is and remained at least some
tangible evidence of the ideas of the famous couple, even if the significance
for many a professional violinist went far beyond a course for aspiring
youngsters, a series of Remington LPs and the accompanying books. Yet
the "Young Violinist's Edition" was a success. Today it is
a monument for the famous couple.
cover of the releases in this series says about Theodore and Alice Pashkus:
original, modern and unique method of teaching the high art
of violin playing has won worldwide recognition.
Among their artist-pupils are violin virtuosi of international
reputation such as Ossy Renardy, Ivry Gitlis, Michèle Auclair,
Blanche Tarjus and many others.
Yehudi Menuhin has adopted the principles of the "Pashkus method"
and integrated them into his playing.
Theodore and Alice Pashkus divide their teaching activities
between New York and Paris. Through "Young Violinist's Recordings"
and the "Young Violinist's Editions" together with the "Young
Violinist's Practice Guide", Theodore and Alice Pashkus made
available for the first time their unique method to average
violin students all over the world."
over the world' is obviously a key-phrase. Gabor had registered the
series as the covers indicate TRADEMARK. And of course the method was
the unique property of the pedagogues. One should not forget the intrinsic
value, and the educational and inspirational importance of this project.
The series was devised in 1953 and took some time for preparation and
production. According to Schwann Long Playing Record Catalog the first
releases were issued by the end of 1955, two years after Thibaud had
passed away at the age of 72 in a plane crash. Laszlo Halasz was the
Long Playing recording "Young Violinist's Editions, YV-1 , Series
1, Volume 1":
Jan Shermont (violin) is accompanied by
Otto Schulhof (piano). They play Viotti, Concerto No. 23 in G Major.
series were recommended by famous French violinist Jacques Thibaud and
by the evenly famous American violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
urge all young violinists to familiarize themselves with the contents
of this edition. Theodore and Alice Pashkus, the renowned violin
pedagogues have given young violinists a digest of their profound
knowledge, wide experience and artistic skill.
It seems to me impossible that a young violinist could fail to
benefit from the use of this edition, which will enable him to
express himself with greater ease and freedom.
is an event of particular importance when violin pedagogues of
international repute as Theodore and Alice Pashkus devote their
knowledge and experience to the task of assisting the young violinist
along the way towards mastery of his instrument.
The use of this edition with the Young Violinist's Practice Guide
will actually reduce the total practising time required and will
result in a safer command of the instrument. The young violinist
will be able to devote his mind and heart to the main object:
the musical contents of the piece and its interpretation.
himself had profited from the instructions of the violin pedagogues
when he was at an inspirational low in the nineteen forties. It is very
common when a child prodigy has grown to maturity that the initial qualities
need a new way of expression. One could say that Menuhin had lost the
intuitive approach somewhat, and it seemed that the mind, the intellect
and the physicality of playing were in the way.
and Theodore believe that the instrument should be regarded as an extension
of the body to express the mind and soul, a notion which is widely accepted
today but was then rather new. The learning experience Menuhin had when
taking lessons from the couple, obviously translated itself in his lifelong
practice of yoga. The teachings of Alice and Theodore, and regaining
confidence in his own art, eventually led to various important performances
having played for concentration camp prisoners, he came to the rescue
of Wilhelm Furtwaengler and German musical culture in 1947 by performing
with the great conductor and the Berlin Philharmonic after Furtwangler
had been cleared of misconduct (denazified). Yehudi Menuhin performed
the Concertos of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Peter I. Tchaikovsky
with Ferenc Fricsay, in 1949, in Berlin, with the
which were preserved by the RIAS (= Radio In American Sector) Broadcasting
Authority). These live recordings were later issued on LP.
in the early 1950s he made the famous and acclaimed recordings in London
and Berlin with Wilhelm Furtwaengler of the Concertos of Ludwig van
Beethoven and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.
Pashkus is instructing famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
Image Copyright and courtesy of Yorgos Manessis,
submitted by Stéfanos Theodoridis, Greece.
physical aspects of playing the violin are as important as the mindset
in order to be able to interpret a gem, a rhapsody, or an entire concerto.
By adopting the right position, muscle fatigue and strain can be minimized
and mastery will be improved, so strength and subtlety, phrasing and
vibrato can give a performance souvereignty. The photograph above which
is the property of Yorgos Menassis, shows Alice Pashkus while she is
instructing famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin while she uses a special
support to let him feel the right position of the elbow in relation
to the shoulder.
Menuhin recorded the Violin Concerto of Jean Sibelius with Anatole
Fistoulari conducting (His Master's Voice ALP 1350) at the time
when he endorsed the Theodore and Alice Pashkus Remington Series.
Menuhin's signed photograph thanking the couple for their instructions:
"To Theodore + Alice Pashkus, distinguished violin pedagogues,
with warmest greetings, Yehudi Menuhin - January, 27, 1946.
Image courtesy and copyright Yorgos Manessis. Image
submitted by Stéfanos Theodoridis, Greece.
back of each record cover of the Young Violinist Edition, and the cover
of each accompanying book with the scores of the compositions to be
played, mention the following:
for Millions present "Young Violinist's Edition" and "Young Violinist's
Volume consisted of:
The complete violin and piano parts.
2. "Young Violinist's Practice Guide".
3. Complete recording for Violin and Piano
4. Complete recording of Piano accompaniment alone with faintly indicated
Young Violinist's Series:YV-1:
1. Concerto No. 23 in G Major (Giovanni Battista Viotti)
2. Scène de Ballet Op. 100 (Charles Auguste de Bériot)
3. Hejre Kati (Scène de la Csardas) (Jeno Hubay)
4. Cavatina (Joachim Raff)
book containing the scores of the 3rd Volume was printed in Germany,
obviously during Don Gabor's stay in that country to supervise
recordings with the RIAS Symphony and preparing the releases of
those recordings on the German Diamanat label.
5. Concertino No.1 in a minor (Jean-Baptiste Accolay)
6. Concertino Op. 22 in D Major (Friedrich Seitz)
7. Concertino No.1 in a minor (René Ortmans)
Other works were released on subsequent records:
8. Concertino No.9 in a minor (Charles Auguste de Bériot)
9. Concerto No.13 in D Major (Rodolphe Kreutzer)
10. Concerto No.8 in e minor (Rode)
11. Concertino No.2 in G Major (Adolf Huber)
12. The Bee (Franz Schubert)
13. Kuyswiak (Mazurka) (Henryk Wieniawski)
14. Ballade et Polonaise (Henri Vieuxtemps)
Volume YV-9 figures "Zigeunerweisen" - Gypsy Airs (Pablo
de Sarasate) played by Jan Shermont, violin and Otto Schulhof, piano.
higher the volume number the greater the difficulty. Gabor's Series
of the method of Theodore and Alice Pashkus differed from the Music
Minus One-series which came into existence many years later. The Pashkus
method was far more elaborate as the pedagogues gave special preparatory
exercises to be able to study the respective works. They must have guided
many students to greater skill and insight.
Remington Series were very important at the time when they were produced,
despite the low quality of the manufacture of the discs.
Alice Pashkus knew exactly how to assess the issues of playing the
violin and knew how to communicate solutions in practice to the
artists who sought help, it seems that Theodore was more the organizational
talent in the prolifiration of their work and training method. He
edited numerous Violin Pieces for all levels of skill.
Felix Guenther he prepared "Everybody's Favorite
First Position Violin Pieces", published by Amsco Music Publishing
Co. Inc, 1600 Broadway, New York, 1939.
(From the SoundFountain
violin teacher from Seattle, Washington, USA, who initially sent me
scans of the cover of the disc of the 3rd series, stresses the importance
of a good teaching method and the accompanying teaching material. She
says, that when she was a student-violinist in her twenties, she was
able to play at an advanced level, and she gave solo recitals in the
US and in Europe. She is over 70 now and has been teaching violin and
viola for more than 54 years. She adds:
teaching material is very important for students. There is a
wonderful LP recording "Every Violinist's Guide"
by Stephen (Steven) Staryk, the Canadian violinist, for example,
with Etudes by Frederico Fiorillo (Etude pour le violon formant
36 caprices), Rodolphe Kreutzer (40 Etudes ou caprices pour
le violon), Jacques Féréol Mazas (Courses for
violin and alto), and others; he plays these at an incredibly
fast tempo that is an inspiration to us all!
example of Stephen Staryk's Violin Course on LP.
are also cassettes produced by Solo Plus, with Etudes for violin
and viola by Franz Wohlfahrt, Jacques Pierre Joseph Rode, and
Bartolomeo Campagnoli; the violinist is Harry Bluestone. Mel
Bay company in Pacific, Missouri, USA, produced those.
advanced concert repertoire of the violin is extensively recorded
by artists worldwide; but it is the etudes and small classics
that a student needs to master, before he/she can attempt the
great works. If there is going to be another generation of fine
string players, there needs to be a tool easily used by families
in the home, such as a cassette or CD, to inspire the student
to play these core studies and concertinos to a fine standard
I am sure I speak for many teachers of the violin who wish the
student had this! kind of tool. Perhaps some entrepreneur will
take the challenge and begin to issue once more, excellent student-oriented
recordings." - Patricia Jaeger, Seattle, 2003
pedagogues taught alternating in New York and Paris. Numerous are their
travels between America and Europe. The couple finally ended up in Vienna
where Theodore Pashkus taught at the Vienna Conservatory (Konservatorium
Wien). In August 22, 1968, the Conservatory announced that Theodore
Pashkus was to be a professor at the institute.
Gitlis - who appeared on Remington together with conductor Kurt
Wöss playing Paganini - receives instruction from Alice Pashkus.
(Image Copyright and courtesy of Yorgos Manessis.
Image submitted by Stéfanos Theodoridis, Greece.)
reveals that Theodore was born on January 11, 1905. He taught until
the beginning of 1970. He died in Vienna, in May, 1970.
Alice Pashkus was born on February 21, 1911, in Germany, and arrived
in the United States in 1935. Initially she studied medicine but after
meeting Theodore she dedicated herself to pedagogy. Although she became
a US citizen, she also went to live in Vienna where she taught until
1972. She passed away on February 1 of that year.
Photographs of Alice
and Theodore Pashkus, and of the violinists who sought help and studied
with the pedagogues, where sent to me by Stéfanos Theodoridis
and are courtesy of his teacher Yorgos Manessis who knew Alice Pashkus
well. Yorgos Manessis studied with her, not as a violinist, but as a
Text and research
Rudolf A. Bruil - Page first published on June 10th, 2003. Last updated
July 5th, 2011. All images edited by R.A.B.