violinist Alexander Schneider in Bach and Schubert
Violinists: Recordings and Performances: Violinist Alexander Schneider performed with Pablo Casals at Marlboro festival around 1950. Does anyone remember him?
From John Barrett
Posted March 5, 2005 at 06:11 AM
Violinist Alexander Schneider performed works of Bach and Schubert with cellist Pablo Casals at a Marlboro festival around 1950. I would appreciate any information about him and his style and history, especially anyone with personal recollections.
Sascha was the 2nd fiddle player in the Budapest String Quartet for many years. A NYC teaching/playing /conducting icon.
The master class I met him at showed a serious educator and master violinist with a penchant for the dramatic...he asked a student to "show me your bow!" - which he then snatched out of the kids' hand, chiding him to "always keep a firm grip on the stick! What are you doing?""
I do. My family worshipped the Budapest Quartet. I have a CD of him playing Schubert's violin and piano music with Peter Serkin.
I have loved the Alexander Schneider/Peter Serkin Schubert CD for years. Schneider's musicianship, his phrasing, is unutterably beautiful. I also an LP recording of him playing Bach's B minor partita (solo violin). On CD I have him playing the Bach Double with Stern (Casals conducting) as well as chamber music performances with Casals & co. I'm sure your question will elicit many responses regarding Schneider's influence in drawing Casals out of his self-imposed public-playing exile. He (Schneider) clearly exerted a deeply positive influence on many young musicians; I know he did master classes... Thank you for reminding me of him...memory of his playing brings a smile.
I appreciate these three extremely interesting and helpful comments and would welcome more information on the history and repertoire of the Budapest Quartet and any other favorite groups people have.
Does anyone care to comment on the interactive aspects of quartet and chamber play, apart from the prior need of course for technical proficiency?
John, get the book Indivisible by Four: A String Quartet in Pursuit of Harmony -- by Arnold Steinhardt. It's in paperback and you can get it used at amazon.com for a couple of dollars. Learn from the best about the trials and pleasures of professional string quartet playing. Or you could just hang around outside a 7-11 and ask their clientele; PLUS you could enjoy a 72 ounce root beer Slurpee while you're at it. Yeah! Forget the Steinhardt book!
In the 50s.,Schneider form his own SQ (AS and Isidore Cohen vn, Karen Tuttle va.and Hermann Busch cello). They recorded complete Haydn SQ for the Haydn Society, a version still considered classic but OOP for many years.
About the story of the Budapest SQ, John, try to find the Spring edition 1998 of the Mazazine "International Classical Record Collector",a Gramophone Publication. Has several articles dedicated to the Budapest.
By the way; I have a CD with recordings of the ORIGINAL hungarian Budapest SQ (1926/28) with Emil Hauser first, Imne Pogany or Joseph Roisman second, Istvan Ipolyi viola and Harry Son cello. It was not the FIRST Budapest,which was formed in the 10s.
Sorry for my bad english...I am french. I was the friend and neighbour of Alexander Schneider (Sasha) in Provence. For 4 years, I am working on biography and discography of Sasha, for internet without commercial purpose. I hope all that is finished before the end of 2005 and then I send you the address of the website. I am very happy to see Sasha (died 1993) go out of purgatory.He was an extraordinary man and musician.
To day you have a book on Budapest String Quartet: "Con Brio" by Nat Brandt, Oxford University Press, with many pages about Sasha.
From Peter Kent
Posted on April 28, 2005 at 01:49 AM
The Budapest Qt, including Alexander S, was in residence for years at Univ of Buffalo...they lived, taught, and performed in the area...were generally accessible to all sting players...Mischa, the cellist, perhaps had the biggest positive influence in the area...Alexander was perhaps in mid-life crisis and had complaints about playing with pianists as Tempered pitch apparently clashed with his level of intonation..however one would not sense this from his playing
Sorry. I have forget an excellent book about Sasha Schneider: "Don't sqveeze de bow" (title with Sasha's accent for "Don't squeeze the bow"!) by Loren Glickman, Terra Nova Press, G.B. Manasek, Inc. Norwich VT 05055-1204 (1996)