Schubert. Trios No. 1 & 2 for Piano, Violin and Violoncello: E. Istomin, A. Schneider, P. Casals & M. Horszowski, A. Schneider, P. Casals
George Istomin (November 26, 1925 – October 10, 2003) was an American
was born in New York City of Russian-Jewish parents. He was famous for his work
in the piano trio, with Isaac Stern and Leonard Rose, known as the
Istomin-Stern-Rose Trio, with whom he made many recordings, and particularly of
music by Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert. He also played with them in orchestral
music, with conductors such as Eugene Ormandy, Bruno Walter and also as a
earliest public performances were from age 6 with his mother, and at 12 he
entered the Curtis Institute. He studied under Rudolf Serkin and also Mieczysław
1943 he won the Leventritt award, and also the Philadelphia Youth Award. He
made his debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra with Eugene Ormandy, playing a
concerto by Chopin, and the New York Philharmonic conducted by Artur Rodziński
playing Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 in the same week in 1943.
commissioned and premiered Roger Sessions' piano concerto in 1956. Several
other composers, including Henri Dutilleux and Ned Rorem, wrote music for him.
won a Grammy Award in 1970 with the trio, for their recordings of Beethoven.
recorded extensively for Columbia
(later Sony Classical) solo works and chamber music.
married Marta Montañez Martinez (Marta Casals Istomin), the widow of Pablo
Casals, on February 15, 1975.
She is a former president of the Manhattan School of Music and former artistic
director of the KennedyCenter
for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
He moved to Washington in 1980.
the 1980s and 1990s he gave recital tours in which he toured 30 American cities
with his own pianos and piano tuner.
received the French Légion d'honneur in 2001.
died of liver cancer in 2003 at his home in Washington.
Schneider (October 21, 1908 – February 2, 1993) was a violinist, conductor,
and educator. Born in Vilna, Lithuania,
he later moved to the United States
as a member of the Budapest Quartet.
(Sasha) was born Abram Sznejder. At 13 Abram almost died of tetanus after
cutting his knee in an accident. The tetanus distorted his joints and recovery
was long and painful. Sascha left Vilna in 1924 and joined his brother Mischa
Schneider in Frankfurt, after securing a scholarship to
study violin with Adolf Rebner, the principal violin tutor at the Hoch
Alexander became leader (concertmaster) of an orchestra in Saarbrücken. It was
at this point that he changed his name. The orchestra director wanted him as
leader but wanted a German-sounding name. Abram took Schneider as a surname
because his brother Mischa had already selected it. Alexander appealed to him
as a first name. In 1929 he was appointed leader of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk
Orchestra in Hamburg. In 1932, he
lost this job as a result of the ongoing Nazi campaign against Jews - soon the
time would come to leave Germany.
this time, the Budapest Quartet, whose cellist was Sasha's brother Mischa, lost
their first violinist. Although the quartet had not yet left Germany,
they spent a lot of time out of the country, were self-exployed, and the Nazis
had not yet caught up with them. For Sasha to join them was an ideal
arrangement all round. Their existing second violinist, Josef Roismann,
switched to first and Sasha joined as second. This was because Roismann was
already comfortable with the other players whereas Sasha would need time to
learn their repertoire and style.
In 1934 the Nazis made threats to the quartet
and they left Berlin for Paris the next day, never to return to Germany again - even on
tour. When war broke out in 1939 they happened to be on tour in the United States. They all obtained permission to stay and from then on made it their
on, Schneider felt the need to develop himself as an independent musician so he
left the quartet in 1944, full of energy and ideas. He was offered a
conductorship of the Metropolitan Opera, and leadership of the Pro Arte and Paganini
Quartets but turned them down. He toured with Ralph Kirkpatrick and he formed
the Albeneri Trio with Benar Heifetz and Erich Itor Kahn.
studied with Casals in Prades. There he persuaded Casals to participate in a
festival in 1949 to honour the two hundredth anniversary of Bach’s death. At
the occasion he recorded Bach's Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied
Violin (BWV 1001-1006) for Mercury Records. He supported Casals in further Bach
festivals at Prades and Perpignan.
Later he would conduct Casals' oratorio The Manger (El Pessebre)
in Guadalajara, Jalisco,
Mexico, during the Festival
Casals de México, recording it in 1973 in Puerto Rico.
in 1949 he formed a string quartet to perform and record all eighty-three of
Haydn’s quartets. This was not completed because its sponsor, the Haydn
Society, ran out of funds.
was a very sociable man with a wide circle of friends. He worked hard to
promote chamber music with free or subsidised concerts.
the quartet persuaded Schneider to rejoin them. They had tried two other second
violinists (Ortenberg and Gorodetzky), neither of them able to reach
Schneider's high standards, and Roismann had refused to continue with anyone
else. Schneider had remained in close contact with the quartet and he stood in
for Ortenberg or Gorodetzky when they were ill. Now it was agreed the quartet would
operate part-time with Schneider and he would continue his independent career.
They finally disbanded in 1967.
was the Artistic Director of the Schneider Concerts at The New School (New
York City), from 1957 until his death. Under the auspices
of the NewSchool,
Schneider and his manager, Frank Salomon, founded the "New York String
Orchestra", a year-end seminar-performance for young string musicians, in 1969.
addition to the Budapest Quartet, he played with a number of other chamber groups,
among them his own string group, and the Brandenburg Ensemble.
Horszowski (June 23, 1892 – May 22, 1993) was a Polish pianist who had the
longest career in the history of the performing arts.
was born in Lwów (Lemberg), Austria-Hungary,
and was initially taught by his mother, a pupil of Karol Mikuli (himself a
pupil of Frédéric Chopin). He became a pupil of Theodor Leschetizky in Vienna
at the age of seven; Leschetizky had studied with Beethoven's pupil Carl Czerny.
1901 he gave a performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in Warsaw
and soon after toured EuropeAmericas
as a child prodigy. In 1905 the young Horszowski played to Gabriel Fauré and
met Camille Saint-Saëns in Nice. In 1911 Horszowski put his performing career
on hold in order to devote himself to literature, philosophy and art history in
who was barely five feet tall, had rather small hands. Thus, he avoided much of
the virtuoso repertoire (one possible reason he never attained the
"superstar" status of Horowitz or Rubinstein). Horszowski's
performances were known for their natural, unforced quality, balancing
intellect and emotion. He was frequently praised for his tonal quality, as was
common for pupils of Leschetizky.
returned to the concert stage with the encouragement of Pablo Casals, he
settled in Milan after the First
World War, remaining there until he settled to the United
States during World War II. Following the
war, Horszowski frequently gave recitals with artists such as Casals, Alexander
Schneider, Joseph Szigeti and the Budapest Quartet. He often appeared at the
Prades Festival and the Marlboro Festival. Horszowski performed with the NBC
Symphony Orchestra under Toscanini, with whom he was friends, in 1943 and 1953.
From 1940 he lived in New York City.
In 1957 Horszowski gave a memorable cycle of Beethoven's entire solo works in New
York, and in 1960 of Mozart's piano sonatas. His very
diverse and extensive repertoire also embraced such composers as Honegger, d'Indy,
Martinů, Stravinsky, Szymanowski and Villa-Lobos. In 1979, on a restored Cristofori
pianoforte, the pianist recorded the music of Lodovico Giustini, which were
commissioned by Cristofori and are the first known compositions written
specifically for the pianoforte.
twice performed at the White House: with Casals and Schneider in 1961 and a
solo performance in 1979.
was widely recorded, and can be heard on the HMV, Columbia,
RCA, Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch, and other labels. He also taught at the Curtis
Institute of Music in Philadelphia,
counting among his pupils Richard Goode, Anton Kuerti, Murray Perahia, Peter
Serkin, Steven De Groote, Kathryn Selby and Eugene Pridonoff.
1981, the 89-year-old Horszowski married Bice Costa, an Italian pianist. Bice
later edited Horszowski's memoirs and a volume of his mother's correspondence
about Horszowski's early years. She also discovered and recorded some songs
composed by Horszowski on French texts ca. 1913-1914.
Horszowski's family was of Jewish origin (which made him a fugitive from Europe
in the 1930s), he was himself an early convert to Roman Catholicism, and a very
devout one. As the French critic André Tubeuf has written (in his notes to the EMI
re-issue of Horszowski's 1930s-era recordings of the Beethoven cello sonatas
with Pablo Casals), "Horszowski was both very Jewish and very Catholic, in
both cases as only a Pole could have been."
final performance took place in Philadelphia
in October 1991. He died in that city one month before his 101st birthday. He
had given his final lesson the week prior to his death.
No. 1 for Piano, Violin and Violoncello in B Flat Major, D. 898:
Andante un poco mosso
Rondo. Allegro vivace
Eugene Istomin, piano
Alexander Schneider, violin
June 1952, Prades
No. 2 for Piano, Violin and Violoncello in E Flat Major, D. 929: