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Warsaw Philharmonic Archive- Zecchi and Kletzki
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)

Symphony No. 8 in C major D944 Great (1825-1828)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)

Symphony No. 39 in E flat major K543 (1788)
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Carlo Zecchi (Schubert, recorded in concert, March 1955)
Paul Kletzki (Mozart, recorded in concert, May 1962)
CD ACCORD ACD 114-2 [74.11]

 

The Warsaw Philharmonic continues to release its archive. Here we have two esteemed conductors though the one, Kletzki, far outstripped the other, Carlo Zecchi, in prestige. Zecchi (1903-84) was a piano pupil of Schnabel and Busoni in Berlin, making his debut at seventeen and specialising in Scarlatti, Mozart, Schumann and Chopin. It was only in 1938 that he began conducting studies and his public career as a pianist gradually wound down, though he was still playing duos with Italy’s leading cellist Enrico Mainardi in 1940. A noted teacher at the conservatory of St Cecilia in Rome and in Vienna where he was popular, his pupils include Abbado, Barenboim and Mehta. As a recording artist things were a little more complicated. He may be best known for his accompaniment to Haskil’s Beethoven Fourth Concerto (with the LPO on 78s) but he certainly travelled widely, recording Brahms with the Concertgebouw, Berlioz with the Czech Philharmonic, Mozart with the Rumanian Radio Orchestra, a dose of Haydn with the Slovak Phil in Bratislava and, in his semi-adopted Vienna, recording relatively extensively with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra.

Zecchi conducts the Schubert C major in perfectly acceptable 1955 sound. The reading is in the grand manner, not as affectionately moulded perhaps as Boult’s famous readings and not always boasting the most precise of playing but powerful and moving in the Andante. He manages to bind the thematic material here, by no means an easy matter, and though he jettisons repeats in the Scherzo he drives incisively toward the end of the Allegro Vivace.

Paul Kletzki made this appearance in Warsaw in May 1962. He had actually been born in Łódź in 1900 and studied in Warsaw, having pursued composition and violin with the distinguished Emil Młynarski. His Mozart E major Symphony has an attractive sense of anticipation in the opening movement with strong bass and celli lines. He certainly favours a biggish band but springs the rhythms well, although some might find that some of the phrasing and articulation is inclined to be a little rushed. Nevertheless the exchanges of first and second violins in the finale are quick and lithe and the music making blends seriousness with animation. The sound is once again perfectly acceptable and followers of the conductors might want to investigate these well-disinterred performances.

Jonathan Woolf

 



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