Nadia Reisenberg – Live Chamber Recitals and Home Solo
Nadia Reisenberg (piano)
David Glazer (clarinet)
Galimir String Quartet (Dvořák)
Members of the Budapest String Quartet (Beethoven Op. 16)
David Glazer (clarinet): David Soyer (cello) (Mozart, Beethoven, Op.
rec. Mannes College, May 1963 (Weber and Mozart K498), December 1963
(Beethoven, Op.11), November 1980 (Dvořák): Frick Museum, November
1952 (Beethoven, Op.16); piano solos, home recordings, c.1951.
ROMÉO 7318/19 [78:20 + 74:50]
There has been a steady increase in interest in the legacy
of pianist Nadia Reisenberg in recent years, to the great advantage
of her numerous admirers. I’ve reviewed several of these releases,
where one can find some biographical material (review
This slimline twofer presents live performances from second generation
tape copies, a Beethoven Quartet that was recorded off air and a sequence
of home recorded solo piano pieces somewhat compromised by the inevitably
relatively primitive circumstances of the c.1951 recording. However,
Seth Winner has been busy with remedial assistance and has made the
set as listenable as one could hope.
The Weber Grand Duo Concertante and Mozart’s Kegelstatt
Trio were performed on 8 May 1963 as part of a faculty concert at Mannes
College. The sound is slightly recessed but the definition between David
Glazer’s clarinet and Reisenberg’s piano in the Weber is
fine and the performance brings out the tangy wit and elasticity of
the writing as well as the reminiscences of an operatic scena in the
central movement. Reisenberg’s passagework in the finale sparkles.
Cellist David Soyer joins for the Mozart, though unfortunately for matters
of ensemble he is badly off-mic for much of the time, only coming to
prominence in the finale, though even here he is covered by the piano.
This is no one’s fault: it’s a casualty of the original
set-up. The performance is technically adroit and wholly convincing
notwithstanding these drawbacks. Beethoven’s Gassenhauer
trio comes from a December 1963 run-through with the same three musicians,
though they go straight through without stopping. Better balanced, the
sprung rhythms are excellent, Soyer can expand in the expressive intensity
of the Adagio and there are charming exchanges in the finale.
Two major string quartet ensembles are represented on disc two. Three
members of the 1952 line-up of the Budapest Quartet join her for Beethoven’s
Quartet in E flat, Op.16; violinist Jac Gorodetsky, violist Boris Kroyt
and cellist Mischa Schneider. This comes from the Frick Museum via a
live off-air WNYC broadcast. Congested though the sound may be the performance
has real artistic merit, though in terms of sound I’d rate the
April 1955 Library of Congress traversal, where Joseph Roisman was the
violinist and Horszowski the pianist, higher. The most modern performance
is Dvořák’s Op.8, a November 1980 Mannes College Concert
where Reisenberg joins the Galimir Quartet – from which ensemble
only Felix Galimir remained from its great days, decades before. This
is a strong reading, with the Bohemian rhythms crisply delineated and
the music’s emotive extremes well resolved. Rubati can be leisurely
in places but not excessively so.
From 1951 or thereabouts one can hear Reisenberg solo, in a powerfully
conceived Liszt Spanish Rhapsody, a charming performance of the Valse
from Glazunov’s Three Miniatures, a Chopin Waltz and the C sharp
minor Nocturne, all of which attest to her superior musicianship.
Reisenberg’s son Robert Sherman contributes a characteristically
thoughtful note to this fine enterprise.
Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
Grand Duo Concertante, Op. 48, j204 (1815-16) [18:36]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Trio in E-flat Major, K. 498 “Kegelstatt” (1786) [19:47]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 11 “Gassenhauer” (1797)
Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 16 (1796) [23:22]
Pastorale Variée [5:25]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Spanish Rhapsody, S254 (1863) [12:29]
Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, B155 (1887) [40:34]
Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936)
Valse Allegretto in D, Op. 42, No. 3 (1893) [3:15]
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 42 [3:35]
Nocturne No. 20 in c-sharp minor, Op. Posth. [3:41]