Ida Haendel – The Decca Legacy
Ida Haendel
Label
Decca
Catalogue No.
4841688
Barcode
00028948416882
Format
CD
About

A tribute to the late Ida Haendel, comprising her complete Decca Recordings (1940–1997), newly remastered, as well as her performances at the 1982 Huberman Festival. Lavishly illustrated, Original Jackets, Limited Edition.

On her death in July 2020, obituaries worldwide paid glowing tributes to the effervescence of the violinist Ida Haendel, in both her playing and her person. Both with and without her bow, she captivated listeners and fellow musicians such as the cellist Steven Isserlis: ‘She spoke through her violin, proved herself through it, lived within the music she made. She was a marvel, an icon; each note she played was the result of total conviction – and as a consequence was totally convincing. She had been groomed from the beginning to be a star – and a star she was.’

It is those prodigious early years that enjoy belated attention in this new box of Haendel’s collected Decca recordings. Her first recordings date from 1940, when Haendel, in her early teens, was accompanied by a fellow Polish émigré Adele Kotowska in showpieces and encores. Her reputation in the UK had been secured by accomplished debuts at Wigmore Hall and the Queen’s Hall Proms. Decca confidently invested in her promise, and were rewarded with albums that were consistently acclaimed for the violinist’s warmth and depth of tone and virtuoso temperament, but also liveliness of musical response to a wide variety of repertoire, from a Schubert sonatina to violinistic fireworks by Kreisler and Sarasate.

Haendel was soon paired with an equally brilliant young pianist, Noel Mewton-Wood, for a spry reading of Beethoven’s Eighth Sonata, and then with Ivor Newton for more demanding modern repertoire such as Stravinsky’s Divertimento and Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances. Her recording career continued to flourish after the war with several well-received concerto discs of Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Dvořák: all made for 78s and long unavailable until the new remasterings by Mark Obert-Thorn in the present collection. However, despite the excellent reviews, Haendel’s father elected to sign a contract with EMI and she ceased recording for Decca in September 1947.

Haendel’s return to the label had to wait almost 40 years, but a 1996 recital with Vladimir Ashkenazy of modern classics from eastern Europe – Szymanowski, Bartók and Enescu – had critics and listeners alike marvelling at her longevity and undimmed technical command. As well as a live account of the Sibelius Concerto from Israel in 1982 and a spoken memoir from the producer Evans Mirageas, this tribute is significantly enhanced by a previously unpublished late recording: Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending, from 1997, with the London Philharmonic and Sir Roger Norrington, originally intended for release within a Vaughan Williams symphony cycle. A work new to Haendel’s relatively slender discography, this will attract the attention of violin-lovers everywhere.

Track Listing / Artists

CD 1
JEAN-MARIE LECLAIR

1–2 Sarabande and Tambourin°

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
3–5 Sonata No. 8 in G major for Piano and Violin, Op. 30 No. 3

FRANZ SCHUBERT
6–9 Sonatina in G minor for Violin and Piano, Op. 137 No. 3 (D.408)
10 Rosamunde – Ballet Music (arr. Kreisler)*           

JOHANNES BRAHMS
11 Waltz in A major, Op. 39 No. 15 (arr. Hochstein)

FRITZ KREISLER
12 Tambourin chinois, Op. 3
13 Caprice viennois, Op. 2*
14 Schön Rosmarin

FELIX MENDELSSOHN
15–17 Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64°

IDA HAENDEL, violin
Adela Kotowska, piano (1–2, 6–14)
Noël Mewton-Wood, piano (3–5)
National Symphony Orchestra / Malcolm Sargent (15–17)

*FIRST CD RELEASE ON DECCA
°FIRST INTERNATIONAL CD RELEASE ON DECCA

 

CD 2
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK
1 Slavonic Dance No. 2 in E minor, Op. 46 (B.83) No. 2 (arr. Kreisler)*
2 Humoresque, Op. 107 (B.187) No. 7*
Adela Kotowska, piano

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK
3–5 Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53 (B.108)°
National Symphony Orchestra
Karl Rankl

PIOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
6–8 Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35°
National Symphony Orchestra
Basil Cameron

IDA HAENDEL, violin
*FIRST CD RELEASE ON DECCA
°FIRST INTERNATIONAL CD RELEASE ON DECCA

 

CD 3                                                              

1 BAZZINI La Ronde des lutins, Op. 25*

HENRYK WIENIAWSKI
2 Polonaise brillante No. 2 in A major, Op. 21*
3 Scherzo-Tarantelle in G minor, Op. 16           

PABLO DE SARASATE
4 Carmen – Fantasie de concert, Op. 25*
5 Zapateado, Op. 23 No. 2 (from Danzas Españolas)
6 Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 No. 1*

7 ALBÉNIZ Malagueña, Op. 165 No. 3 (arr. Kreisler)           

MANUEL DE FALLA
8 Miller’s Dance (from El Sombrero de Tres Picos, arr. Szigeti)*
9 Danza No. 1 (from La Vida Breve, arr. Kreisler as Danse espagnole)

10 SAINT-SAËNS Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28*

11  MASSENET Méditation (from Thaïs)*

12  RAVEL Tzigane*           

13  IBERT Le petit âne blanc*

IDA HAENDEL, violin
Adela Kotowska, piano (1–6, 8–9, 11, 13)
Noël Mewton-Wood, piano (7)
Ivor Newton, piano (12)
National Symphony Orchestra / Basil Cameron (10)

*FIRST CD RELEASE ON DECCA

 

CD 4

1 JOSEPH ACHRON Hebrew Melody, Op. 33 (arr. Auer)
2 ERNEST BLOCH Abodah*
3 GRIGORAŞ DINICU Hora staccato*

KAROL SZYMANOWSKI
4 Roxana’s Song (from King Roger, Op. 46, arr. Kochanski)
5–6 Notturno e Tarantella, Op. 28

IGOR STRAVINSKY
7–10 Divertimento (after the ballet, ‘Le baiser de la fée’, arr. Dushkin)°
11 Danse russe (from Petrouchka, arr. Dushkin)°

 

BÉLA BARTÓK
12–18 Hungarian Folk Tunes (arr. Szigeti)*
19–24 Romanian Folk Dances, Sz.56 (BB 68) (arr. Székely)

25 PABLO DE SARASATE Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 No. 1*
26 MANUEL DE FALLA Danza No. 1 (from La Vida Breve, arr. Kreisler as Danse espagnole)*

IDA HAENDEL, violin
Alice Haendel, piano (1)
Adela Kotowska, piano (2–6, 26)
Ivor Newton, piano (7–25)

*FIRST CD RELEASE ON DECCA
°FIRST INTERNATIONAL CD RELEASE ON DECCA

 

CD 5
KAROL SZYMANOWSKI
1–3 Mythes

GEORGE ENESCU
4–6 Violin Sonata No. 3, Op. 25 (dans le caractère populaire roumain)

BÉLA BARTÓK
7–8 Rhapsody No. 1 for Violin and Piano, BB 94a
9–14 Romanian Folk Dances, Sz.56 (BB 68) (arr. Székely)

IDA HAENDEL, violin
Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano

 

CD 6
ANTONIO VIVALDI

1–3 Concerto grosso in B minor for Four Violins, Op. 3 No. 10, RV 580
from L’Estro Armonico

Isaac Stern, violin I · Ivry Gitlis, violin II
Ida Haendel, violin III · Shlomo Mintz, violin IV
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Zubin Mehta

 

JEAN SIBELIUS
4–6 Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47°
Ida Haendel, violin
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Zubin Mehta

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
7 The Lark Ascending*
Ida Haendel, violin
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Roger Norrington

8 Evans Mirageas talks about Ida Haendel*

*PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED
°FIRST CD RELEASE ON DECCA

Recording information

CD
Tracks 1-2:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 August 1940
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 4946 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca F 7727: March 1941
 
3-5:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 18 February 1941
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn

6-9:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 2 April & 8 October 1942
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 6224-26 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1074-75: January 1943

10:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 2 April 1942
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: AR 6775 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1075: January 1943

11:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 August 1940
Transfer: Giulio Rusconi, EMI Archive Trust · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 4949 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca M 495: June 1941

12:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 August 1940
Transfer: Giulio Rusconi, EMI Archive Trust · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 4947 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca M 520: October 1942

13:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 August 1940
Transfer: Giulio Rusconi, EMI Archive Trust · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 4951 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca M 521: November 1942

14:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 August 1940
Transfer: Giulio Rusconi, EMI Archive Trust · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 4948 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca M 520: October 1942

15-17:
Recording Producer: Victor Olof
Balance Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Recording Location: Kingsway Hall, London, UK, 22-23 September 1945
Transfers and Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 9682-88 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1377-80: c.1946

CD 2

Track 1:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 August 1940
Transfer: Giulio Rusconi, EMI Archive Trust · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 4930 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca M 495: June 1941

2:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 August 1940
Transfer: Giulio Rusconi, EMI Archive Trust · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 4950 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca M 521: November 1942

3-5:
Recording Producer: Victor Olof
Balance Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Recording Location: Kingsway Hall, London, UK, 30-31 July 1947
Transfers and Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 11472-79 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca (A)K 1744-47: September 1948

6-8:
Recording Producer: Victor Olof
Balance Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Recording Location: Kingsway Hall, London, UK, 26 April 1945 & 6 February 1946
Transfers and Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 9356-63 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca (A)K 1444-47: November 1946

CD 3

Track 1:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 August 1940
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn

2:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 3 April 1947
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 10111-12 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1213: October 1947

3:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 8 April 1942
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: AR 6228 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1047: October 1943

4:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 8 July 1941
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: DR 5978-81 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca M 501-2: October 1941

5:

Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 10 September 1940
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 4945 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca F 7727: March 1941

6:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 August & 10 September 1940
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: DR 4952-53 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 940: December 1940

7:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 2 April 1941
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: AR 5537 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1073: August 1943

8:
Recording Producer: Victor Olof
Balance Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 15 October 1946
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 10769 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca M 603: June 1947

9:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 8 October 1942
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: AR 6790 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1073: August 1943

10:
Recording Producer: Victor Olof
Balance Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Recording Location: Kingsway Hall, London, UK, 28 April 1945
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 9368-69 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1171: April 1946

11:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 August 1940
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 4944 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca F 7659: January 1941

12:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 17 June 1941
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 5893-94 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1013: December 1941

13:
Recording Producer: Victor Olof
Balance Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 15 October 1946
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: DR 10770 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca M 603: June 1947
 
CD 4
Track 1:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 18 December 1942
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: AR 7145 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1047: October 1943

2:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 22 April 1942
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 6776-77 [part] · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1076: March 1943

3:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 22 April 1942
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: AR 6777 [part] · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1076: March 1943

4:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 2 March 1946
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: AR 10113 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1214: March 1949

5 – 6:
Recording Producer: Victor Olof
Balance Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 15 October 1946
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 10767-68 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1651: December 1947

7-10:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 July 1947
Transfers and Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 11445-49 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca AK 1930-32: August 1949

11:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 9 July 1947
Transfer and Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: AR 11450 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca AK 1930: August 1949

12-18:
Recording Producer: Victor Olof
Balance Engineer: Arthur Haddy
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 11 July 1947
Transfers and Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 11453-54 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 2029: c.1949

19-24:
Recording Producer: Victor Olof
Balance Engineer: Arthur Haddy
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 15 September 1947
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 11129-30 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1873: August 1949

25:
Recording Producer: Victor Olof
Balance Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 14 June 1947
Transfers: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix Nos.: AR 11381-82 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1842: July 1948

26:
Recording: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, 2 March 1946
Transfer: Robert Cowlin, British Library · Audio Restoration: Mark Obert-Thorn
Matrix No.: AR 10114 · Original Decca 78rpm Release: Decca K 1214: March 1949

CD 5

Executive Producer: Evans Mirageas
Recording Producer: Andrew Cornall
Balance Engineer: Philip Siney
Location Engineers: Graham Meek, Michael Mailes
Recording Location: Stadthaus, Winterthur, Switzerland, 18 March (Szymanowski), 20–21 August (Enescu, Bartók) 1996
Original Decca CD Release: 455 488-2: March 2000

CD 6

Tracks 1-3:
Executive Producer: Dr. Steven Paul
Recording Producer: Hans Weber
Balance Engineer: Klaus Scheibe
Recorded by: Jobst Eberhardt, Joachim Niss
Recording Location: Frederic R. Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv, Israel, December 1982 (Live Recording)
Original Deutsche Grammophon LP Release: 2741 026: 1983

4-6:
Executive Producer: Yaron Karshai
Mastering Engineer: Rafi Eshel
Recording Location: Frederic R. Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv, Israel, December 1982 (Live Recording)

7:
Recording Producer: Chris Hazell
Balance Engineer: John Dunkerley
Recording Location: Watford Colosseum, London, 10–13 February 1997

8:
Recording: Sydney, Australia, January 2000

Reviews

“[Haendel and Mewton-Wood] are alike in their freshness of outlook, in their keenness on doing things properly, and in possessing a sound technical foundation … all the varied incidents of texture and feeling find them intent and artistically open-eyed.” The Musical Times, July 1941 (Beethoven)

“Ida Haendel’s full and vibrant tone in Achron’s Hebrew Melody is something to marvel at … There is no denying the extraordinary brilliance of the [Wieniawski Tarantelle] performance and the truthfulness of this remarkable recording.” Gramophone, November 1943 (Achron, Wieniawki)

“She is a player of exceptional ability who revels in fireworks and throws them off without impairing the sweetness to her tone.” The Times, April 1944 (Albeniz, Falla)

“If new recordings of much-recorded music are only justified if they are of outstanding quality, then this one certainly gets away with it.” Gramophone, July 1948 (Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen)

“That special, spontaneous warmth of response … places Haendel’s Tchaikovsky performance for Decca among the finest recordings ever made of this wonderful concerto.” Gramophone, July 1999

“[Enescu’s Third] Sonata is almost entirely rhapsodic in nature, and Haendel follows its twists and turns with maximum flexibility, but never lets it wander aimlessly. Through all this, she is impeccably partnered by Ashkenazy.” BBC Music Magazine

“Haendel’s the real deal: an artist with a commanding technique as well as the musical imagination and intelligence to best deploy it. On evidence here, she’s still going strong in her 70s, coping with a well-chosen and challenging program with both sensitivity and flair.” Classics Today (Enescu, Bartók, Szymanowski)