Enrico Mainardi. Schumann & Dvořák Cello Concerti (Polydor 78s, DGG Lp)

I must admit that the primary reason I sought these two recordings was that I collect recordings by the conductors involved. I wasn’t terribly familiar with Enrico Mainardi’s solo playing, knowing him primarily as a member of the trio consisting of violinist George Kulenkampff (and later Wolfgang Schneiderhan) and pianist Edwin Fischer. At one time I did hear a bit of his solo Bach and Beethoven Sonatas (see here for a discography), but had no clear memory of their attributes. So, I was not quite prepared for these very absorbing and well thought out readings. At first Mainardi’s seems too self-effacing for the role of soloist, but it doesn’t take too long to fall under the spell of his beautifully drawn musical lines, musical integrity and honesty. He doesn’t possess the huge tone and larger-than-life presence of some titans of the instrument, but he invites one to share a different kind of concentrated lyricism that really pays dividends in these works. Perhaps the final driving climax in the final movement of the Dvořák lacks some of the requisite energy, but I was so won over by the lack of the blustery, choppy style often encountered in the work, that I didn’t miss this one aspect. Fritz Lehmann and the BPO are wonderful accomplices in this, and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard such ravishingly gorgeous playing, or lyrically beguiling phrasing in ANY recording of the work (certainly the Czech Philharmonic under Václav Talich with the young Rostropovich are another in this echelon, but I don’t feel that Rostropovich was at his best in this version).

Interestingly, Mainardi recorded both of these works with the same conductors in both 78 and lp eras. I hope to present the van Kempen version of the Dvořák at some point in the future. I didn’t know about the Lehmann lp version of the Schumann, but I’ll be on the lookout for it!

Thanks, once again, to Mike Gartz for his source material. The Schumann had a developing edge crack on disc one, which you will hear on sides one and two. I did my best to minimize the thumps without causing undesirable processing artifacts.

Schumann: Cello Concerto in A Minor, Op. 129
Polydor 67943/45 (matr. 1917/22 GE 9)
June 22, 1942
Paul van Kempen, Conductor
Staatskapelle Berlin

Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104
DGG LPM 18 236
January 24/31, 1955
(in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem)
Fritz Lehmann, Conductor
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Note: Mediafire has been very prone to corrupted uploads lately, so I may have to redo some of the files if there are problems. Please try and note which “part” (of the 9) shows any errors, and I will promptly upload new versions.

On a personal note: if any of you are located in New York, you can see (and possibly hear) me in action on January 28th, in Carnegie Hall with the Houston Symphony under Hans Graf, playing the organ part to The Planets by Holst. I should add that 99.9% of my musical life consists of playing the piano, but hopefully I’ll push the right buttons and not step on the pedals at the wrong moment!

This entry was posted in Lehmann, Mainardi, Van Kempen. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Enrico Mainardi. Schumann & Dvořák Cello Concerti (Polydor 78s, DGG Lp)

  1. WinterStatic says:

    Nice post. It's refreshing to see 24 bit offerings.I'll write up a second message if there are any problems with the files, if not then consider that your upload went fine : ).

  2. WinterStatic says:

    Well, it seems part 5 & 7 are corrupt, but they have recovery so they were both easily recovered/fixed. Only other minor issue is the backsleeve is blurry and you can't read the text.

  3. Neal says:

    Thanks for the Mediafire news. I'm glad the recovery record worked, but I don't think Mac users can use that. I'll try new versions later today, hopefully.I had to do the cover "scans" with my digital camera with very little time to spare during my record dubbing visit. There just wasn't time to do the usual 4 scans on a flatbed scanner that are necessary to join the images with Autostitch. Obviously I had a steadier hand for some of these and not so for others…sorry!

  4. Uncle Dave says:

    Thank you very much. This was one of my very favorite Dvorak recordings, at a time when I had more than 20, including all the usual suspects – Casals, a few Rostropoviches, etc. Mine was destroyed by a student years ago. I've been on the lookout for a replacement ever since. I'm downloading now and can't wait to hear it again. I've been grateful for some of your other posts – Pascal Q especially – but you've made me especially happy today. Thanks again.

  5. DonR says:

    The recordings are very tempting. Unfortunately, the flac from mediafire gave corrupted header error messages for all the files in part one and two (with two different archiver programs.) I am disappointed. Will try the 24 bit flac. Thanks for offering these.Mainardi was a very highly regarded cellist during WWII period and afterwards. In the book of Toscanini's letters, it is revealed that Toscanini had an affair with Mainardi's wife. Not much to do with the music, but fascinating gossip. (-:Don Rice

  6. Neal says:

    @Uncle Dave…so glad you had been on the lookout for the Dvorak. I wish I had known it earlier in my listening days.@DonR…well, Mediafire strikes again! Sorry. I will try and redo these as Megaupload…the consensus is that they are more dependable. I think it's more viable than RS for free users. Stay tuned for new links!

  7. Neal says:

    Oh, one more thing about the bad files. If you're on Windows, try the recovery record feature in WinRar (repair archive)…I'm curious if it DOES work on this version as it did on the 24 bit version.

  8. Fred says:

    I downloaded from Rapidshare with no problem. Thanks Neal for this offering. I've enjoyed Fritz Lehmann in Dvorak and I made acquaintance of Mainardi's musicianship through Europe Archive. I lok forward to the listen!

  9. DonR says:

    Thanks for all of your effort. I was able to get the 24 bit flacs from Mediafire except part 5. After I got part 5 from Megaupload, it all worked fine. In my copy of Winrar, the repair function didn't do it in windows VistaThanks again,Don

  10. Anonymous says:

    Great blog! I've always wanted to hear Furtwangler's Symphonic Concerto with Edwin Fischer, the complete recording of the January 1939, is very difficult to find, hope someday you'll upload a good sounding copy of it. Thanks for all Best regardsFrancesco (Italy)

  11. CharmNick says:

    Hi Neal, Apart from the music, obviously, thanks for the tip about WinRAR's repair function, which I didnlt know about – I got a corrupt 16-bit Schumann (ii) but with your help WinRAR put it right! This could save a lot of repeated downloads. All the best, Nick

  12. ABE says:

    Thank you – really appreciate your work.

  13. pyochungsa says:

    Thanks Neal,Maybe of interest for you and others: this performance of Schumann´s Concerto from 1961 with Efrem Kurz conducting the RAI-Roma Orchestra + Mainardi – from a RAI-3 analogue sat-broadcast, bit hissy, but just to comparehttp://www.mediafire.com/file/itwnnzyi2zz/Schumann – Cellokonzert – Mainardi Kurz 1961.flacCheers,Tobias

  14. Neal says:

    Thanks very much, Tobias!

  15. Anthony says:

    I cannot get the file of part 5 & 7 from the link of megaload. Can u help?

  16. HI Neal: I look forward to listening to these performances. In the meantime, I wanted you to know that WinRAR was able to fix the bad file. Everythink extracted and converted to WAV with no problem. Thanks for this post.

  17. Satyr says:

    Great blog! Glad you continue after a period of silence. I just started a blog myself…

  18. Todd Schurk says:

    Great blog Neal! Thanks for your wonderful efforts-the Mainardi Schumann/Dvorak is pure gold-I enjoyed it a great deal and I doubt I’ve heard any better. Keep up the great work!

  19. sneffels says:

    Neal, thank you for all this remarkable music you’re sharing with us!

    And since you played the organ in The Planets, I have an anecdote you might appreciate: a long-deceased friend of mine, Fred Geoghegan, was a superb organist, and he once played in The Planets decades ago in Toronto under Walter Susskind. Fred told me that in rehearsals, the whole-keyboard gliss on the full organ in the climax of Uranus just couldn’t be heard over the general welter of the orchestra. Susskind suggested Fred simply lean with both forearms on the keyboard instead. And that was how it was played in the concert.

    • tatifan says:

      I thought about doing that! I asked a friend of mine who’s a “real” organist if he knew of anyone doing that, because some recordings DO seem to, but he didn’t know for sure. I dragged my hand so that at any given moment about 5 or 6 keys were depressed, and I also added a low G/C in the bass. I can’t say whether it was more or less audible, but when we recorded it for a DVD that was done, on one take I held it a little TOO long and THAT was very audible!!

  20. Mosstrooper says:

    I am a bit shy about admitting this, but I heard Mainardi play the Hindemith Cello Concerto with the BPO under the composer at the Edinburgh Festival in 1955. Walton later wrote variations on the theme of the slow movement. Hindemith framed it with two of the Bach Orchestral Suites. and the Konzertmusik for Strings and brass. Not the sort of programme you would have much chance of getting away with today, and no one broke a lance for his conducting. But it worked very well. This is a rare chance to renew acquaintance with Mainardi. Many thanks.

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