Luise Walker: A Segovia’s contemporary, a great classical guitar’s player on #neuguitars #blog

cd01luisewalker

Luise Walker was born in Vienna, on September 9, 1910. When she was still a young gìrl at 8, she accidentally came across the guitar, whose attractive notes took such a hold on her that she decided, with the assistance of her parents who had long since recognized their daughter’s unusual musical abilities, to attempt to regain the attention for this instrument which it so justly deserves. Her first teacher was Or. Joseph Zuth (1879-1932), a pioneer in guitar musicology. She continued her studies at the Musikhochschule with Jacob Ortner (1879-1959) and with the charnber music specialist Heinrich Albert (1870-1950). In addition, the Catalan guitarist Miguel Llobet (1878-1938), the most eminent disciple of Tarrega, perfonned in Vienna regularly, and was a frequent guest in Walker’s parents’home. As a result of this association, Luise Walker, absorbed much of the Spanish tradition of guitar playing. She entered the Vienna State Academy of MUSIC, passìng out with honours when only 15 years of age. Her extensive studies culminated in a debut in November, 1925, when she was only 15. Her success was repeated in recitals in Prague and Berlin. A performance in London in 1931 was followed by New York recitals in 1933.She then commenced countless concert tours at home and abroad and was appointed Professor of the Guitar al the Vienna Academy of Music in 1940.

Her post-war activities included tours of Europe, the Soviet Union, and America, publishing of compositions, arrangements, and studies, and several recordings. In 1956 she sat on the Jury or the International Guitar Competition in Geneva. Austria’s president awarded her the Ehrenkreur fur Kunst und Wissenschaft in 1968. A 1972 Supraphon recording showed her artistry to be undiminished. She published her autobiography, “Ein Leben mit der Gitarre”, in 1989. She remains
active, participating in guitar festivals as recently as the summer of 1997.

I have collected several of her records, starting with this cd:

Segovia and His Contemporaries Vol. 3 Segovia & Walker DHR-7709

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ANDRES SEGOVIA plays J. S. BACH:

Musicraft 78s Album M-85 recorded 1947:

  • Chaconne (from Violin Partita No.2) BWV 1004
  • Gavottes 1 & 2 (from Violin Partita No.3) BWV 1006

Musicraft 78s Album M-90 recorded 1947:

  • Prelude for Lute BWV 999
  • Courante (from Cello Suite No.3) BWV 1009
  • Sarabande (from Lute Suite No.1) BWV 996
  • Bourree (from Lute Suite No.1) BWV 996
  • Gavottes 1 & 2 (fromCello Suite No.6) BWV 1012
  • Fugue (fromViolin Sonata No.1) BWV 1000

LUISE WALKER:

Telefunken 78s recorded 1934:

  • Tarrega (Roch): Gran Jota
  • Dominici: Italienisch Fantasie
  • Friessnegg: Variations on Schubert’s ” Die Forelle “
  • Chopin: Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2

Odeon 78s recorded 1932:

  • Schubert: Standchen
  • Weber: Minuet for Guitar, Viola & Flute
  • Schumann: Traurnerei
  • Brahms: Waltz in A flat
  • Boccherini: Minuet & Allegro

At the beginning of her carrer Walker was recording for the Odeon and Telefunken labels, in 1932 and 1934. Only in her early 20s, she was already a polished artist. This was the first record I bought, where I discovered Walker’s music. This cd is the third volume of the series “Andres Segovia and his contemporaries”, edited by german label DOREMI. This label is doing a great job restoring old Segovia and other guitarists’ glorious recordings to the level of sonic quality their magnificence deserves. Segovia is once again represented at the peak of his technical and musical powers, in performances which reveal his unique, clear, rich dark tone, his orchestral timbres and textures.

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The recordings of Luise Walker, from 1932 & 1934 – when she was in her early 20’s, reveal her to be a worthy contemporary of Segovia, an elegant, sensitive player with a beautiful tone and an impressive command of her instrument. Doremi made a great job showing Walker’s unique artistry.

Walker’s programme is representative or those guitarists active in the early part of this century.

Tarrega’s influence is evident in the transcriptions of Chopin’s Nocturne op. 9 no.2 and Schumann’s Triiumerei (Kinderscenen, op. 15). Her arrangement of Schuberr’s Standchen (Schwanengesang D. 957) recalls Johann Kaspar Mertz’s (1806-1856) which itself follows Liszt’s piano elaboration or the work. Her playing of Brahm’s Waltz, op. 39 no. 15 is also a characteristic choice.

Original guitar works comprise the balance of her programme. Tarrega’s Jota Aragonesa, edited by his student Pascual Roch (1860-1921), builds on an earlier version by Tarrega’s mentor Julian Arcas (1832-1882). K. Friesnegg, an Austrian guitar teacher, composer, and writer of a teaching method, provides a set of variations on Schubert’s Die Forelle. Dominici’s Italienische Fantasie consists of tremolo and arpeggio elaborations of a romantic melody, Of particular interest are the Trio and Quintet excerpts, which are quite possibly the earliest recordings of the guitar in a chamber setting. Weber’s (1786-1826) Menuetto fùr Flote, Viola, und Guitarre is identified on the original label as being frorn the incidental music to Donna Diana. Many years later, she re-recorded this work for Turnabout- Vox, a recording where the guitar sound in the ensemble is much less prominent.

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This is the first LP I bought about her. As you can see this record was made by Philips in Holland in 1952 and even if it’s and LP it was made in 10” format. This means that is a shorter then the usual 12” LP we are used to see and listen to. Vinyl was still expendise at those time, 7 years after the end of Wold War Two.

Luise Walker – Guitar-Recital

Etichetta: Philips – N 00640 R

Formato: Vinyl, LP, 10″

Country: Holland

Year: 1952

Genre: Classical

Tracks:

A1 Praeludium A La Antiqua (G.Santorsola)

A2 Variations On A Spanish Song (L.Walker)

A3 Leonesa, Catalonian Melody (Llobet)

A4 Allegro Con Brio (A.Uhl)

B1 Suite No. 1 (H. Ambrosius)

B2 Little Variations On A French Air (F.Sor)

B3 Granada (Serenata) (I.Albeniz)

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Almost 20 years are passed from the recording played in the cd and we can feel it. Walker’s touch is more secure, there is more maturity but also the recording techniques are better and the repertorire has grown up. We can read for the first time the name of Santorsola, that we will find in the second LP.

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G. Santorsola*, Luise Walker, Vienna Symphony Orchestra*, Paul Sacher – Concertino For Guitar And Orchestra

Etichetta: Philips – N 00626 R

Format: Vinyl, LP, 10″

Country: Holland

Year: 1953

Genere: Classical

Tracks

Concertino For Guitar And Orchestra

A1 1st Mov.: Humorístico

A2 2nd Mov.: A Manera De Vidalita

A3 3rd Mov.: Final (Movido)

B1 Variations On A Theme Of Mozart Op. 9

B2 Three Little Dances

B3 Recuerdos De La Alhambra

B4 Serenata Campera-Estilo

This is a more mature record. In South America, the guitar has undergone a very definite renaissance. Names like Ponce and Villa-Lobos immediately spring to mind. Among these, Guido Santorsola occupies a prominent place, Born in Canossa (Italy) in 1904, he emigrated to Sao Paulo (Brazìl) as a child of five years, where he studied and commenced hìs music career. He was a celebrated viola player, a former professor at the Sao Paulo Conservatoire, as well as being a member of the orchestras of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Guido Santorsola was also a prolific composer, and his works for rather unusal combinations, such as viola d’amore, the harp and guitar and orchestra, occupy a unique pIace of their own.

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This is a recording of his Concertino for Guitar and Orchestra, interpreted by Luise Walker.

1st Movement: entitled “Humoristico”, is in the form of a short fugue and possesses a wonderful appeal of its own. Towards the end, the guitarist is enabled to demonstrate her virtuosity in the cadenza.

2nd Movement: Rugged music to the tune of the “Vidalita'” very sad and dreamy, full of nostalgia

3rd Movement: This is based on a rhythmic and melodic theme in the form of a short rondo, containing a message to Mankind … in morse code. It is heard in the muted trumpet first of all, then it is taken over by the guitar, before being passed on to the violins: they broadcast the word “AMOR” to the world at large. Finally, it is heard agaìn on the flute in the coda, which uses the morse code agaìn to pass on the following biblical quotation: PAZ I EN I LA I PIERRA I A I LOS I HOMBRES I DE I BUEN A I VOLUNT AD. (Peace on earth to all men of good will).

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Luise Walker, Roncalli*, Scarlatti*, Sor*, Santórsola*, Villa-Lobos*, Torroba*, Van Hoek* – Famous Guitar Compositions

Label: Supraphon – SUA 10437

Format: Vinyl, LP, Mono

Country: Czechoslovakia

Year: 1963

Genre: Classical

Tracks:

A1 Passacaglia Composed By – Ludovico Roncalli

A2 Sonata In E Minor Composed By – Domenico Scarlatti

A3 Variations On A Theme By Mozart, Op. 9 Composed By – Fernando Sor

A4 Minuet In G Major, Op. 11 Composed By – Fernando Sor

A5 Argentinian Folk Song Composed By – Luise Walker

B1 Prelude No. 1 Composed By – Guido Santórsola

B2 Prelude No. 5 In E Minor Composed By – Heitor Villa-Lobos

Two Ballads Composed By – Jan Anton Van Hoek

B3a I. Allegro Appassionato

B3b II. Andante Ma Allegro

Suita Castellana Composed By – Federico Moreno-Torroba*

B4a I. Fandanguillo

B4b II. Arada

B4c III. Danza

The third LP I have in my collection. This one was made in 1963 with Lodovico Roncalli’s Passacaglia from the Suite in G minor – The compositions to which this Passacaglia belongs were published in Bergamo in 1692 under the title “Capricci armonici sopra la Chitarra spagnola”.

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Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757): Sonata in E minor. This is one of the numerous sonatas by which the talented son of the great Alessandro enriched and virtually founded the art of piano playing, which at that time was just coming into existence. The transcription of this composition for the guitar is by Andrés Segovia. It’s followed by Fernando Sor and his Variations on a theme by Mozart (from The Magic Flute) – Minuet in G major.

The notes of the record tell us that Luise Walker omits the introduction; as Sor did not actually introduce the theme, Luise Walker plays the fìrst variation (which hardly changes Mozart’s melody “Das klinget so herrlich, das klinget so schon” at ali), as the theme. Then follow seven variations – of which the fìfth (the flageolet) was arranged by the artist herself. – Luise Walker takes the minuet by Sor from the three minuets in the collection she had compiled and named “Der junge Gitarresolist”. Because these dances have no trios, and possess similar features, it was possible for the artist to substitute the “minore” (in G minor) from Minuet No.3 as a trio to the Minuet in G major.

Luise Walker introduces one of her composition: Argentine Folk-song – The artist plays her own arrangement of the Argentine love song (whose melody was placed at her disposition by Or. Kurt Pahlen from his own collection).

The other side of the record shows the music by Guido Santòrsola (1904): Prelude No. l from the “Suite a la antigua”, where he purposely continues in the Bach tradition. It’s followed by Heitor Villa-Lobos (1890-1959): Prélude No. l
Recorded here is the fìrst cornposition from the collection “Cinq Préludes” for the guitar by this great Brazilian composero Jan Anton van Hoek (1936): ballad No. l and ballad No.2. The Dutch composer, van Hoek studied in Rotterdam under Koos Tigges. He, himself, played the guitar, and for this instrument he has written a number of compositions and among them several suitable for the concert platform.

Federico Moreno-Torroba (1891): Suita Castellana, this is a suite in Spanish folk-tone in three movements. The fìrst movement “Fandanguillo”, the second, the melodious “Arada” and the third, “Danza”.

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Paganini*, Luise Walker – Quartet For Guitar, Violin, Viola & Cello / Terzetto Conceretante For Guitar, Viola & Cello

Etichetta: Turnabout – TV 34322

Formato: Vinyl, LP, Album

Paese: US

Tracks:

Quartet No. 7 In E Major For Violin, Viola, Guitar & Cello

A1 Allegro Moderato

A2 Minuetto – Allegretto

A3 Adagio Cantabile Sostenuto Con Passione

A4 Rondo – Vivace

Terzetto Concertante In D Major For Viola, Guitar & Cello

B1 Allegro

B2 Minuetto

B3 Adagio

B4 Waltz A Rondo

Riconoscimenti

Artwork [Front] – Herbert Norton Rogoff*

Cello – Wilfried Tachezi

Composed By – Paganini*

Guitar – Luise Walker

Liner Notes – Giuseppe Sassobruno

Viola – Jürgen Geise

Violin – Paul Roczek (tracks: A1 to A4)

A record completely devoted to Paganini and his guitar. Paganini was often described as a comet which unexpectedly appeared on the sky of art, ran its vast course and, creating frightening astonishment disappeared for good. An eccentric by nature. The Italian’s “way of life” was determined by eccentricity and so were his “performance practice” and legendary technical achievements.

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The charm of the guitar, its attractiveness, and potential to delight are revealed cnly by the guitar as a solo instrument and in concert with a small ensemble, provided the player is endowed with the dexterity to elevate the instrument from a merely accompanying servant to a dominating mistress. It was precisely when Paganini, (born 1782), the violinistic magician or sorcerer, was bewitching the audiences everywhere that several guitarists, chiefly Mauro Giuliani (born 1781) and Luigi Legnani (born 1790), accomplished a similar feat. Referring to his unfortunate propensity for the game of chance, he once remarked that he had more than once fallen victim to those who played with more skill and luck, but neither the violin nor the guitar. Whether he ever appeared publicly as a guitar virtuoso has not been ascertained. Thus, we must consider his performing activities as a guitar player a personal matter, and that it depended on his frame of mindwhether or not he would play the guitar for friends in intimate surroundings.

The notes of this record, written by Giuseppe Sassobruno, tell us that “the publication of his music for bowed strings and guitar was viewed by Paganini as a business from which no disadvantage could accrue. This music was written for accomplished dilettanti and players from whom no competition could be expected. These are works by a basically orthodox craftsman who does not search for novelties and· sticks to the time- honored forms and regulations. The combination of a string trio and guitar was not a novelty either. Boccherini tried his hand at it around 1800. Although the guitar is prominently featured in some passages, it performs mostly chordally in an accompanying function. One could say that it replaces the harpsichord to a certain extent. There are reports that Paganini developed a technique which allowed him to play in a quartet the violin and guitar alternatingly. The latter was hanging on a ribbon from his shoulders and resting on the knees. When he played the guitar he kept the violin between the legs and effected the change very quickly. Naturally this was a Paganinian eccentricity, but it is doubtful whether he could do that in a quartet of 25 minutes playing time unless he had carefully figured out the rests for this manceuvre, and the absence of the guitar would frequently reduce the ensemble to a string trio.

Our E major quartet, the seventh out of fifteen, does not need any particular commentary. The violin does most of the leading throughout, the guitar only in the third trio of the minuet. The viola has even more oppor tunity to lead. The Adagio remains the domain of the violin, as does also the final rondo. The situation is somewhat different in the Terzetto Concertante, in which both cello and guitar receive a larger share of melodically important passages, the guitar particularly in the final rondo. Designating it as a Waltz, Paganini was not thinking of the Viennese Waltz, but rather of the quickly moving danza tedesca.”

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Schubert*, Weber*, Haydn*, Luise Walker – Guitar Music In Vienna

Label: Turnabout – TV 34171S, Turnabout – TV.34171S

Format: Vinyl, LP

Country: US

Year: 1969

Genre: Classical

Tracks:

Quartet In G For Guitar, Flute, Viola And Cello, D. 96

A1 1. Moderato

A2 2. Menuetto

A3 3. Lento E Patetico

A4 4. Zingara

A5 5. Thema Con Variazioni – Ständchen By Friedrich Fleischmann: ”O Mädchen, O Schlumm’re Noch Nicht”

Menuetto Und Trio For Guitar, Flute And Viola

B1 Menuetto And Trio

Cassation In C For Guitar, Violin And Cello, Hob. III, No. 6

B2 Mvt. I – Presto

B3 Mvt. II – Menuetto; Trio

B4 Mvt. III – Adagio

B5 Mvt. IV – Finale – Presto

Cello – Wilfried Tachezi

Composed By – Weber* (tracks: B1), Schubert* (tracks: A1 to A5), Haydn* (tracks: B2 to B5)

Flute – Gottfried Hechtl

Guitar – Luise Walker

Liner Notes – Dr. William B. Ober

Viola – Jürgen Geise

Violin – Paul Roczek

Here we go back to the cd that was recorder in the cd “Segovia and His Contemporaries Vol. 3 Segovia & Walker”. The present VOX recording of GUIT AR MUSIC IN VIENNA reflects the period when the guitar was reaching the crest of its popularity in Vienna, at a time when it wss the music capital of the world. None of the works recorded here was initially conceived for guitar; they are all arrangements by the masters in question The fact that they were willing to transcribe their original works for guitar indicates two points: fìrst, that there was a consumer need for such music; second, that their musical training had not really equipped them to write for the guitar as a primary instrument or vehicle for their musical ideas. Yet, when the occasion arose, they proved themselves adept at adapting. Circumstances alter coses, and in the highly inflected language of music, they alter mood, tense, and voice. SCHUBERT’S Quartet for Flute, Violo, Guitar, and Cello, D. 96, popularly known as his Guitar Quartet, was not written by him at all. It’s an arrangement of the Notturno in G Maior, Op. 21 by Wenzel Matiegka, originally written for flute, viola, and guitar. The work was fìrst published in 1807 by Artaria. In 1814 Schubert added the ‘Cello part and composed the second trio for the minuet movement. The theme of the movement with variations was taken by Matiegka from a serenade by Friedrich Fleischmann. Fleischmann (1766-1798) was a German composer of the pre-romantic era who had talent but died youg. He studied under Vogler and Holzbauer at Mannheim, and lived at Wurzburg and Ratisbon until 1788 when he became secretary to the Duke of Saxe Meiningen. He had talents outside of music, chiefly literary, for he was an early member of the staff of Rochlitz’s newly Founded Allgemeine Musikalische leilung, and contributed two articles to its first issue. His piano concerto, Opus 4, bears the subtitle fur Feyer des Friedens, a clearcut indication of where his emotional and intellectual sympathies lay. There seems to be no remaining indication of why Schubert made this arrangement of Matiegka’s Notturno. However, it is an attractive piece of rnusic and its fìve movements are melodious, well balanced, and pleasure to the ear. The different sound which the guitar lends to the ensemble saves it from the banality of the usual flute quartet, and it can serve as an example of how well the guitar can be made to fit with other instruments in a chamber group.

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WEBER’S Minuet and Trio, played here by flute, viola, and guitar, is a composition of unstated provenance. More probably it has been arranged from his trio for flute, cello, and piano, Op. 63 (1819), but one cannot imagine that the usual listener to this pleasant music will fìnd his enjoy- ment aided by annotation. It is a short, graceful selection, entire unto itself.

HAYDN’S Cassation in C Maior for guitar, violin, and cello is an arrangement, probably by himself, of the C Maior Quartet, Op. l, No.6 (H. 111, 6). It was fìrst published in 1927, edited by Hans Neeman. Apart from its scholarly value, the arrangement with guitar furnishes an interesting sidelight on Haydn’s early quartet style. It was composed about 1758/60 when Haydn was still experimenting with the form of what later became the string quartet. At that time he made no sharp distinction between the quartet and the small chamber symphony; wind and brass parts in his own hand have bee found for some of the works we list as ‘quartets’ in Opp. l and 2. Nor was the four movement for of the later quartets fìxed in Haydn’s mind; many of the quartets in Opp. l and 2 have two minuets flanking the middle slow movement, as in so many divertimenti and serenades of the periodo The fìve movements of the Cassation (or Quartet) in C Maior, Op. l, No.6 are: Presto-Menuetto-Adagio-Menuetto-Finale: Presto-ali very symmetrical and balanced. The adagio is the melodie heart of the work. it embodies the essence of the music of a period of transition from baroque to classical.

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The last of my records. Walker goes back to Latin music.

Louise Walker* – Guitar Recital

Label: Supraphon – 1 11 1230

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Repress

Country: Czechoslovakia

Year: 1977

Genre: Classical

Tracks:

A1 Variations On “Folies D’Espagne” Composed By – Fernando Sor

A2 Prelude No. 1 (From Suite A Antiqua) Composed By – Guido Santórsola

A3 Study No. 11 Composed By – Heitor Villa-Lobos

A4.1 Scherzino Mexicano Composed By – Manuel María Ponce*

A4.2 Mexican Folk Song Composed By – Manuel María Ponce*

A4.3 Extrelitta Composed By – Manuel María Ponce*

A5.1 Adagio Composed By – Joaquín Rodrigo

A5.2 Bolero (From Sonata A La España) Composed By – Joaquín Rodrigo Sonata In D, Op. 61

B1.1 Allegro Composed By – Joaquín Turina

B1.2 Andante Espressivo Composed By – Joaquín Turina

B1.3 Allegro Vivo Composed By – Joaquín Turina

B2 Cancion Y Danza No. 1 Composed By – Ruiz Pipó*

B3 Small Variations On A Catalonian Folk Song Composed By – Louise Walker*

B4 Rondeña (Andaluzza) Composed By – Regino Sainz De La Maza

B5 Batucada Composed By – Isaias Savio*

This record presents works by composers from the countries known lor their long-standing tradition of guitar playing, Spain and Latin America.

Spanish music is represented by one of the most important members of the large group of 18th- and 19th- century composers who concentrated on guitar music. The musically educated army officer, Joseph Fernando Macari Sor (1778-1839) with his Variations on the famous air Folies d’Espagne, follows these varied orrangements which were almost obligatory in the innumerable 17th- and 18th- century collections of lute and guitar tablatures. Joaquin Rodrigo is world-renowned especially for his Fantasia para un gentilhombre and Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, which exploits the fascinating, balancing skill of the national flamenco players. Joaquin Turina wrote only four compositions for the guitar. These, however, have attained a permanent piace in the modern guitar repertoire and the Sonata in D, Op. 61 from the year 1931 is considered the most important. Ruiz Pipa is represented by his two humorously written paraphrases of Renaissance song and dance. Finally Regino Sainz de la Maza (b. 1897), prolessor of guitar at the Madrid Conservatoire and an acknowledged expert in Andalusian folk-music, is represented by his Rendefio which makes use of the sombre melody of the so-called “Cante Jondo”.

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The first item in a selection of pieces by Brazilian composers is a free paraphrase of a Baroque prelude by Guido Santorsola, the noted organizer, viola-player and teacher from Montevideo, This is followed by one of twelve studies by the sell-taught Heitor Villa-Lobos who for many years studied the improvisations (so-called Chòros) performed by national musicians and guitarists. The Batucada (dance festival) by Isaias Savio is inspired by exotic elements. (The Batuque is a Negro-Brazilian dance with drum accompaniment.)  Mexican music is represented by Manuel Maria Ponce, composer of numerous orchestral, chamber and solo works, including the Concierto del Sur for guitar and orchestra. He also composed the famous Estrellita, which is often mistaken for a folk-song.

I hope you have enjoyed this small words about Louise Walker’s talent and discography. I Think there are more records of her to discover, she was a great musicians and I hope that all these music would be, one day, remastered in better editions.

 

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