EMI 2-CDs: SERKIN & BUSCH - First Recordings, 1991 USA OOP NM
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Background for this listing -
Rudolf Serkin (March 28, 1903 – May 8, 1991) was a Bohemian-born pianist. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Beethoven interpreters of the twentieth century. Serkin was born in Eger, Bohemia, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Cheb, Czech Republic) to a Russian Jewish family.

Hailed as a child prodigy, he was sent to Vienna at the age of 9, where he studied piano with Richard Robert and, later, composition with Joseph Marx, making his public debut with the Vienna Philharmonic at 12. From 1918 to 1920 he studied composition with Arnold Schoenberg and participated actively in Schoenberg's Society for the Private Performance of Music. He began a regular concert career in 1920, living in Berlin with the German violinist Adolf Busch and his family, which included a then 3-year-old daughter Irene, whom Serkin would marry 15 years later. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Serkin performed throughout Europe both as soloist and with Busch and the Busch Quartet. With the rise of Hitler in Germany in 1933, Serkin and the Busches (who were not Jewish but who vehemently opposed the Nazi regime) left Berlin for Basel, Switzerland.

In 1933 Serkin made his first United States appearance at the Coolidge Festival in Washington, D.C., where he performed with Adolf Busch. In 1936 he launched his solo concert career in the U.S. with the New York Philharmonic under Arturo Toscanini. The critics raved, describing him as "an artist of unusual and impressive talents in possession of a crystalline technique, plenty of power, delicacy, and tonal purity." In 1937, Serkin played his first New York recital at Carnegie Hall.

Adolf Georg Wilhelm Busch (8 August 1891 – 9 June 1952) was a German-born violinist and composer. Busch was born in Siegen in Westphalia. He studied at the Cologne Conservatory with Willy Hess and Bram Eldering. His composition teacher was Fritz Steinbach but he also learned much from his future father-in-law Hugo Grüters in Bonn.

In 1912, Busch founded the Vienna Konzertverein Quartet, consisting of the principals from the Konzertverein orchestra, which made its debut at the 1913 Salzburg Festival. After World War I, he founded the Busch Quartet, which from the 1920–21 season included Gösta Andreasson, violin, Karl Doktor, viola, and Paul Grümmer, cello. The quartet was in existence with varying personnel until 1951.

The additional member of the circle was Rudolf Serkin, who became Busch's duo partner at 18 and eventually married Busch's daughter, Irene. The Busch Quartet and Serkin became the nucleus of the Busch Chamber Players, a forerunner of modern chamber orchestras.

In 1927, with the rise of Adolf Hitler, Busch decided he could not in good conscience stay in Germany, so he emigrated to Basel, Switzerland. (Busch was not Jewish and was popular in Germany, but firmly opposed Nazism from the beginning.) On 1 April 1933 he repudiated Germany altogether and in 1938 he boycotted Italy. On the outbreak of World War II, Busch emigrated from Basel to the United States, where he eventually settled in Vermont. There, he was one of the founders with Rudolf Serkin of the Marlboro Music School and Festival.

The Busch Quartet was particularly admired for its interpretations of Brahms, Schubert, and above all Beethoven. It made a series of recordings in the 1930s that included many of these composers' works for string quartet. In 1941, it set down three Beethoven quartets  that it had not previously recorded, including Opus 130. The Busch Quartet never recorded the Grosse Fuge, Opus 133; an arrangement was recorded by the Busch Chamber Players, with Busch leading from the first violin desk.

Busch was a great soloist, as well as a chamber musician, and live recordings exist of him playing the Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorák and Busoni Concertos, as well as the Brahms Double Concerto. In the studio he recorded concertos and chamber orchestra performances of Bach and Mozart, and of the Concerti grossi, op.6 by Handel; his recordings of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos brought them to prominence after many years of relative obscurity. He had a highly individual tone and great technique. Among his students were Stefi Geyer, Erica Morini and Yehudi Menuhin.

As a composer, Busch was influenced by Max Reger. He was among the first to compose a Concerto for Orchestra, in 1929. A number of his compositions have been recorded, including the Violin Concerto (A minor, opus 20, published 1922), String Sextet (G major, opus 40), Quintet for Saxophone and String Quartet, and several large scale works for organ. Regarding the latter, Busch once remarked that if he could come back after his death he would like to return as an organist.

He was the son of the luthier Wilhelm Busch; brother of the conductor Fritz Busch, the cellist Hermann Busch, the pianist Heinrich Busch and the actor Willi Busch, and grandfather of the pianist Peter Serkin. An exhaustive two-volume biography of Busch by Tully Potter was published in 2010 by Toccata Press.

This listing is for a very rare, out of print 2-CD title - an OPENED, Near MINT 2-CD set PRESSED and ISSUED by EMI Records of a highly collectible title from their catalog - a superb title featuring -

Rudolf SERKIN // Adolf BUSCH

CD title -
RUDOLF SERKIN: THE FIRST RECORDINGS

Track listing:
1. Beethoven: Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata"
2. Mozart: Sonata in F, K. 377
3. Schumann: Sonata in A minor, Op. 105
4. Reger: Allegretto fron Sonata in F sharp minor, Op. 84
5. Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 14 in E flat, K. 449
6. Beethoven: Sonata in E flat, Op. 12, No. 3
7. Bach: Sonata in G, BWV 1021
8. Vivaldi (arr. Busch): Suite in A
9. Geminiani (arr. Busch): Siciliana from Sonata in C minor

Performers on this item include -
Rudolf Serkin, piano
Adolf Busch, violin
Adolf Busch Chamber Players
Adolf Busch, conductor

The 2-CD title is from the EMI Records series of out of print CDs.

CD catalog # CDS 7-54374-2
CDs were issued in 1991 (according to the back of the jewel case, we believe this to be the first pressing of this title on CD)
CDs were made in the USA

The CDs, jewel case and INSERTS are in near mint minus condition! The CDs have a couple of very light (barely noticeable) marks on the reflective side. The jewel case has a couple of light cracks (see pictures associated with this listing for more detail). When we played the CDs in our audio system, they performed PERFECTLY!!

This CD is an audiophile quality pressing (any collector of fine MFSL, half speeds, direct to discs, Japanese/UK pressings etc., can attest to the difference a quality pressing can make to an audio system).

Don't let this rarity slip by!!!

  • Item #: EMI 2-CDs 7-54374-2 NM
  • Manufacturer: EMI / Electrola / Odeon / Pathe Records
  • Condition: Used

EMI 2-CDs: SERKIN & BUSCH - First Recordings, 1991 USA OOP NM

Price: $79.99
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