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Ida Haendel

Homage Page

by José Sánchez-Penzo



Ida Haendel

Grande Dame of the Violin

"She plays with such simplicity, directness and emotional force that it tears your heart out...."

"Haendel still plays with undimmed (and currently unrivalled) assurance and authority... fresh, youthful inspiration still animates everything she does."

The Boston Globe

Photo: Georg Bongartz
Courtesy of Askonas Holt Limited, London


Chronology:
 
1928, Dec. 15: Ida Haendel is born in Chelm, Poland1
  Aged 3 1/2 she takes the violin of her older sister and plays a song her mother was singing
  Aged 5 she wins the Hubermann Competition
1935: Aged 7 she becomes one of the finalists of the Wieniawski Competition winning the 7th Prize (1st Prize: Ginnette Neveu, 16; 2nd Prize: David Oistrakh, 27)
1937: London debut in the Qeen's Hall with Sir Henry Wood conducting
1946: USA debut
1948/49: With Rafael Kubelik conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra she records the Beethoven and the Bruch concertos for violin.
1952: She moves to Montreal
1957: She premieres Luigi Dallapiccola's Tartiniana Seconda
1970: Publication of her autobiography Woman with Violin
1979: She moves to Miami, USA, and settles there
1982: She is the recipient of the Sibelius Prize for her distinguished performances of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. Sibelius, at one time, praised her performance of his concerto after listening to a radio broadcast of the work.
1989: First performance in Germany of Allan Petterson's concerto for violin
1991: She is given by the English Queen the title of a Commander of the British Empire
1993: Appearance with the Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra in Berlin
2000: She is given by Prince Charles an honorary doctorate of the Royal College

Notes:
  1. Several sources state 1923 or 1924 as Ida Haendel's birth year. In the interview by Erika Habenicht she attributes the origin of this misunderstanding to her manager in 1937. While being in England at 9 years of age, short before a Sunday afternoon concert, someone said no child under 14 is allowed to work and therefore to perform on Sunday. In order to rescue her appearance her manager replied she was actually 14, and only for promotion reasons they tried to pass her off as being younger.


Musicians she performed with:
 
  • Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Paavo Berglund
  • Sir Adrian Boult
  • Sergiu Celibidache
  • Jonathan Feldman
  • Sir Eugene Goossens
  • Bernhard Haitink
  • Eliahu Inbal
  • Rafael Kubelik
  • Zubin Mehta
  • Ivor Newton
  • Sir Simon Rattle
  • Sir Henry Wood
This list is, of course, far to be complete.



Violin Education:
 
  • Michalowicz - Warsaw Conservatory
  • Carl Flesch - London (1935 - 1939)
  • George Enescu



Instruments:
 
  • Violin made 1696 by A. Stradivari
  • Violin by Guarneri



Awards:
 
  • Membership in international jurys
  • Title of Commander of the British Empire
  • Honorary doctorate of the Royal College
  • Sibelius Prize 1982



Publications:
 
  • Woman with Violin
    The Autobiography of Ida Haendel
    Victor Gollancz Ltd, London, 1970
    ISBN 0 575 00473 8
This is the story of a child prodigy turning into a mature artist against all odds.

In her autobiography Ida Haendel writes of the problems of being a child prodigy with gifts which set her apart from other children. She knew that she did not want to play with dolls or play with other children. She understood quite early that a talent such as hers was to isolate her and it was something one learned to come to terms with.

Much of Ida Haendel's childhood was spent travelling in Western Europe and she gives us a picture of those lean times living and cooking in bed sitters in Paris and other towns trying to earn money and making ends meet. She also studied with Carl Flesch and Georges Enescu, two legendary pedagogues during these years, which was to mould her musical future. She includes comments on her fellow students in these violin classes that are of great interest. She explains that these were indeed difficult years overshadowed by the threat of Adolf Hitler. The family realising the terrifying times that lay ahead left Poland and moved to London.

England provided the opportunity to play at the Promenade Concerts in 1937 where she was to become a regular artist. One memorable occasion being when she played at the Dvorak Centenary Promenade Concert.

During the war years she played regular concerts at the National Gallery bringing her into contact with great musical names, like Myra Hess. She also toured the British Isles playing concerts for the troops under appalling conditions, often without an orchestra or even a piano and on these occasions she would play solo Bach, which was always very much appreciated by the troops.

The book stops in 1970 the year it was published, but the story goes on. That was over thirty years ago and now Ida Haendel's place in the history of the violin has been assured. She has given many memorable performances, both in the concert hall and in the recording studio. Her performances in the recording studio, are a legacy that is available for generations of violinists to come. Thus it enables them to hear the standard of playing to which Ida Heandel brought to the violin. Those who have heard her consistantly brilliant performances over the years of the Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concertos will long remember them. These performances will forever be a landmark by which we judge other performances of these two great violin concertos.

Cheniston K Roland (Violin Historian) Liverpool (c)2001




Ida Haendel plays Bach:
 
  • Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin
    Catalog: SBT 2090
    Label: Testament
    Dist: Harmonia Mundi
    Release Date: 12/1/96
     
    1. Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001
    2. Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003
    3. Sonata No. 3, in C, BWV 1005
    4. Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002
    5. Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
    6. Partita No. 3 in E, BWV 1006

    'Wonderful performances in the grand style. Miss Haendel brings to those evergreen works a mixture of youthful spontaneity (she was 66 when the recoridng was made , but she is one of these people who manage to stay 18 forever !) and unique wisdom and authority of a great musician...'

    Mark Goldenberg


Photo: Georg Bongartz
Courtesy of Askonas Holt Limited, London


Ida Haendel

by Cheniston K Roland (Violin Historian)

 

There was a time when you could not look at the syllabus for the major concert halls without finding the name of the distinguished violinist Ida Haendel.

Ida Haendel was a particular favorite of the English audiences and was always to be heard performing somewhere, either in an English concert hall or on the radio. She lived here for many years before moving to live in the Mount Royal district of Montreal. As a young violin student she was my idle and the most consistent of performers - in every performance I heard, she was impeccable both in interpretation and technique.

She was for me the greatest woman violinist I ever heard, with the possible exception for a brief time of the-up-and coming Ginette Neveu. But never the less Ida Haendel was to hold the position, Queen of the Violin, for many years.

If you live in England, then this coming week you are in for a feast of Ida Haendel live recordings. The BBC Third Programme, are broadcasting a one and a half hour programme each morning devoted to interviews with Ida Haendel and playing her recordings, all which are "Live Performances" from the BBC's own archives, from Monday 17 to Friday 21 Sep , 2001. In fifty years I cannot remember such an honor given to any violinist. This will be a total of seven and a half hours devoted to this aristocrat of violinists.

Her gramophone recordings are of the highest quality and stand up well against today's violinists. Most notable of Ida Haendel's recordings - and those which I recommend you do everything possible to locate and hear are:- her recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto op 61 in D major, Philarmonia Orchestra conducted by Rafael Kubelik. and her Brahms Violin Concerto op 77 in D major, London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sergio Celibidache. If you can find it you must not miss hearing her recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto op 35 in D major, National Symphony Orchestra conducted Basil Cameron, on this recording her playing is to say the least outstanding by any standards.

I hope that those of you who are not too familiar with Ida Haendel will be able to appreciate what a marvelous legacy she has given to us so far. If you have any comments to make after hearing these broadcasts please feel free to contact Cheniston K Roland (eMail: violinland@cremona.u-net.com) and write your reactions to this prestigious event by the BBC.

"Long Live the Queen."

Our thanks to the BBC for presenting these programmes and letting look into their archives.

Copyright © 2001

Broadcasted Works:

Compiled by Cheniston K Roland (Violin Historian)

 

MONDAY
Sep 17, 2001
  • Franck: Violin Sonata in A
    With Ronald Turini (piano)
  • Bruch: Violin Concerto No 1 in G minor,
    BBC Symphony Orchestra, conductor Alexander Lazarev
  • Enescu: Violin Sonata No 3, Op 25
    With Ronald Turini (piano)
TUESDAY
Sep 18, 2001
  • Corell: Violin Sonata in G minor, Op5No5
    With Ronald Turini (piano)
  • Brahms: Violin Sonata No l in G, Op 78
    With Ronald Turini (piano)
  • Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D, Op 61
    BBC Philharmonic, conductor Edward Downs
WEDNESDAY
Sep 19, 2001
  • Beethoven: Violin Sonata in C minor, Op30 No2
    With Craig Sheppard (piano)
  • Britten: Violin Concerto, Op l5
    BBC NSO, conductor Raymond Leppard
  • Grieg: Violin Sonata No 3 in C minor
    With Ronald Turini (piano)
THURSDAY
Sep 20, 2001
  • Bach: Chaconne (Violin Partita No 2 in D minor BWV1004)
  • Mozart: Violin Sonata in B flat, K378
    With Ronald Turini (piano)
  • Elgar: Violin Concerto in B minor, Op 61
    BBC Symphony Orchestra, conductor John Prichard
  • Ravel: Piece en Forme d'Habanera
    With Craig Shepherd (piano)
FRIDAY
Sep 21, 2001
  • Saint-Saens: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op 28
    With Craig Sheppard (piano) )
  • Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Op47
    City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conductor Simon Rattle
  • Beethoven: Violin Sonata in A, Op 4 7 (Kreutzer)
    Geoffrey Parsons (piano)
  • Elgar: La Capricieuse, Op l7
    With Craig Sheppard (piano)




Ida Haendel Recordings:

Compiled by Cheniston K Roland (Violin Historian)

 

ACHRON
  • Hebrew melody, Op. 33
    with A. Haendel pf
    Decca K1047
ALBENIZ
  • Malagueña in b
    I Newton pf
    Decca K1073
BACH
  • Partita No. 2, in D: Chaconne
    Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga D07287
  • Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001
    Testament SBT 2090
  • Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003
    Testament SBT 2090
  • Sonata No. 3, in C, BWV 1005
    Testament SBT 2090
  • Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002
    Testament SBT 2090
  • Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
    Testament SBT 2090
  • Partita No. 3 in E, BWV 1006
    Testament SBT 2090
BARTOK
  • Rumanian folk dances
    with I Newton pf
    Decca K1873
  • Rumanian folk dances arr Szekely
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
  • Rumanian folk dances arr Szekely
    with Yampolsky pf
    Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga 007288
BAZZINI
  • Ronde des lutins, Op 25
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca F7659
BEETHOVEN
  • Concerto in D, Op. 61 (cadenza by Joachim)
    with Philharmonia Orch. - Kubelik
    HMV C4126/31S
  • Violin Sonata op 30 No 3
    with N. Mewton-Wood pf
    Decca K959/60
BLOCH
  • Abodah (God's worship)
    with A Kotowska pf
    Decca K1076
  • Baal Shem (3 Pictures of Chassidic life)
    No. 2. Nigun (Improvisation)
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
BRAHMS
  • Concerto in D, Op. 77 (cadenza by Joachim)
    with London Symphony Orch. Celibidache
    HMV CLP1032
  • Hungarian dance No. 17, in f sharp arr Kreisler
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV C3818
  • Hungarian dance No. 17, in f sharp arr Kreisler
    with A. Holecek pf
    Supraphon SUA 10465
  • Waltz No.15, in A flat arr Hochstein
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca M495
  • Waltz No. 15, in A flat arr Hochstein
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
BRITTEN
  • Violin Concerto
    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra - Paavo Berglund
    EMI CLASSICS CD 0777-7-64202-2-6
BRUCH
  • Concerto No.1, in g minor, Op.26
    with Philharmonia Orch. - Kubelik
    HMV C3802/4
COPLAND
  • Rodeo (1942) No 4. Hoe-down
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV B9994
CORELLI
  • Sonata No. 12, in d "La Follia" arr Leonard
    with V. Yampolsky pf
    Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga D07288
DINICU
  • Hora staccato arr Heifetz
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca K1076
DVORAK
  • Concerto in a minor, Op. 53
    with National Symphony Orch. - Rankl
    Decca K1744/7
  • Humoresque Op. 101 in g flat arr Kreisler
    with A. Kotowska Pf
    Decca M521
  • SIavonic Dance No. 2, in e arr.Kreisler
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV C4262
  • Slavonic dance No. 10 arr Kreisler
    with A. Kotowska
    Decca M495
  • Slavonic dance No. 10, in e arr Kreisler
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
ELGAR
  • La Capricieuse, Op 17
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
  • Violin Concerto
    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra - Paavo Berglund
    EMI CLASSICS CD 0777-7-64202-2-6
FALLA
  • Danza del Molinero arr.Szigeti
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca M603
  • Danza espanola arr. Kreisler
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca K1073
  • Danza espanola arr Kreisler
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca K1214
  • Danza espanola arr Kreisler
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV C4262
GLAZOUNOV
  • Concerto in a minor, Op. 82
    with Prague Symphony Orch. Smetacek
    Supraphon SUA10687
GRIEG
  • Scherzo-Impromptu arr Achron
    with G Moore pf
    HMV B10135
HAENDEL
  • Solomon (1748)
    Am Klaren Bach im stillen Tal
    arr as "Pastorale" by Flesch
    with V. Yampolsky pf
    Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga D07287
IBERT
  • Le Petit ane blanc arr Hoeres
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca M603
KREISLER
  • Caprice viennois, Op. 2
    with A Kotowska pf
    Decca M521
  • Schon Rosmarin
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca M520
  • Schon Rosmarin
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
  • Tambourin chinois, Op. 3
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca M520
  • Praeludium & Allegro (Pugnani)
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV C4021.
  • Praeludium & Allegro (Pugnani)
    with A. HoIecek pf
    Supraphon SUA 10465
  • Sicilienne & Rigaudon (Francoeur)
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV B9994
KROLL
  • Banjo & fiddle
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV C4021
  • Banjo & fiddle
    with A. Holecek pf
    Supraphon SUA 10465
LALO
  • Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21
    (omitting Intermezzo).
    with National Symphony Orch. - Jorda
    Decca K1275/7
  • Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21
    (omitting Intermezzo)
    with Czech Philhannonic Orch. - Ancerl
    Supraphon SUA10615
LECLAIR
  • Sonata No. 3, in 6: Sarabande (1st mvt)
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca F7727
MASSENET
  • "Meditation" arr.Marsick
    with A.Kotowska pf
    Decca F7659
MENDELSSOHN
  • Concerto in e minor, Op. 64
    with National Symphony Orch. - Sargent
    Decca K1377/80
  • Gesange, Op.3 "Auf Fliigeln des Gesanges" arr Achron
    with G Moore pf
    HMV C3994
PAGANINI
  • Caprice No. 24, in a minor arr Auer
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
  • Sonata a preghiere "Moses Fantasia"
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
  • Sonata a preghiere "Moses Fantasia"
    with A. Holegek pf
    Supraphon SUA10465
RAVEL
  • Piece en forme d'Habanera
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV B10135
  • Piece en forme d'Habanera
    with A. Holecek pf
    Supraphon SUA10465,
  • Tzigane (Rapsodie de concert) (1924)
    with I.Newton pf
    Decca K1013
  • Tzigane (Rapsodie de concert) (1924)
    with Czech Philharmonic Orch. - Ancerl
    Supraphon SUA10615,
SAINT-SAENS
  • Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28
    with National Symphony Orch. - Cameron
    Decca Kll71
SARASATE
  • Carmen Fantasia Op. 25
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca M501/2
  • Zapateado, Op.23
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca F7727
  • Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca K940
  • Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
    with I. Newton pf
    Decca K1842
  • Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
    with A. Holecek pf
    Supraphon SUA10465
SCHUBERT
  • Ave Maria, D839 arr Wilhelmj
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV C3994
  • Ave Maria, D839 arr Wilhelmj
    with V Yampolsky pf
    Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga D07288
  • Rosamunde Ballet Music in g, arr Kreister
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca K1075
  • Sonatina No. 3, in g
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca K1074/5
SIBELIUS
  • Concerto in d minor op 47
    Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra - Berglund
    EMI ASD3199
  • Serenades No 1 in d major (Andate assai) op 69a
    Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra - Berglund
    EMI ASD3199
  • Serenades No 2 in g minor ( Lento assai) op 69b
    Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra - Berglund
    EMI ASD3199
  • Humoreske No 5 in e flat major op 89 No 3
    Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra - Berglund
    EMI ASD3199
STRAVINSKY
  • Divertissement
    with I. Newton pf
    Decca K 1930/2
  • Divertissement
    with A. Holecek pf
    Supraphon SUF20036
  • Petrouchka (1911) arr (1933) Dushkiin & Stravinsky
    with I. Newton pf
    Decca K1932
  • Dance russe arr (1933) Dushkin & Stravinsky
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
  • Danse russe arr (1933) Dushkin & Stravinsky
    with V. Yampolsky pf
    Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga D07288
SZYMANOWSKI
  • Chant de Roxane arr Kochanski
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca K1214
  • Notturno & Tara Tarantella,op28
    with A. Kotowska pf
    Decca K1651
TARTINI
  • Sonata No 3 in B flat (Presto) arr Brigewater
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
  • Sonata No 5 in g (Andate) arr Brigewater
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV CLP1021
  • Sonata in g "II Trillo del Diavolo" arr Kreisler
    with A. Holecek pf
    Supraphon SUA10465
TCHAIKOVSKY
  • Concerto in D, Op. 35
    with National Symphony Orchestra - Cameron
    Decca K 1444/7
  • Concerto in D, Op. 35
    with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Goosens
    HMVDLP1190
WIENIAWSKI
  • Cocerto No.2 in d minor, Op. 22
    with Prague Symphony Orchestra - Smetacek
    Supraphon SUA 10687,
  • Polonaise brillante No. 1 in D, Op. 4
    with G. Moore pf
    HMV C3818
  • Polonaise brillante No, in A
    with A Kotowska pf
    Decca K1213
  • Scherzo Tarantelle, Op. 16
    with A Kotowska pf
    Decca K1047
  • Scherzo TaranteIle, Op. 16
    with A. Holecek pf
    Supraphon SUA10465


Sources:
 
  1. Habenicht, Erika:
    Zeitzeugen im Gespräch: Die Geigerin Ida Haendel
    2000, Bayern2 Radio, München
    Broadcasted December 16th, 2000, 20:05 - 22:00 MEZ
     
  2. Paris, Alain:
    Klassische Musik im 20. Jahrhundert
    1996, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, München
     
  3. Rebling, Kathinka:
    Carl Flesch: Die Hohe Schule des Fingersatzes
    1995, Peter Lang GmbH, Frankfurt/Main
     
  4. Roeseler, Albrecht:
    Große Geiger unseres Jahrhunderts
    1987, 1996 R. Piper GmbH & Co. KG, München
     
  5. J. S. Bach Home Page
    http://jsbach.org/sonatasida.html
     


Acknowledgments:
 
For their advice, informations and help my thanks go to
  • David Connor, Miami FLA
  • Cheniston K Roland, Violin Historian of Liverpool
  • Norbert Winter, Violin Maker of Berlin
  • Melanie Evans, Askonas Holt Limited, London



[ Home | C. Flesch | I. Haendel | J. du Pré | Prof. Skills | Imprint ]