Friday, November 11, 2011

Mozart by Catterall and Harty

Arthur Catterall
This is the third and last installment of my Arthur Catterall series, and comprises two Mozart recordings he made with Hamilton Harty, the latter as both pianist and conductor.  Catterall was the leader (first violinist) in the Hallé Orchestra, a post he held from 1912 until 1925.  As Harty was music director of the Hallé from 1920 to 1934, their joint association lasted five years, and it was during this time that these recordings were made.  First came a Mozart sonata, which apparently was the first uncut recording of any sonata (which was, curiously, identified as "Opus 8, No. 1" on the labels):

Mozart: Violin Sonata in A, K. 526
Arthur Catterall, violin; Hamilton Harty, piano
Recorded April 27, 1923
English Columbia L 1494 through 1496, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 53.12 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 20.19 MB)

Then in 1924 came this recording of a Mozart concerto:

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A, K. 219
Arthur Catterall, violin, with orchestra conducted by Hamilton Harty
Recorded April 10, 1924
English Columbia L 1592 through 1595, four 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 77.85 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 28.99 MB)

April 10, 1924 was a busy day for Catterall and Harty, who, prior to recording the Mozart, did the Bach Concerto for two violins with John S. Bridge, second violinist in Catterall's quartet.  That recording can be heard at the CHARM website.

There's a little bonus: I had the original album for the English Columbia issue, which contained slightly pedantic liner notes for the concerto printed on each record sleeve above the window for the label.  Quite a difference from the flowery wimble-wamble printed as liner notes in contemporary US sets!  An introductory paragraph or two appears in a box below the label on the first sleeve.  I typed all these into a text file that is included with the downloads.

The Mozart violin concertos were relatively well-served during the late acoustic era.  Three were available complete: besides this one, No. 3 in G was recorded by Yelly d'Aranyi for Vocalion (which Grumpy's Classics Cave has available here), and No. 4 in D was recorded twice - a famous recording by Kreisler with Landon Ronald for HMV (available commercially from various labels), and one by Riele Queling with Frieder Weissmann for Parlophone.


  1. This Mozart sonata is one of the most beautiful chamber music recordings I have ever heard! An aristocratic, soft and VERY romantic art of interpretation totally forgotten today. This is very different even from the tradition we know from the Buschs for ones.