Saturday, July 29, 2017

Mozart Serenades by E. F.

Two albums containing Mozart serenades this week, the common denominator to both being that a conductor with the initials "E. F." leads a (presumably) hand-picked ensemble. Here are the details:

Mozart: "Salzburg Serenades"
(Concertante and Rondo from Serenade No. 9 in D, K. 320;
Serenata Notturna in D, K. 239)
Edvard Fendler conducting the Vox Chamber Orchestra
Recorded c. 1945-46
Vox Album 161, four 10-inch 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 63.91 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 41.28 MB)

Mozart: Serenade No. 10 in B-Flat, K. 361, for thirteen wind instruments
Edwin Fischer conducting his Chamber Orchestra
Recorded September 1939
Victor Musical Masterpiece set DM-743, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 68.76 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 43.88 MB)

Leipzig-born Fendler (1902-1987), who would appear to have left Germany with the rise of Nazism, ended up with conducting jobs in places as diverse as the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Mobile (Alabama) and Beaumont (Texas). He had made recordings in France before the war - among them, another version of this same Serenata Notturna. The "Vox Chamber Orchestra" was, I suspect, an ad hoc body of New York players.

Edwin Fischer (1886-1960) was, of course, much better known as a pianist, but was a fine conductor as well, and he often combined the two roles, most notably with Bach. This recording, made in Berlin, manages to get Mozart's great Gran Partita onto three discs by omitting two movements and excising one of two trios of a minuet, and by scrupulously avoiding repeats. What remains, however, is very well played and conducted indeed.


  1. Alternate links:

  2. Thanks, Bryan - Edvard Fendler is a new name to me.

  3. Thanks so much Bryan for that so rare recording !
    As Buster, I never heard of E. Fendler...
    any info about the Vox Chamber Orchestra.....never saw that name either....?

  4. I was completely unaware of this Edwin Fischer performance. Fantastic, thank you!

  5. Many thanks from me, too! All the best, Nick

  6. I have 1 Fendler recording on my blog: L'Oiseau-Lyre, with KV176:, probably ca 1938.