Magazine article Gramophone

Leo Borchard: 'The Telefunken Recordings 1933-35' Boccherini String Quintet

Magazine article Gramophone

Leo Borchard: 'The Telefunken Recordings 1933-35' Boccherini String Quintet

Article excerpt

Leo Bore hard

'The Telefunken Recordings 1933-35' Boccherini String Quintet, G275--Minuet Delibes Coppelia--Valse lente-, Mazurka. Sylvia Intermezzo (Act 1); Valse lente Grieg Peer Gynt: Suite No 1, Op 46--Morning; The Death of Ase; Anitra's Dance; Suite No 2, Op 55--Solveig's Song Haydn Symphony No 88--Finale Mendelssohn Fantaisie, Op 16 No 2 (arr Andreae) Suppe Banditenstreiche--Overture Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker: Suite, Op 71a--Overture miniature; March; Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy; Russian Dance; Arabian Dance; Chinese Dance; Dance of the Reed Flutes. Sleeping Beauty, Op 66--Valse (Act 1) Wagner Die Walkure--Wotan's Farewell (a) (a) Hans Reinmar bar Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Leo Borchard Testament mono (F) SBT1514 (74' * ADD)

It's all about timing. Eighteen months after the Berliner Philharmoniker elected the second Russian-born Chief Conductor in its 135-year history, along comes this invaluable record of the first. Whereas the family of Kirill Petrenko moved to Vienna the year after the Wall came down, Lew Ljewitsch Borchard (who de-Russianised himself as Leo) went to Berlin.

The two conductors are also far less known to the musical public than their storied colleagues in post, from von Bulow to Rattle: a matter of choice in the case of Petrenko, who gives no interviews and has made next to no recordings. Quirks of history have kept Borchard in the shadows. As a student of Hermann Scherchen, he stood at the opposite artistic pole from Furtwangler, who guarded his power no less jealously than his eventual successor, Karajan; having been entrusted in the 1930s with concerts of the kind of classical pops repertoire on these Telefunken sides, Borchard would have been that successor had he not been shot by a jittery GI in postwar Berlin, three months after his appointment in 1945. …

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