Adam Han-Gorski, Violin
The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,
Directed by Zdzislaw Szostak (1 & 3) and Bystrik Rezucha (2 & 4)
1. Heinrich Wilheim ERNST ............................. 13:57
Fantasy on Themes from Rossini’s Opera
“Othello” Op. 11
2. Pablo de SARASATE ..................................... 15:54
Concerto Fantasy on Themes of Bizet’s Opera “Carmen” Op. 25
3. Efrem ZIMBALIST ........................................ 10:07
Fantasy based on Themes from
Rimsky-Korsakoff’s Opera “LeCoq d’Or”
4. Henryk WIENIAWSKI .................................. 18:34
Fantasy on Themes from Gounod’s Opera
“FAUST” Op. 20
Tracks 1, 3 & 4 were exclusively orchestrated for Adam Han-Gorski by Zdzislaw Szostak.
Carmen’s “Aria to the Cards” augmented into the Carmen Fantasy was arranged & orchestrated by Adam Han-Gorski.
5. Christian SINDING ....................................... 12:34
Suite in a-minor Op. 10, for violin and orchestra
Adam Han-Gorski with his orchestra Virtuosi di Vienna
5a. Presto ...1:48, 5b. Adagio ...5:44,
5c. Tempo Giusto ...4:58
In the romantic period, performing transcriptions and instrumental fantasies on operatic themes provided the artist with a welcome opportunity to display a masterly virtuosity. Pieces of this type were popular with all instrumentalists – violinists, cellists and especially pianists. The tradition of piano transcriptions were initiated by Franz Liszt (his concert paraphrases on themes from Rigoletto, Ernani, Lucia di Lammermoor or Don Giovanni spring readily to mind) and was successfully continued into the 20th century (Leopold Godowski, Sergey Rachmaninoff to
name the most famous).
In the sphere of violin playing, fantasies on the themes of popular operas were introduced by Niccolo Paganini with his famous variations Di Tanti Palpiti (on Rossini’s Opera Tancredi). His transcription The Carnival of Venice was for a long time a particularly popular concert item.
The four opera transcriptions on this CD are of the kind in which the performer can demonstrate the highest reaches of brilliant virtuoso playing. The Moravia-born virtuoso Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst (1814-1865) – the author of the famous Variations on the Irish song The Last Rose of Summer was a great admirer and follower of Paganini’s art. This Fantasy on the themes of Rossini’s Opera Othello is one of the utmost technically demanding positions in the entire violin literature. One of the most prominent pupils of Leopold Auer – the American violinist Efram Zimbalist (father of the FBI Detective from the TV series), is the author of the Fantasy on Themes from the Opera Le Coq d’Or by N. Rimski-Korsakov based on the fairy tale by the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Pablo de Sarasate, the greatest Spanish virtuoso, to whom a large number of composers of his time dedicated their works, is the author of the following piece The Carmen Fantasy. The Carmen’s Aria to the Cards augmented in this recording, was arranged and orchestrated by A. Han-Gorski.
The grandiose 18 minutes long Faust Fantasy is one of Henryk Wieniawski’s major, most brilliant works. With the exception of the Carmen Fantasy, the three works were orchestrated exclusively for Mr. Han-Gorski by the prominent Polish composer Zdzislav Szostak, winner of numerous awards. The last work included on this CD is the Suite in A-minor (dedicated to Sarasate), by the Norwegian composer Christian Sinding. In this recording A. Han-Gorski is the soloist and conductor with orchestra Virtuosi di Vienna.
Adam Han-Gorski was born in Lvov, a city of great cultural and cosmopolitan tradition. An important Polish city for over 600 years, Lvov, was in the course of the last century, under Austrian, Polish, German, Soviet and Ukrainian rule. Han-Gorski started his violin lessons at 5, and at the age of 7 gave his first solo performance with the Silesian Philharmonic. At 14, he was the youngest participant, and a prize winner at the International Music Competition in Warsaw. After graduating from high school in Poland, he attended and received a 4-year degree from the Israeli Academy of Music in Tel Aviv.
The legendary Jascha Heifetz, having heard Han-Gorski in Paris, invited him to take part in his Master Class at the University of Southern California. This included participation in a famous series on educational television. During this time he also attended Master Classes by William Primrose and Gregor Piatigorski and participated in several performances with these artists. At the end of 4 1/2 years of study with The Master, Heifetz presented him with an eighteenth century Italian violin!
The great George Szell personally invited Han-Gorski to an important post in the first violin section with the Cleveland Orchestra. Additionally, he held Concertmaster posts with the Metropolitan Opera National Company, The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. In 1976 he was appointed Concertmaster with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for 25 years. In the course of those years, he was frequently invited as a guest Concertmaster by various orchestras in Germany, Italy and Mexico City, as well as presenting Master Classes on 3 continents.
As a soloist, Han-Gorski has performed in major cities in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Salvador, South Korea, Japan, South Africa, Israel and all of Europe, receiving great acclaim from the press for his effortless virtuosity and profound musicianship. In 1986 he founded the ensemble Virtuosi di Vienna, with which he has toured extensively internationally. In recent years he has increasingly appeared in the double capacity of conductor/soloist.
In addition to The Opera Transcriptions his recordings also include a Trio recording commemorating the 300th Anniversary of the Institution of the Viennese Café, and a Viennese-Hungarian Music Album, with Han-Gorski as conductor and soloist, for which a Japanese team came to Europe for the sole purpose of recording. An accomplished linguist, as well as musician, Han-Gorski is fluent in 7 languages. In appreciation of his cultural contributions, the President of the Republic of Austria awarded him the title of “Professor h.c.”
Adam Han-Gorski, Violin
Gergely Szüts, Cello
Bela Koreny, Piano
1. F. Lehar: Medley from the Operetta
“The Merry Widow” (Trio)................................. 14:27
arr. bei Bela Koreny
2. L. Godovsky: “Alt Wien” (Old Vienna)........... 2:23
arr. Jascha Heifetz
3. F. Kreisler: “The Old Refrain” ........................ 2:59
4. J. Strauss Jr.: “Tritsch-Tratsch Polka” (Trio) ... 2:25
5. Medley of Vienna Café-Songs ....................... 9:11
arr. bei Bela Koreny
6. B. Koreny: September Dreams ..................... 5:58
7. B. Koreny/Han-Gorski: Devil’s Hora ............. 3:48
This recording was sponsored by the City of Vienna in 1983 commemorating of the 300th Anniversary of the institution: Vienna Café.
Café Europa Celebrating the
Viennese Café Tradition
Unlike some other café traditions around the world, it is completely normal for a customer to linger alone for hours and study the omnipresent newspaper. Along with coffee, the waiter serve an obligatory glass of cold tap water and during a long stay will often bring additional water unrequested, with the idea being that you are a guest who should feel welcomed and not pressured to leave for another patron.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, leading writers of the time became attached to the atmosphere of Viennese cafés and were frequently seen to meet, exchange and to even write there. Literature composed in cafés is commonly referred to as coffee house literature, the writers thereof as coffee house poets. The famous journal Die Fackel “The Torch” by Karl Kraus is said to have been written in cafés to a large extent. Other coffee house poets include Arthur Schnitzler, Alfred Polgar, Friedrich Torberg, and Egon Erwin Kisch. Famous writer and poet Peter Altenberg even had his mail delivered to his favorite café, the Café Central. The furnishings of a Viennese café can vary from plush and comfy to coldly modern and stylish. The classic look includes Michael Thonet chairs and marble tabletops. Many cafés provide small food dishes like sausages as well as desserts, cakes and tarts, like Apfelstrudel and Linzer torte.
Adam Han-Gorski was born in Poland, started his violin lessons at 6 with A. Szafranek, a graduate from the Berlin Music Academy, and gave his debut as a soloist with orchestra just a year and a half later. In Israel he was a student of the composer and violist O. Partos and later invited by J. Heifetz to his Master Class at USC. He was concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera National Co., first violinist with the Cleveland Orchestra under Szell, concertmaster in Syracuse, Minneapolis and Vienna Radio Orchestra which he led for 25 years. A winner in several international competitions, concertized extensively worldwide and toured Europe as a soloist and conductor with his Orchestra “Virtuosi di Vienna.” His recording of four Opera Fantasies with the Slovak Philharmonic won an international critical acclaim. In the Fall of 2004 he returned to the Twin Cities, teaching, freelancing and concertizing with his “Continental Sound Ensemble” to the delight of audiences.
Bela Koreny born 1946 in Csepreg, Hungary, studied piano and composition from 1960 at the Vienna Conservatory and from 1967 – 1971 at the Vienna Academy of Music. A long time pianist at the Café Bräunerhof, he owns a popular piano bar at the heart of Vienna. He has also composed music for the Austrian Film and local shows.
Gergely Szüts was born in 1936, studied cello in his native Budapest, Hungary and escaped to Austria during the Hungarian uprising in 1956, where he completed his education at the Vienna Academy. He was a cellist with the Vienna Radio Symphony. He independently toured internationally with his ensemble performing incredibly on violin, viola, double bass aside from his cello, stunning the audiences with his virtuosity and fine musicianship.
Conductor & Violin Soloist
and his Orchestra
1. A Grand Medley from the Operetta
“The Csardas Princess” .............................. 17:46
by Emmerich Kálmán arr. by Hans Schneider
2. “Ball bei Ziehrer” a medley of waltzes ... 7:48
by Carl Michael Ziehrer arr. by Hans Schneider
3. Fritz Kreisler: “The Old Refrain” .............. 3:07
arr. by Adam Han-Gorski
4. Fritz Kreisler: “Caprice Viennois” ............ 4:22
arr. by Clark McAlister
5. Jeno Hubay: “Hejre Kati” Csardas Scene
Op. 32 …… 6:28
6. “Notturno” from the Operetta
“A Waltz Dream” ....... 4:49
by Oskar Straus arr. by Max Schooner
7. A Waltz Medley from the Operetta
“A Waltz Dream” ……… 7:05 by Oskar Straus
Adam Han-Gorski was born in Poland, started his violin lessons at 6 with A. Szafranek, a graduate from the Berlin Music Academy, and gave his debut as a soloist with orchestra just a year and a half later. In Israel he was a student of the composer and violist O. Partos and later invited by Jascha Heifetz to his Master Class at USC.
He was concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera National Company, first violinist with the Cleveland Orchestra under Szell, concertmaster in Syracuse, Minneapolis MN Orchestra and the Vienna Radio Orchestra, which he led for 25 years. A winner in several international competitions, concertized extensively worldwide and toured Europe as a soloist and conductor with his Orchestra “Virtuosi di Vienna.”
His recording of four Opera Fantasies with the Slovak Philharmonic won an international critical acclaim. In the Fall of 2004 he returned to the Twin Cities, teaching, freelancing and concertizing with his “Continental Sound Ensemble” to the delight of audiences.