What a surprising destiny: son of a German physician, he spent his youth in Southern France and Italy and grew up to become one of the great interpreters of French impressionistic music. A student of Karl Leimer in Hannover, his life was marked by both of the World Wars. From 1914 to 1918 he escaped armed combat by joining a regiment orchestra. The situation was more serious from 1939 to 1945: although he was able to flee to the United States, where he enjoyed a triumph, he decided to return to Germany in spite of the dictatorship in order to perform, also performing in occupied France.
This led to many accusations at the end of the war, even being forced to cancel a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1949 due to the massive protests. But that passed, and his performance of Schumann’s concerto in Montreux in 1953 was brilliant! It is actually one of the earliest recorded documents of the Septembre musical Festival.
CD set: Digital only