Beethoven Oboe Trio, recorded by 3 New York oboe legends!

15 08 2017

For over 14 years, I traveled to the town of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey to study with the retired oboist and English horn player of the New York Philharmonic, Engelbert Brenner.  His oboe studio was at the very top of his house, and getting there required

brenner_bernstein

Leonard Bernstein and Engelbert Brenner

some stair climbing.  Once arriving at the very top, one entered a studio, museum, and reed factory.  The walls were covered with autographed photos of the last century’s greatest conductors and players.  Arturo Toscanini’s baton was on a table.  It was truly awe inspiring.  When I met Mr. Brenner, he was already well into his 70s, yet he flew up and down those stairs like he was in his 30s.

wann

Lois Wann

When you entered his studio, if you glanced immediately to your left, there was a table with a stack of phonograph records.  These were not the off-the-shelf type of disks, but I believed them to be masters cut on a record cutting machine.  There were no printed labels – just hand-written notes.  I asked about them once, and he told me that the top one was a recording of the Beethoven Oboe Trio that he recorded with Lois Wann.  Brenner’s studio contained no audio equipment at all.  If I were to ask to hear the Beethoven, there was no way to play it.

Fast forward 40+ years, and with the wonders of Google and YouTube, I have located this recording online.  It was recorded in 1939, presumably in New York, as the other two players featured on the recording were also legendary New York oboists – Lois Wann and Ferdinand Prior.

 

Beethoven: Variations on ‘La Ci Darem’
Lois Wann & Ferdinand Prior on oboes,
Engelbert Brenner on English horn.

What a thrill it is to finally hear this recording!  Here is the YouTube video that I located of the recording:   YouTube Link

Here is another sound-only file (I prefer this one, as I added a tiny bit of reverb to enhance the very old recording capabilities of the day):   Click here

Enjoy!

  •  I was unable to find a photo of Mr. Prior.  Does anyone have one that I can include?

Actions

Information

5 responses

8 11 2017
Jeff Werthan

David,

The NY Phil recently posted on FB a picture of its woodwind section from quite some time ago. The oboist pictured is Bruno Labate, and the oboist next to him just be F. Prior, though I am not at all sure. If you can locate the picture on FB and follow up with the Philharmonic, they might be able to confirm this for you.

PS. Wonderful picture of Louis 1, who was a class act in every way.

8 11 2017
Jeff Werthan

David,

The NY Phil recently posted on FB a picture of its woodwind section from quite some time ago. The oboist pictured is Bruno Labate, and the oboist next to him just be F. Prior, though I am not at all sure. If you can locate the picture on FB and follow up with the Philharmonic, they might be able to confirm this for you.

PS. Wonderful picture of Lois Wann, who was a class act in every way.

26 12 2017
Daphne Prior

Dear David Mankin,

I am the daughter of oboist Ferdinand Prior and I will try to get you a picture of him! I do not have any online, but could have one scanned and send you a
copy – I’m pretty low tech! My father lived to be 94, and after the Philharmonic, he played for the Cincinnati Orchestra for many years, before retiring and teaching. He sometimes mentioned E. Brenner, and Lois Wann.
Where can I get in touch with you?
Daphne Prior, New York City, 12/26/17.

29 01 2019
ellen sherman

Thank you for this wonderful recording!
Was Lois playing the first Oboe part?
Lovely playing all around!

29 01 2019
David Mankin

Hi Ellen! Good to see your comment – if you don’t remember, we were at NEC together back in a different century! As I remember it, Lois played 1st oboe. My teacher spoke about this recording to me many years ago, and it was recorded many, many years before that discussion, so it is a recollection of a recollection!

My best,
Dave

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: