Born in Vienna 1875 - Died in New York 1962
When an outstanding concert artist decides to compose for his solo instrument, the results are certain to be of interest. When the concert artist was Fritz Kreisler, universally acknowledged as one of the greatest and best loved violinists of all time, the results were some of the most popular violin pieces in the world.
Kreisler's output of approximately 60 original compositions, over half of which are for violin and piano, was augmented by numerous arrangements and transcriptions of works by Tartini, Corelli, Paganini, Poldini, Paderewski, Schumann, Granados, etc. The demand for his own compositions such as Schön Rosmarin, Liebesfreud, Caprice Viennois, and Liebeslied, to mention only four, was so great that Kreisler himself made arrangements for instruments other than the original setting for many of them. If he did not actually write the arrangement, he never permitted the arrangement made by anyone else to be sold unless it had his approval.
All of Kreisler's music is once again back in the catalog of Carl Fischer, Inc., his original American publisher, including the two specially prepared piano settings of Liebeslied and Liebesfreud, made by his long-time friend Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Many of his compositions are orchestrated, some by Kreisler himself, and are available from the Carl Fischer Rental Library. There are approximately 200 pieces in the Fritz Kreisler catalog.
His repertory contained practically everything of value written for the violin after the 17th century. Kreisler was able, in his own compositions, to make an invaluable contribution to the literature, which could come only from an exceptional realization of the possibilities of his instrument and an inborn gift for beautiful melody.
During the sixty years of his world preeminence in the concert field Kreisler developed from the boy prodigy he had been (he had won the highest honors at both the Vienna and the Paris Conservatories before he was 14!) into the most popular and highly rated artist on his instrument since Paganini. At the same time his artistic and intellectual interests were not confined alone to music. He wrote in and spoke seven languages. He collected rare manuscripts and primitive paintings as well as violins. He was made Commander of the Legion of Honor in France. He received the Beethoven Gold Medal in London. he was entertained by royalty. Indeed, he was universally honored as one of the rare outstanding citizens of the world. Yet through it all, Kreisler remained ever a modest and humble man. His great interest in life, his warm-heartedness toward his fellow man, found its way into his music. His audiences, who were enormous and completely infatuated with him, instinctively recognized these qualities in their idol. Fortunately for us, we still have his music. Through it he still speaks. And each composition seems to say,
"From me to you, with love," - Fritz Kreisler.