Rolf den Otter
Researcher Sound Design, Technical University of Delft, Netherlands
One of the most common early 10#MMS records I encounter in second
hand stores is the MMS-39, Schubert's 'Trout' quintet with
Pina Pozzi, piano, members of the Winterthur String quartet and
Fred Jaquard, double Bass. It may have been one of the best selling
10# Musical masterpiece society records, yet there is little information to
find about Pina Pozzi. When I searched the internet I located one of
her former pupils, who then directed me to Andre and Irene Manz.
Andre Manz was the last pupil to graduate with Pina Pozzi, before her
death in 1966. Irene Manz studied with Pozzi too, but had to finish her
graduation with Gunther Herbig in Koln. Andre and Irene manz provided
me with most of the material for this article. So many thanks to both of them!
Pina Pozzi was born
June 14th 1914 in northern Italy, but was
brought up in Switzerland. She studied at the Giuseppi Verdi
conservatory in Milan, Italy and later studied with Anna Langenhan -
Hirzel, at the famous Hirzel Langenhan school in Switzerland.
She finished her studies with Frank Mannheimer in the United States.
In 1943 she won top honours at the international festival of music
in Geneva. Later, she became a teacher at the Winterthur conservatory
in Switzerland. Beside playing with the Winterthur symphony orchestra,
the Wintertur string quartet (with the now much collected peter Rybar
on 1st violin), and the Pascal string quartet, she formed a well known duo
with violinist Aida Stucki, better known under her married name Piraccini.
(Aida Piaracini was the teacher of Anne Sophie mutter)
With this duo she performed frequently in Europe and the USA.
Newspaper reviews from the period show a remarkable similarity
in the description of Pina Pozzi's performance style:
Aida Stucki and Pina Pozzi
From the Berner Tageblatt March 25th, 1955:
Der Genuss war um so
grosser, als die Partnershaft Pina Pozzis, eine
pianistin von zugleich solidester und sensibeler Anschlegskultur, eine
Zusammenwirkung von absoluter Prezision der Konturen geleisterde.
From AZ-Zurich March 11th, 1955:
... wie das perlende durchsichtige, kraft- und temparamentvoll straffende
Spiel der pianistin.
From die Sudschweiz, locqarno March 14th, 1960
Pina Pozzis Feuer und Temperament fanden bei Brahms reichlich
Nahrung und ihr Konnen und ihre urgewaltige Musiaklitat glanzenden
Touche and temperament is what comes back from all of these
The (broad!) repertoire list of Aida Stucki and Pina Pozzi
Listning to the Trout quintet recording, I can add
grace and compassion to the list as well...
In the summer of 1966 Pina Pozzi went to a health-resort in France, and
although she had a heart problem, her commitment to the
Winterthur conservatory prompted her to take up her teaching class again.
Unfortunately she passed away September 1966.
Beside the Trout quintet, her record legacy consists of a recording
of Dvorak's piano quintet in A-major op. 81, also with the Winterthur
string quartet, MMS 154; a recording of Mozart's piano quartets
KV 478 & 493, with the Pascal string quartet MMS 2118, and
Schubert's Duo op.162 & Ernest Bloch's violin sonata nr 1
Kaufman on violin.