'This rupture in my life cannot be made good. In my case, Hitler really succeeded!' The fact that, despite this statement, in Hans Gál's oeuvre hardly a trace of the events can be found leading to his emigration and the murders of many of his colleagues can probably be ascribed to his 'absolute' claim on the art of composition. However, what the duo of Julia Rebekka Adler and Alex Gremmelspacher performs besides Gál's Sonata for Viola and Piano in A major op. 101 (1941) with the sonatas by Karl Weigl (1940) and Erich Zeisl (1950) gives a clear indication of the horrors of the Holocaust and the suffering of millions of people: predominant gloom, laments and the inclusion of elements of Jewish music testify to the processing of experience. In homage to composure and Viennese charm, this CD concludes with the evergreen 'Schön Rosmarin' by Fritz Kreisler, arranged for viola by J.R. Adler, allowing a glimpse of 'Old Vienna', which finally gradually perished during the political calamities of the 20th century.
Julia Rebekka Adler, maiden name Mai, the best-placed German competitor at the 2004 ARD Music Competition in the category viola, started viola lessons at the age of six with Ute-Christine Elfert (Freiburg), and was soon to win several First Prizes ('1.Bundespreis') in Germany´s 'Jugend musiziert' competition. She continued studying with Kim Kashkashian and Johannes Lüthy in Freiburg (1994-2000), and with Hartmut Rohde at the Berlin University of the Arts (2001-2007). She received additional impulses by Yuri Bashmet in Siena (2003/2004). 2002, she won the First Prize at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Competition for viola and the Ulrich Koch Prize at the Marschner Competition. In 2001 she was awarded both special prizes at the Gerhard Taschner Competition, and won 2nd prize with the 'Kuss Quartett' at the International String Quartet Competition in Banff. In 2005 and 2006 she was selected for the 'Bundesauswahl Junger Künstler' (as soloist, and in duo with the pianist Axel Gremmelspacher). Presently, she is co-principal violist with the Munich Philharmonics, a member of the 'Berliner Solistenoktett', and forms a duo with the pianist Jascha Nemtsov. She also plays the viola d'amore.
Axel Gremmelspacher performs as a soloist and chamber musician in various settings, especially with violist Julia Rebekka Adler-Mai, and as a member of trio Eusebius. His performances have been broadcast by Deutschlandradio, Bavarian Radio, German Radio (NDR), Southwest Radio (SWR) and Radio Bremen. Prof. Gremmelspacher studied at music schools in Freiburg, Boston and Hannover with Robert Levin, James Avery and David Wilde as well as with John Perry in Toronto, supported by scholarships from the Rotary Foundation and the Canadian Government. He completed his Soloist Diploma with honours (Freiburg, 2003). Important inspiration was given to him through master classes with Leon Fleisher, André Laplant, Marc Durand, Wolfram Christ and Jörg Widmann. He received a scholarship from the German Music Competition and was a member of the Federal Selection of Young Artists Concerts. Axel Gremmelspacher has been teaching at Musikhochschule Trossingen since 2005. In October 2010, he was appointed Professor of Piano at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Frankfurt.