A personal note

from Fredrik Pachla

After my father's premature death in 1982 from cancer, I personally took it upon myself to promote and widely publicize my father's achievements he made for the Marimba-Xylophone. Because my father had had to endure both highpoints as well as numerous difficult phases in his career, I particularly wanted to correct one of his biggest disappointments:

After his first performance of the Milhaud concerto in 1967 with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, there was unfortunately only a verbal agreement to subsequently record the piece as an LP production. Prior to this recording a concert version of Porgy and Bess was recorded that took considerably more time than scheduled. The conductor Franz Allers, who had other engagements pending, was therefore unable to stay for a further production. A compromise was made that involved recording a run-through with the already exhausted musicians, which was clearly not an ideal situation. After the run-through my father's opinion was that it was not nearly as good as in concert, and it was not until years later that he actually listened to the recording and then found it in many different ways quite satisfying.

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A professional production of Milhaud's concerto would have been a première recording on LP and would have aroused considerable interest by many young musicians. I wanted to attempt a posthumous correction. Along with the 1965 BR (Bavarian Radio) recording of Paul Creston's Concertino and the 1981 production of his studies, I already had enough material for a first LP. In addition to the production costs, I also had to gain the live recording rights. My Father would have turned in his grave if he had experienced how much more the Nuremberg record company wanted to release the rights and to allow for a limited release in comparison to the Bavarian Radio fee to release the Creston, despite the previously explained story. They also did not show any interest in taking on the production, despite my financial commitment. Years of excellent collaborations were forgotten as soon as my father passed away.

It did not deter me. My mother Lia Pachla had sold the Musser Marimba and thus had a financial foundation that enabled the Aulos LP to be released.

After its completion I wrote to many percussionists from Germany and abroad, along with music Academies and libraries. I was able to meet many percussionists from top American and European orchestras in the Beethoven Hall in Bonn, or I met them directly in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Paris and major Scandinavian cities, as well as in many German Hochschulen (conservatoriums) and orchestras. Even though not all of the records were paid, I at least knew they were in the right place.

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The publication of the music and the release of the record were met with considerable interest and the official sales at Aulos were very satisfactory. For many years to come, this was worldwide the only available recording of the Concertino by Paul Creston.

My original plan of releasing a 2nd LP with the pieces from the Varieté period was admittedly repeatedly postponed. I thought it would be too time consuming to sort out the rights of so many individual pieces. In the meantime LP's had been superseded by CDs. I dubbed all of the tape material I had and archived it on DAT tape. The iron curtain came down simplifying the contact with my parents home country, and resulted in a radio program in 1993 at Eesti Radio for my father's 80th birthday, where my DAT archive recordings and the record production were broadcast. My mother helped me with the Estonian correspondence and she travelled to Tallinn for a live interview.

Now that we had the DAT tapes, the prerequisites for a CD production were much improved but it remained an intention due to my own intensified professional objectives during that period. As my father's 25th anniversary of his death approached, and it was now the internet age, I thought I would be able to commemorate the occasion more usefully with a website, still not having lost sight of the CD production. On the July 26th 2007 I unfortunately experienced the, in spite of her advanced age, unexpected death of my mother. (She was born on October 30th 1916 in Pärnu). This was a great loss and all my website preparations suffered. Although my father wrote more than 300 pages in his memoirs, I just began to realise that I had also lost a witness to all the events and also a translator of Estonian texts. I am extremely thankful to both my mother, who went through all the ups and downs in my father's career and was also an estimated piano teacher, and my father, for all their generous support and sacrifice for my violin studies in Cologne and New York. They had to live quite humbly and forego many things during this period.

With gratitude and admiration
Fredrik Pachla