16. June 2011 · 15 comments · Categories: Oboe, Videos

I just landed on these YouTube videos. You don’t get to see him play, but you get to hear him. Such wonderful playing! I had the honor of having all of one lesson with the man. He was not only a great musician, but was a very kind person as well. I fear that the younger players may never know of this fantastic oboist, so I’m pleased to see these up. His wife, Paula Lifschey, very kindly sent me a CD of his playing at one point — snippets from various works that another oboist had compiled. Perhaps, with her permission, I should someday figure out how to put those recordings up here. (She also sent me a postcard of his artwork. You can see it and others here where you can also purchase them!)

So here … I’ll put up all that omjeremy has on his YouTube page.

Ich habe genug:

Beethoven Symphony No. 3, Marche funebre:

Wedding Cantata (BWV 202):

Wedding Cantata (BWV 202 part 2):

… and I just ran across some Lynn Harrell comments about Mr. Lifschey:

Other than Heifetz’s influence on my string playing, my greatest teacher and mentor was Marc. Musically speaking I think he was the greatest artist I have ever heard. I have studied what he does with rhythm, color , sound, style and breath for nearly 40 years and I haven’t reached the limit yet! How lucky we are to have been witness to such communication!

Marc was one of my strongest influences- a phenomenal artist his solos in my fathers last recording of 2 Bach cantatas stand as the most profound instument playing of all time.

I found these (and more) here.


  1. A breath of fresh air! Thank you, Patty. I didn’t know the Beethoven and 202 recordings existed. what a treat!

    And it’s too bad we don’t get to watch him play. He once said to me, “Don’t assault the instrument! Caress it.”

    And that’s how he played. Where many other players sway with the beat (an ongoing earlier topic here…) Marc would move with the phrase, and his fingers did, indeed, sensually caress the instrument as though the strokes would wring the phrase from the horn. Where the teachers say, “Squeeze through the intervals.” Marc took it a step further – even in fast passages his finger motion was always smooth and unhurried, as if he could easily play it twice as fast. And he probably could…

    Working with him was the most musically instructive period in my life.

  2. I do wonder if ANYONE out there has any films of Mr. Lifschey playing. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

  3. Thanks so much for posting these!

  4. Happy to, Gordon! I was thrilled to find them! 🙂

  5. I studied with Marc Lifschey in San Fransisco in the early 1970’s and grew to love the man and his playing. I babysat his toddler son Noah while Marc and Paula were enjoying a night out. I have been searching for this recording of the Bach cantata for years and now, thanks to you, we have all found it. What a treasure!. Many, many thanks.

  6. Thank you SO much for commenting, Jim! Believe me, it was a joy to find this on YouTube!

  7. Paula Lifschey

    This is so wild–thanks to all of you. Jim Carr, of course I remember you! The only video of Marc is one Bill Bennett sent me, which is on a videotape of a performance of the Beethoven 9th. I suppose I could have it transferred to a DVD.

    Anyway, thanks to all of you for remembering Marc.

    Paula Lifschey

    Paula Lifschey

  8. May he NEVER be forgotten, Paula! I will certainly post anything I find here. You can count on that!

  9. Paula Lifschey

    By the way, I can get copies of the Bach CD for anyone who wants them.

  10. Paula, I would gladly purchase one!

  11. Paula Lifschey

    Patty, email me at [email protected] with your address.

  12. Thanks so much for putting these up, Patty!

    I’m Marc’s son Noah. When I was growing up I had no interest in classical music (luckily I developed a taste for classical music after college.) and my Dad was painfully modest about how well known he was; I had no idea until I was in college and one of my instructors asked me if I was related to him after role call in the first class. Ha!

    It’s very inspiring to here these passages, being in music myself (not the classical world, but I like to think that I translate his musicality into what I do).

    Thanks again,

  13. Whoops: I meant hear, not here. (I’m a bit of a spelling snob.)

  14. Thank you, Noah, for commenting here! I only had one lesson with your father (I was a young married, driving from San Jose to your place, and foolishly didn’t realize that the drive was WELL worth having your father guide me. Rats … hindsight is not all that useful!). I still say he’s the finest player … the warmth in his sound … his musicality! … I don’t care about technique if there is no “music” there.

    I’m sure that your father’s musicality DID transfer to what you do. (Care to share?! I’m open to many kinds of music. 🙂 Our older son does something other than classical as well: http://altairnouveau.com/)


  15. Hah! My father was a middle school English teacher. I’m very familiar with being the spelling (and grammar) “snob”, although I just prefer to think of it as being concerned with things like that. We aren’t snobs … we are just RIGHT! 😉