and violinist who was the only German in the General Government
Philharmonic, which was the name of the orchestra in Krakow, Poland, during
World War II. He served as
their concertmaster until 1944, eventually taking the same position with
the Munich Philharmonic, in 1950.
By 1958, he
had his own, self-titled Sonnleitner Quartett, and its other members comprised violinist
Ludwig Baier, cellist Fritz Kiskalt,
and violist Siegfried Meinecke. The two Fritzes recorded Johannes
Brahms’ “Concerto for Violin & Cello, Op. 102”, in
tandem with the Munich Philharmonic, in 1959.
Fritz Sonnleitner became an important part of the 1970s
studio scene, as well. In 1973,
he appeared on a pair of Popol Vuh albums, Hosianna Mantra
and Seligpreisung. The Fritz Sonnleitner
Quartet contributed their talent to Keith Jarrett’s 1974 release, In the Light.
In 1976, he
was the concertmaster on Rainbow’s Rising, was a member of the string section on The Silver
Convention’s Madhouse, and
directed the strings on Herbie Mann’s Bird in a Silver Cage. He would reunite with Herbie in 1977 on Fire
Island and The Silver Convention on Summernights (billed as Fritz
Sonnleitner’s Fantastic Strings!).
In 1978, he appeared
on Roger Glover’s Elements,
the soundtrack of Midnight Express, Music
from Battlestar Galactica
and Other Original Compositions, and Popol Vuh’s Tantric
He was the
concertmaster on Madleen Kane’s “Forbidden
Love”/”Thunder in My Heart” and was in the strings
section on Suzi Lane’s Ooh La La in 1979. In 1980, the Fritz Sonnleitner Trio appeared on Keith Jarrett’s Works.
The CD era is
full of opportunities to hear what Fritz brought to the studio, on compilations
such as The Best of Claudja Barry:
Dancin’ Fever, The Best of Silver Convention, and Evolution of Mann: The Herbie
Giorgio Moroder recordings
Chase (Giorgio Moroder)
144 A (UK 45)
Love's Theme (Giorgio Moroder)
144 B(UK 45)