Yovanovitch Bratza, properly Milan Yovanovitch Bratza was an “eminent Serbian violinist”, born in Novisad in 1904. His death was registered in the first quarter of 1964, in Surrey Mid E, with his age at death noted as 59. He performed in concert with singers such as Tetrazzini, John Charles Thomas and Charles Hackett. His career was long-lasting: an article about the composer Walther Thomas Gaze Cooper notes that Bratza was a regular player of the Violin concerto of 1945, and that he played in the premiere of Gaze Cooper’s Horn Trio in January 1958. He made a number of recordings for Columbia in the late 1920s and early 1930s, including those listed below.

Bratza’s wife Margaret Russell, was a member of the famed legal family that produced three generations of Law Lords, and his son Nicolas Dusan Bratza is a judge of the European Court of Human Rights.

The September 1926 recordings look likely to have been made between 21st and 24th September. On matrices WA3982 to 3987, Bratza is accompanied by Serge Krish. It seems likely therefore that Krish is also the accompanist on WA3994, recorded around the same time, although the accompanist is unnamed on the record label.

 

Palmgren – Romance
Dvorak – Romantische Stucke – Allegro maestoso
Yovanovitch Bratza, violin
with an anonymous pianist
Columbia D 1471
Matrices A245, A263
Recorded mid 1923

The Palmgren plays in in score pitch of G major at 82.6rpm, the Dvorak in score pitch at 76.7rpm. The matrix numbers are far enough part to suggest separate sessions, and the speeds therefore give an indication of the wide variation in UK Columbia’s recording speeds at this time, for recordings which according to the record label should be played at 80rpm!

Schubert arr Kreisler – Moment Musical
Tchaikovsky – Chanson Triste
Yovanovitch Braza, violin
Serge Krish, piano
Columbia 4821
Matrices WA 3984, 3985 (24113, 24114)
Recorded September 1926
Available from February 1928
Mozart arr Burmester – Menuet
Schubert arr Elman – Cradle Song – Wiegenlied
Yovanovitch Braza, violin
Serge Krish, piano
Columbia 4822
Matrices WA 3986, 3987 (24115, 24116)
Recorded September 1926
Available from February 1928
Beethoven arr Kreisler – Rondino
Rimsky-Korsakov arr Kreisler – Song of India (Chanson Indoue)
Yovanovitch Braza, violin
Serge Krish, piano
Columbia 4823
Matrices WA 3982, 3983 (24111, 24112)
Recorded September 1926
Available from February 1928
Chaminade arr Kreisler – Serenade Espagnole
Dunhill – Serenade Basque
Yovanovitch Braza, violin
with piano accompaniment (possibly Krish on the Chaminade)
Columbia 5029
Matrices WA 3994, 4959 (24139, 25805)
Recorded September 1926 and 4th March 1927
Available from November 1928
Wieniawski – Romance (from Violin Concerto No.2 in D minor)
Joseph Jongen – Legende Naive
Yovanovitch Bratza, violin
with an anonymous pianist
Columbia L 1984
Matrices WAX 2510-1, 2511-1 (7352, 7351)
Recorded 15th March 1927
Available from September 1927 to 14th February 1928, before being issued on Columbia 9348, available 14th February 1928 until December 1933

The labels state 80rpm, but the Wieniawski plays in score pitch at 78rpm, and the Jongen plays in G major at 78rpm, which is a likely key.

Arcangelo Corelli – Violin Sonata XII – La Follia
Yovanovitch Bratza, violin
Frederic Jackson, harpsichord
Columbia DB 501
(The Columbia History of Music by Ear and Eye – Volume II, Parts 3 and 4)
Matrices WA 11084-1, 11085 (58461, 58462)
Recorded early 1930s

The recording is somewhat abridged.
Side 1: Theme, Variations 1-2, 6-7, 11-13
Side 2: Variations 14, 16-17, 20-23, Theme

Bach – Violin Concerto in E major – First Movement
Strings and Harpsichord of the Bach Cantata Club, Charles Kennedy Scott
Yovanovitch Bratza, violin
Columbia DB 504
(The Columbia History of Music by Ear and Eye – Volume II, Parts 9 and 10)
Matrices WA 11098-2, 11099-2 (58500, –)
Recorded early 1930s