COPLAND: Short Symphony (Symphony No. 2). MOHAUPT: Concerto for Orchestra. LAVALLE: Symphonic Rhumba. HANSON: Symphony No. 4, Op. 34 "Requien." AMPHITHEATROF: De produfundius clamvi. ANTHEIL: Symphony No. 4, "1942." SCHOENBERG: Piano Concerto, Op. 42.
Eduard Steuermann, paino. NBC Symphony Orchestra / Leopold Stokowski, cond.
PRISTIE AUDIO PASC536 (2 disks) TT: 2:16:23
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PROKOFIEV: Symphony in D, Op.25 "Classical," Suite from The Buffoon, Op. 21a. Symphony No. 5 in B flat, Op. 100. Lieutennt Kije Suite, Op. 60.
Concerts Colonne Orchestra Paris / Jascha Horensteinm cond.
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 538 (2 disks) TT: 1:49:24
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MIHALOVICI: Sinfonia Pacifica for Strings, Op. 66. STRAVINSKY: Symphony in Three Movements. BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra.
Champs-Elysées Orchestra Parus / Jascha Horenstein, cond.
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC535 TT: 71:59
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WAGNER: Tannhäuser Overture. Lohengrin: Preludes to Ats 1 and 3. Prelude to Die Meistersinger. MOZART: Overture to The Magic Flute. BERLIOZ: Rakoczy March from The Damnation of Faust. THOMAS: Mignon Overture. OFFENBACH: Overture to Orpheus in the Underword. SUPPÉ: Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna Overture.J. STRAUSS: Overture to Die Fledermaus.
Berlin Stae Opera Orchestra / Artur Bodanzky, cond.
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 537 TT: 75:51
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Pristine continues their admirable Stokowski series with this fascinating twin-disk set of live performances with the NBC Symphony. The Copland Short Symphony is from a broadcast January 9, 1944, was the U.S. premiere of this work. This performance was issued on a Guild CD many years ago (REVIEW). Then we have an oddity, a December 19, 1943 broadcast of Concerto for Orchestra by Richard Mohaupt based on Red Army Songs. Born in Germany, Mohaupt spent most of his life in the U.S. He composed 6 operas and three ballets, all forgotten. The composers music is virtually unknown today and judging from this trivial three-movement work, it is easy to understand why. American composer Paul Lavalle (1907 - 1997) was known for radio and television during his era, highly respected as a clarinetist; he played first clarinet in the NBC Symphony. We hear the American premiere of his charming Symphonic Rhumba from a broadcast December 6, 1942. The most substantial work is Howard Hanson's Symphony No. 4 from a broadcast January 2, 1944, the radio premiere, with the composer sharing final applause. The second disk begins with a major symphonic work of Russian-born Daniel Amfitheatrof (1901 - 1983). He enjoyed a highly successful career writing music for films. De Profundis clamavi ("Out of the Depths, I've cried"), is a somber, dramatic and passionate work that here appears on CD for the first time. Antheils Symphony No. 4 is one of his major works. This performance was issued some years ago on Cala, and the work and this performance are discussed there (REVIEW). The disk ends with the world premiere broadcast February 6, 1944 of Schoenberg's Piano Concerto with Eduard Steuermann as soloist. This is prefaced by a 25-second announcement in which Stokowski tells the audience "this music may be very difficult to hear." This was the world premiere.This is a major issue!

Jascha Horenstein is another major conductor whose early recordings are being discovered and reissued in excellent remastered sound. The Prokofiev set contains recordings made originally for VOX in Maison de la Mutualite in Paris, 7 - 14 November 1954. We have the early "Classical" Symphony, and the Symphony No 5. The familiar Lieutenant Kije Suite is included, and a 12-movement suite from the composer's ballet The Buffoon ,the first recording of this. The French orchestra plays remarkably well for Horenstein,.

The second Horenstein disk is valuable as it featured the conductor's dynamic approach tothe Stravinsky and Bartók masterpieces. . The Stravinsky Symphony possibly has never before been so dynamic, and the lean approach to the Bartók is refreshing. This is the first stereo issue of the latter Of minimal interest is the Sinfonia Partita for Strings by French- Romanian Marcel Mihalovici (1898 - 1985) whose wife was the distinguished pianist Monique Haas. His Sinfonia, written in 1952, is a 9-minute angry, abrasive episode for strings, rather unpleasant for most listeners. Mihalovici music is virtually unknown today. and it is easy to understand why. Horenstein was a close friend of the composer, which perhaps is the reason why he presented it. Surely; it is a minor addition to Horenstein's recorded legacy.

Austrian-born Artur Bodansky (1877 - 1939) was a major figure on the early 20th Century music scene. A friend of Mahler, he was recognized for his dynamic conducting style. A major part of his career was at the Metropolitan Opera, and three of his exciting live Wagner broadcasts (Tristan and Isolde, 1938, Siegfried, 1937, Gotterdämerung, 1936, are included in the essential Sony Wagner broadcasts set (REVIEW). Pristine's new disk offers recordings made with the Berlin State Opera Orchestra 1927 - 1929. recorded for Odeon or Parlophon There are some brief cuts essential to fit the music to available disk space. Vital performances all, and Mark Obert-Thorn has done his usual excellent job in making these very old recordings listenable.

R.E.B. (September 2018)