MOZART: Symphony No. 41 in C, K. 550 "Jupiter." BEETHOVEN:
Symphony No. 6 in F, Op 68 "Pastorale". Symphony No 7 in
A, Op. 93. SCHUMANN: Symphony
No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120.
MAHLER: Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection." (second movement).
Symphony No. 4 in G.
Pristine Audio is doing a terrific job in perpetuating the legacy of Otto Klemperer. Already they have remastered and reissued his EMI recordings of symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms, along with other important recordings. Now they have turned their attention to a series of live recordings made with the Philadelphia Orchestra which were made in October and November 1962 in the Academy of Music. This site mentioned the first set in the series containing music of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms (REVIEW). Now we have Volume II with more performances from the same era: Beethoven Symphonies 6 and 7, Mozart Symphony 41, and Schumann Symphony No. 4. For these Beethoven performances, Klemperer has returned to the tempi of his commercial recordings. Plenty of power but not much excitement in this Symphony No. 7.The Pastorale must be among the slowest ever. The third movement scherzo, Merry Gathering of Country Folk, offers placid festivities, followed by a non-threatening thunderstorm. The Jupiter has more energy. For many years, the famous orchestra gave an annual concert series in Baltimore's acoustically dry Lyric Theater. I was in the audience when the orchestra and Klemperer visited in a program that featured Symphony No. 6. I recall it seemed endless, and the audience was quite restless waiting for something exciting to take place — it didn't. The Schumann symphony also finds the Maestro in a docile mood. Klemperer's admirers surely will wish to investigate this series. Producer Andrew Rose has done his usual fine restoration and enhancement of the original stereo recordings.
A fascinating CD entitled Mahler Rarities is just that. These are first CD issues of virtually unknown Mahler performances. It begins with an NBC broadcast April 8, 1934 with the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra (doubtless a studio orchestra). This is the only recording of Schoenberg conducting music other than his own. It is prefaced by a brief announcement by Milton Cross. Audio is primitive but restoration by Mark Obert-Thorn has made it very listenable.A few bars are missing at 3:05, and there is a blank space for a second before the music comes. True collectors probably won't mind.
This Mahler Symphony 4 is a Telefunken recording made January 1950 in the Concertgebouw. It was once issued on an early LP now unavailable. I have great admiration for Van Kempen; he had a close association with the Amsterdam orchestra and the following year made his famous Tchaikovsky recordings for Philips with excellent vibrant sound (Pristine, how about a remastered version?). Collectors surely should investigate the 1939 live recording of Mahler 4 with Jo Vincent as soprano soloist, and Willem Mengelberg on the podium, available on PRISTINE CLASSICAL.This symphony was very important for composer and conductor; on one concert in the Concertgebouw there were two performances, one conducted by Mahler, the other by Mengelberg.! This is Van Kempen's only Mahler recording, with rather poor engineering, but always of interest with many tempo changes and portamento. I've never heard of the soprano, Carry Bijster; she does not impress. This transfer, by Mark Obert-Thorn, does what can be done with flawed masters.
And here is something major for Jascha Horenstein collectors, a recording made for Vox in 1954, just pre-stereo. Vienna was the site, and CD notes mention some of the participants including a very young Nicholas Harnoncourt, and violinist Walter Schneiderhan. Lively expert performances from all, and the mono sound has been niucely enhanced.
R.E.B. (April 2016)