Blog Archive

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Symphony No. 41 in C Major, KV 551 "Jupiter"


Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 "Unfinished"


Symphony No. 41 in C Major, KV 551 "Jupiter"

I. Allegro vivace
II. Andante cantabile
III. Menuetto (Allegretto) & Trio
IV. Finale (Allegro molto)

New York Philharmonic / Bruno Walter

(LP transfer; Columbia, issued 1954; recorded Jan. 23, 1945; Carnegie Hall, New York)


Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 "Unfinished"

I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante con moto

Philadelphia Orchestra / Bruno Walter

(LP transfer; Columbia, issued 1954; recorded March 2, 1947; Academy of Music, Philadelphia)


Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 "Unfinished"

I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante con moto

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Erich Kleiber
(78 rpm transfer; Telefunken, recorded Jan. 28, 1935)

Sergei Prokofiev

Symphony No. 7 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 (1952)

Overture Russe, Op. 72 (1936)

Symphony No. 7 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 (1952)

I. Moderato 
II. Allegretto
III. Andante espressivo

IV. Vivace
Overture Russe, Op. 72 (1936)

Paris Conservatoire Orchestra / Jean Martinon

(LP transfer; RCA, 1959; recorded by Decca, 1957)

Monday, February 27, 2017


Symphony No. 1 in D Major

I. Langsam
II. Kräftig bewegt

III. Feierlich und gemessen
IV. Stürmish bewegt

New York Philharmonic / Bruno Walter

(LP transfer; Columbia, recorded 1954).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 "Pastorale"

I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace
IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non troppo

Vladimir Sofronitsky, Piano

(LP transfer; Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga, recorded Nov. 26, 1953)

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 "Moonlight"

I. Adagio sostenuto
II. Allegretto
III. Presto agitato

Victor Merzhanov, Piano

(LP transfer; Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga, recorded 1954)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat, KV. 271

Walter Gieseking, Piano
Berlin State Opera Orchestra / Hans Rosbaud

I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Rondo - Presto

(78 rpm transfers; Columbia, recorded Sept. 29, 1936)

Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Walter Gieseking, Piano
Berlin State Opera Orchestra / Hans Rosbaud

I. Allegro molto moderato
II. Adagio
III. Allegro vivace

An der Wiege, Op. 68, No. 6

Französische Serenade, Op. 62, No. 3

(78 rpm transfers; Columbia, recorded April 29, 1937)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1 - 4 conducted by Hermann Abendroth, Fritz Busch & Guido Cantelli

Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

Hermann Abendroth (1883-1956)

I. Un poco sostenuto – Allegro
II. Andante sostenuto
III. Un poco Allegretto e grazioso
IV. Adagio – Più Andante – Allegro non troppo ma con brio – 
     Più Allegro

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Hermann Abendroth

(78 rpm transfers; Odeon, recorded 1941) 


Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

Fritz Busch (1890-1951)

I. Allegro non troppo
II. Adagio non troppo - L'istesso tempo, ma grazioso
III. Allegretto grazioso - presto ma non assai
IV. Allegro con spirito

Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra / Fritz Busch

(78 rpm transfers; HMV, recorded 1947)


Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 91

Guido Cantelli (1920-1956)

I. Allegro con brio
II. Andante
III. Poco Allegretto
IV. Allegro

Philharmonia Orchestra / Guido Cantelli

(LP transfers; EMI, 1979; first release of the stereo recording, 1955) 


Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante moderato
III. Allegro giocoso; poco meno presto
IV. Allegro energico e passionato; Più allegro

London Symphony Orchestra / Hermann Abendroth

(78 rpm transfers; issued by Victor, 1928; recorded by HMV, March 27, 1927) 

Carl Goldmark (1830-1915)

Ländliche Hochzeit, op. 26 
(Rustic Wedding Symphony)

Karl Goldmark

I. Wedding March; Variations
II. Bridal Song
III. Serenade
IV. In the Garden
V. Dance

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Robert Heger

(78 rpm transfers; issued by Victor 1931; recorded by HMV Jan. 1929)

Brahms, who thought highly of this work, told Goldmark: "That is the best thing you have done; clear-cut and faultless, it sprang into being a finished thing, like Minerva from the head of Jupiter."

Opera enthusiasts will know Robert Heger (1886-1978) through the innumerable opera recordings he made during his long career featuring many of the leading singers of his day. But Heger also made numerous recording ventures into the field of symphonic music as well - and the Goldmark Rustic Wedding Symphony from 1929 almost certainly belongs among the earliest. There's also the chance that this fine, spirited recording may one of Heger's least-known.

This set was found lying on the floor in the dusty corner of a second-hand shop on the outskirts of Seattle during the 1980's. The discs were all covered with an even film of fine, light-brown dirt (not dust). I like to think that I somehow saved it from destruction (at the time, many people who worked in such second-hand shops were unaware that these records were breakable - consequently, many were, in fact, broken).

Alexander Alyabyev (1787-1851)

Two Overtures: 
"The Village Philosopher"


Dance Suite

1. Polonaise
2. Polka
3. Mazurka
4. Ecossaises
5. Waltz
6. Quadrille

USSR Symphony Orchestra
Nikolai Anosov

Sleeve - Overtures & Dance Suite

(LP transfers; Mosoblsovnarkhoz, c. early 1950's)


The Magic Drum ‒ Ballet Music (excerpts)

1. Увертюра. (Overture)
2. Марщ-пастораль (March-pastorale)
Аллегретто и финал 1 действия (Allegretto and 1 final action)
3. Вступление ко 2 действию (Introduction to the 2nd action)
4. 3-я сцены (3rd Scene)
5. 4-я сцены (4th Scene)
6. финал 2 действия (Final 2 actions)

All-Union Radio Symphony Orchestra
Nikolai Rabinovich

(LP transfers; Dolgoigrayuschaya / Aprelevsky, c. early 1950's)


Trio in A minor for Piano, Violin and Cello

I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Rondo

(recorded 1947)

Sonata in E minor for Violin and Piano

I. Allegro con brio
II. Adagio cantabile
III. Allegretto scherzando

(recorded 1952)

Emil Gilels. Piano
Dmitri Tsyganov, Violin
Sergey Schirinsky, Cello

(LP transfers; Melodiya, issued 1973)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44

I. Allegro brillante e molto vivace
II. Andante non troppo
III. Allegro con fuoco

 Tatiana Nikolayeva (1927)

Tatiana Nikolayeva, Piano
USSR Symphony Orchestra
Nikolai Anosov

(LP transfers; Dolgoigrayuschaya / Aprelevsky, recorded 1951).


Trio in E flat major for Piano, Violin and Horn, Op. 40

I. Andante 
II. Scherzo: Allegro
III. Adagio mesto
IV. Finale: Allegro con brio

Adolf Busch, Violin
Aubrey Brain, Horn
Rudolf Serkin, Piano 

(78 rpm transfers; HMV, recorded Nov. 13, 1933) 


Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34

I. Allegro non troppo 
II. Andante, un poco adagio
III. Scherzo: Allegro
IV. Finale: poco sostenuto; Allegro non troppo; 
      Presto non troppo

Rudolf Serkin, Piano 
Busch Quartet
Adolf Busch, Violin
Gösta Andreasson, Violin
Karl Doktor, Viola
Hermann Busch, Cello

(78 rpm transfers; HMV, recorded Oct. 13, 1938)

Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924)

Violin Concerto in D major

Adolf Busch, Violin
Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam / Bruno Walter

(live performance, March 12, 1936) 

I. Allegro moderato - Quasi andante
II. Allegro impetuoso

Adolf Busch, Violin
Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam / Bruno Walter

(LP transfer; Rococo, c. 1960's)

Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)

The Seasons - Ballet, Op. 67

Alexander Glazunov conducting


Glazunov's only recording as conductor ... was made for Columbia in 1929. The recording producer, Joe Batten, recalled the occasion thus in his autobiography: "(The Seasons) was recorded at the old Portman Rooms in Baker Sreet. I shall never forget meeting him, tall, elderly, so ill with gout and rheumatism that I wondered if he could stand the physical strain of three or four hours of intensive recording. But he did, and produced a performance of sheer beauty."

... when Glazunov was invited in 1931 to conduct a concert at Eastbourne, the local "Eastbourne Chronicle" had this to say: "Glazunov electrifies the orchestra, much as Sir Thomas Beecham - certainly it did not want for lack of impetus and his conducting, though dignified like that of Nikisch, is full of vigor and a grace that is infectuous. His qualities are commanding, and through sheer personality he produces mass emotion, not only in the orchestra, but in the audience. The augmented orchestra acquitted itself nobly ... Glazunov had it in complete control."

1. Winter: Introduction; Four Variations (Frost, Ice, Hail, Snow)

2. Spring: Scene

3. Summer: Waltz of the Cornflowers and Poppies; Barcarolle; Variation and Coda

4. Autumn: Bacchanale; Appearance of Seasons; Petit Adagio; Scene; The Bacchantes; Apotheosis

Symphony Orchestra / Alexander Glazunov

(LP transfer; recorded 1929 by Columbia UK)

Dmitri Shostakovich

Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93 (1953)

"I couldn't write an apotheosis to Stalin, I simply couldn't. ... But I did depict Stalin in my music in [...] the Tenth. I wrote it right after Stalin's death [1953], and no one has yet guessed what the symphony is about. It's about Stalin and the Stalin years. The second part, the scherzo, is a musical portrait of Stalin, roughly speaking. Of course, there are many other things in it, but that is the basis. 

I must say that it's difficult work depicting the benefactors of humanity in music, evaluating them through music. Now Beethoven managed it, from a musical point of view. He was mistaken from the point of view of history, however."  

- Dmitri Shostakovich, from Testimony - The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich (Faber and Faber, 1979)

I. Moderato
II. Allegro
III. Allegretto
IV. Andante; Allegro 

New York Philharmonic / Dimitri Mitropoulos

(LP transfer; Columbia, recorded 1956)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

César Franck (1822-1890)

Symphony in D minor

I. Lento - Allegro non troppo - 
Lento - Allegro non troppo - Lento - Allegro - Lento
II. Allegretto - Poco più lento - Tempo I
III. Allegro non troppo - Tempo stretto come avanti -
Tempo listesso - A tempo

Philharmonia Orchestra / Carlo Maria Giulini

(LP transfer; Angel-EMI, issued 1959)

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78

I. Adagio
II. Allegro moderato

Philadelphia Orchestra / Eugene Ormandy
E. Power Biggs, Organist

(LP Transfer; Columbia, recorded 1956)