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Great Conductors of the 20th Century: Felix Weingartner

Various Composers Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Sep 2003)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B0000AKPID
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 633,400 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Overture - Wiener Philharmoniker
2. I Adagio Molto - Allegro Con Brio - London Symphony Orchestra
3. II Larghetto - London Symphony Orchestra
4. III Scherzo. Allegro - London Symphony Orchestra
5. IV Allegro Molto - London Symphony Orchestra
6. Trojan March - Orchestre De La Societe Des Concerts Du Conservatoire
7. Invitation To The Dance, J260 (Rondo Brillant) - London Philharmonic Orchestra
8. I Allegro Con Brio - London Philharmonic Orchestra
9. II Andante - London Philharmonic Orchestra
10. III Poco Allegretto - London Philharmonic Orchestra
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. I Adagio - Allegro - London Philharmonic Orchestra
2. II Andante Con Moto - London Philharmonic Orchestra
3. III Menuetto. Allegretto - Trio - London Philharmonic Orchestra
4. IV Finale. Allegro - London Philharmonic Orchestra
5. Overture - Orchestre De La Societe Des Concerts Du Conservatoire
6. Siegfried-Idyll - London Philharmonic Orchestra
7. Les Preludes, S97 (Symphonic Poem After Lamartine) - London Symphony Orchestra
8. Mephisto Waltz No.1, S110/2 - London Symphony Orchestra

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An ideal package 15 Jan 2014
Weingartner was not, by all accounts, much of an opera conductor, but this programme plays to his strengths, and they were some strengths. Recording technology apart, the Beethoven Second with the LSO, not in one of its best periods, is simply a model performance. Even on the original 78s it was, many years ago, the only performance I had ever heard that managed the final bars with complete unanimity and security - and it still is. Weingartner gets everything right, in this trickiest of the nine, and sacrifices nothing of fire and momentum to do so. The Brahms Third, another compendium of death-traps for conductors, is triumphantly carried off, without a single bar of overstatement or understatement, and perfect weighting and judgement. You will not hear a better performance - and few better of anything by this orchestra, Beecham's LPO at the height of its powers and reputation, even under Beecham himself. Few conductors in this series had, like Weingartner, heard Wagner conduct, knew Liszt, and were on good terms with Brahms personally. In Les Preludes Weingartner doesn't overplay his hand, and this performance predates the Hitler regime's appropriation of the fanfares for Goebbels's Sondermeldungen, so you hear it as it was once possible to do, without baggage. The Mephisto Waltz has real power and imagination. The Rienzi overture is brilliant and not for a moment oversold, and the Siegfried Idyll overshadowed by Toscanini's, but few others. Richter, who had played the trumpet in the original performance, and Weingartner were both around in Vienna during much of Mahler's ascendancy. Read more ›
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Conductors of 20th Century = Best Reissues of the 21st 20 Nov 2003
By Michael B. Richman - Published on Amazon.com
It's sad that the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" reissue series has not gotten more attention, because it has my vote for the best reissue program thus far of the 21st Century. Drawing from the archives of all the major classical labels (EMI, Sony, BMG, DG, Decca, Philips, Supraphon, etc.), EMI and IMG Artists have assembled a wonderful series of affordable two-disc sets by the leading conductors of the last century. And unlike its counterpart, "The Great Pianists of the 20th Century," which are basically compilations of material already available on other CDs, the "Great Conductors" features rare and, for the most part, previously unreleased performances! And as if that wasn't enough, the most recent volumes (beginning with no. 25) are now available at mid-line instead of full-price!
This particular CD, Volume 34, features the great Felix Weingartner, and as the track information is non-existent above, allow me to tell what is contained in this fine collection. This 2CD set begins with works by Beethoven, a Weingartner specialty -- the Creatures of Prometheus Overture (Vienna Philharmonic, 1936) and the 2nd Symphony (London SO, 1938). Next are the March from Berlioz's "Les Troyens" (Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire, 1939) and Weber's "Invitation to the Dance" (London PO, 1938). Disc one concludes with Brahms' 3rd Symphony (also London PO, 1938) -- an outstanding reading and along with the Beethoven 2nd, the highlight of this set. Disc two begins with Weingartner's only Mozart Symphony recording, the 39th (LPO, 1940), though this rare document is marred by poor sound. The collection wraps up with two selections each by Wagner and Liszt -- the "Rienzi" Overture (OSCC, 1939) and "Siegfried-Idyll" (LPO, 1938), and "Les Preludes" and "Mephisto Waltz No. 1" (both LSO, 1940) respectively. A final note, as Weingartner died in 1942, all of the selections are in mono.
Whether you are a serious collector of classical music or a beginner, the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" has something for everyone. If the prized, rare performances don't excite you, then use this as an opportunity to check out one of the greatest conductors ever recorded. Chances are, since stores are offering increasingly homogenized classical music sections, this conductor might not be in your collection. And that would truly be a shame.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art Of Subtlety 7 July 2004
By Jeffrey Lipscomb - Published on Amazon.com
Felix Weingartner (1863-1942) was an extraordinary conductor whose finest work was notable for an unerring choice of tempos, elegant phrasing, highly nuanced poise and balance, exquisitely shaded attacks, rhytmic verve, and selfless dedication to the notes as written. While I am a great admirer of more "interventionist" conductors like Furtwangler and Abendroth, it is Weingartner who truly displayed the great art of subtlety: not too loud, not too soft, neither too fast nor too slow, with an enormous variety of emphasis within a single, unified pulse.
Unlike many of the volumes in EMI's "Great Conductors" series, this one offers an excellent representation of the artist's talents in well-selected performances. His Beethoven Creatures of Prometheus Overture is, to my ears, challenged only by the Mengelberg as the finest recording ever. The Beethoven 2nd is a virtual textbook on how to conduct early Beethoven - only Kleiber, Schuricht and Georgescu have come close to matching it. The Brahms 3rd is magnificent - even Furtwangler is eclipsed here. Weingartner was a student of Franz Liszt, and his "Les Preludes" is stunning: to my mind, it is bettered only by the classic Mengelberg account. This lovely Mozart 39th, chaste and pure, is a marvel - it's my favorite along with the Kleiber. Weingartner's orchestration of Weber's "Invitation to the Dance" is a fascinating contrast to the conventional Berlioz arangement - his use of harps is intriguing! Wagner's Rienzi Overture is wonderfully direct and vital, as is the Berlioz Trojan March (without chorus). Only in the Siegfried Idyll do I find Weingartner perhaps a bit too straightforward - but even there, the orchestra displays the jeweled balance of a fine Swiss watch.
My only complaint: except for the Mozart, which is the finest transfer of the 39th I have heard, most of the other selections suffer somewhat from overly-filtered transfers. The Beethoven 2nd can be heard in a better transfer on Naxos, while the Brahms' 3rd, in EMI's own discontinued CD set of the four Brahms symphonies, had clearer sound than this one. But don't let that discourage you from acquiring this set - it's a superb introduction to one of the greatest conductors who ever waved a baton!
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performances, but are the EMI transfers that good? 17 April 2005
By Ralph J. Steinberg - Published on Amazon.com
It has been my experience that the best sounding transfers of historical material do in general not come from the parent companys that produced them. They tend of be thin, lacking bass,and over-filtered. Naxos has produced some fine transfers, but I would wait for Opus Kura to reissue this wonderful material.
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