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Posted on 12 Feb 2012 12:05:59 GMT
Is Beecham's performance with the French National Radio Orchestra still out there? I have Monteux's and am very happy with it, but I used to have an old LP of the Beecham and regret selling that.

Posted on 12 Feb 2012 13:05:39 GMT
Austen, I will have to see what Barbirolli makes of the Franck Symphony; if he can't persuade me no one will.

Posted on 12 Feb 2012 13:19:36 GMT
Malx says:

I notice the Barbirolli/ Franck is available as a download at a reasonable price.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2012 14:36:44 GMT
D. M. Ohara says:
There is a 2011 EMI Bargain Box of Beecham conducting French Music, which inclues the Franck symphony:
Sir Thomas Beecham - French Music (Berlioz, Bizet, Delibes, Debussy, Fauré, Etc.)
it is also still available as a single CD - expensive if new, but cheap enough if used:
Franck / Lalo: Symphonies

Posted on 12 Feb 2012 14:37:19 GMT
Malx: Thanks, I have already bought the download. Barbirolli is almost persuasive, especially in his dramatic approach to the first movement but I still find the finale unconvincing. An interesting purchase though and I still have the Dusik Two Piano Concerto to listen to.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2012 16:28:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2012 16:32:53 GMT
Piso Mojado says:
Dan Ohana -- I don't remember the musical "On Your Toes", but I remember "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" all right and so do many others judging by its continuing popularity. Speaking of musical comedies (which some consider a misnomer on both counts), the Lyric Opera today opens a run of "Show Boat" with ace baritone Nathan Gunn. It's a departure for Lyric, who for the last few seasons have offered something like "Porgy and Bess" or "Show Boat" among their eight or nine productions. I read that Vienna State Opera stages 45 operas a season and try not to feel impoverished.

Is it true that Gershwin's piece is called "Corgy and Bess" in England?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2012 19:26:18 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Feb 2012 12:09:46 GMT
D. M. Ohara says:
'On your toes' also contains the songs 'There's a small Hotel', and 'It's got to be Love'.

'Corgy & Bess' was a spoof, not an alternative name for Gershwin's Opera.

And just to make you jealous, next month I'm off to Berlin, and we've already booked for an Opera Gala at the Semperoper in Dresden on 11th. We'll probably also get to see another opera in Berlin: there are, I think, three opera houses all playing daily. These are the options for our free nights in Berlin:
March 14
KOB Kiss Me Kate
DOB Luise Miller
March 15
DOB Candide (Bernstein) concertante
SIST L'Elisir D'Amore

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2012 17:09:35 GMT
Piso Mojado says:
That is an enviable schedule for Berlin, Dan. If you happen to see anything with tenor Stephan Ruegamer at Berlin State Opera (I think they're still performing in the Schiller-Theater while the State Opera is renovated ... he's my nephew. He's also sung at Dresden, La Scala, and Frankfurt recently.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2012 17:30:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Feb 2012 17:34:45 GMT
D. M. Ohara says:
Dear Piso,
Yes, the State Opera is still appearing at the Schiller-Theatre while Unter den Linden is being renovated. Sadly, your nephew does not seem to be singing in Berlin while we are there: but I notice he is singing Tamino in Zauberflohte and Alfred in Fledermaus this season: two of Tauber's great roles [though he more often sang Eisenstein]. Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of Tauber's debut with the Dresden Opera, and I am keen to discover whether and how they intend to mark the occasion.

Posted on 13 Feb 2012 17:56:39 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Feb 2012 18:30:10 GMT
Malx says:

To refer you back to your original post you stated "I have tried to start this discussion before. No result. OK, let's try again -" you must surely be extremely satisfied with the response this time!

I am now going to ask you what will be a near impossible question for you to answer but please give it a try:

If you could only have 5 recordings from Szell's entire discography which would you select.

Sorry if this gives you a headache but I will be intrigued to see your reply!

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2012 19:09:33 GMT
Piso Mojado says:
Dan -- A discreet porompt to the Dresden State Opera might be in order, as to the centenary of Tauber's debut there, although t hese things are scheduled far in advance (although not to the extent of a full century!). It wouldn't be hard to arrange for an exhibition, or the dedication to Tauber of one of their productions or performances. You should be just the man to do it!

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2012 23:27:39 GMT

Indeed, I am extremely gratified by the response on the George Szell Discussion Forum. Thank you everyone for your interesting and fascinating contributions. It is amazing what one can learn from all these posts.

I have often wondered what I would reply to such a question as yours and I have frequently changed my answers. There are so many recordings. At the moment, I would reply (I am assuming CDs are acceptable) :

1. Mozart Symphony No.34 Szell conducting The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam.

2. Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola & Orch. Rafael Druian, Abraham Skernik, Cleveland Orch.

3. Haydn Symphonies 93 & 94 Cleveland Orch.

4. Brahms Double Concerto, David Oistrakh, Mtislav Rostropovich, Cleveland Orch.

5. Bruckner Symphony No.8 Cleveland Orch.

Reserve: Mahler Symphony No.4 Judith Raskin, Cleveland Orch.

Malx, you are cruel to ask such a question. Ask me next week and the answer could be different.

This question is akin to the question asked to an enthusiast of a particular artist where the answers are not so clear cut e.g. and here there will probably be many objectors re Bernstein "What five recordings of his would you take to the proverbial desert island - that is all you are allowed and the CDs may not be of his own music". I can manage only three.

After we have all had fun with the above, I will try another, far more difficult musical dinner party question.

Thanks Malx.


Posted on 14 Feb 2012 09:30:48 GMT
My enthusiasm for Bernstein has waned over the years but even so I would still have no difficulty in choosing five discs. They wouldn't all necessarily be my first choice for the work but Bernstein provides a good performance.

1. Mahler - Symphony No 7 - NYPO
2. Beethoven - Symphony No 3 - NYPO
3. Brahms - Symphony No 1 - Vienna PO
4. Berlioz - Requiem - Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeurs de radio France etc
5. Beethoven - Fidelio - VPO & soloists

Of course, if I had to choose five DI works the list would be different and Bernstein wouldn't appear on the list at all, nor would anyone conductor as the Brahms Clarinet would be one of my choices.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2012 10:41:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Feb 2012 10:44:55 GMT
I remember, a few years ago, the production of "Showboat" by Opera North. My wife and I went up to Leeds particularly to see the delectable Valerie Masterson. There was a superb bass Bruce Hubbard who tragically died after the production run was finished. This show must have come out about the same time as the recording with Frederica Von Stade and Teresa Stratas. Of course, Bruce Hubbard can be heard on that recording too.


In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2012 11:05:37 GMT
My five Bernstein recordings:

1. Berlioz Harold in Italy - Lincer, NYPO
2. Mozart PC no.15 coupled with the Linz Symphony - VPO
3. Copeland Symphony No.3 - NYPO
4. Beethoven String Quartets Op 131 135 Orch.arrangements - VPO
5. Mahler Symphony No.7 - NYPO


In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2012 11:09:19 GMT
Mr. Cryer,

Five Bernstein recordings, first choice, remember this is a desert island for life. And also his own music is not allowed.


Posted on 14 Feb 2012 11:19:42 GMT
Mr Biss: You have changed your criteria, you originally said '"What five recordings of his would you take to the proverbial desert island - that is all you are allowed and the CDs may not be of his own music".

That is how I made my selection. He has made many other fine recordings - his version of Hindemith's Symphony in E flat would be my first choice for that work but I wouldn't want to take it to a desert island above any of the discs listed. His Fidelio (for example) would be my second or third choice that work (after Klemperer and possibly Fricsay) and Fidelio wouldn't make it to the island either.

As to the latter part of the question, I wouldn't take any of his own music under any circumstances.

Posted on 14 Feb 2012 11:57:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Feb 2012 12:00:12 GMT

Point taken, but yours is still an interesting reply. However, I am surprised at the ultimate rejection of Fidelio. To me this is almost the greatest expression of love and sacrifice in music. I could not be without it. But, chaqu'un a son gout, and my gout is very individual and seems to arouse such venomous reaction in some.

Austen Biss

Posted on 14 Feb 2012 12:10:38 GMT
Austen, I agree with what you say about Fidelio but whether it would survive such a ruthless cut as only 5 discs I am not sure. There would be five other works by Beethoven alone that would be vying for a place - Third Symphony, Missa Solemnis, Piano Sonata Op 111, String Quartet in A minor Op 132 and Ninth Symphony. In fact, I would be prepared to take those five to my island............until I remembered Mozart.

Posted on 14 Feb 2012 14:58:16 GMT
[Sits down to try and whittle his desert island Mozart list down to five]

[Head explodes]

Posted on 14 Feb 2012 16:28:10 GMT
Malx says:
Austen, firstly an apology for such an unfair question but I'm sure you had some fun thinking it through, not to mention considerable head scratching. Interesting selection, disappointed to see you resorted to using a reserve.. but to continue a sporting analogy consider yourself in receipt of a yellow card!

My own selection of Bernstein recordings would be:

Mahler - Symphony No1 - Concertgebouw
Mahler - Symphony No5 - VPO
Shostakovich - Symphony No7 - Chicago SO
Barber - Adagio - LAPO

I have made only four selections simply because I don't have a great number of Bernstein recordings and I would probably suggest that only the Mahler 1 is a favourite choice in the works on the list, but I guess thats the fun of the game.

Posted on 14 Feb 2012 17:44:55 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Mar 2012 18:14:57 BDT
Piso Mojado says:
Some indispensables for me, unlikely to be on others' lists"

Bernstein - His Sony CD of Vivaldi's Concerto for Diverse Instruments, with himself improvising fine continuo on harpsichord. The other: his piano accompaniments to Mahler songs for Christa Ludwig, Fischer-Dieskau, &tc., especially the Rueckert-Lieder with Fi-Di, and particularly "Um Mitternacht". Sony's studio 2-CD box a bit better than Myto's public performance with Fi-Do a few days later.

Szell - You will all laugh at me for this, it's an ancient 1934 recording that starts badly with the sour Vienna Philharmonic oboe, it's 1934 mono, and it's also my favourite Beethoven violin concerto, with Bronislaw Huberman re-thinking every note, sometimes roughly, and one toe-curling portamento, but also the most cogent, persuasive, and moving that I know. It's only fair to say that it has also ruined the concerto for me, as I can't accept less than what Huberman and Szell bring to it. And the VPO double-basses are marvelous, once they get in.

Szelll's Cleveland orchestral recordings are admirable, and admired ... I'll never forget the Mahleresque adagio of their Schumann second symphony, but what I treasure from Szell are his chamber recordings as pianist: Brahms, Schubert, and Dvorak quintets; Mozart quartets and violin sonatas with Rafael Druian. Didn't Szell also recrd some Beethoven violin sonatas with Szigeti?

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2012 19:46:30 GMT
Malx - good list for Bernstein. Know them all from my own collection. Maybe I'll cheat further and copy it next time.


In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2012 19:50:42 GMT
Piso - absolutely right. The chamber recordings are superb. What an incredible pianist he was.


Posted on 15 Feb 2012 10:35:20 GMT
My longstanding Szell favourites are his Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Schwarzkopf and Fischer-Dieskau and Strauss: Four last Songs etc with Schwarzkopf. He also recorded fine accounts of Mahler 4 & 6 and I have a live Das Lied von der Erde from Cleveland with Maureen Forrester and Richard Lewis. It is a shame he didn't record more Strauss; his only orchestral album (which I used to have as an LP) contains two of my least favourite Strauss tone poems - Till Eulensiegel and Death & Transfiguration.
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Initial post:  10 Jan 2012
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