Both the Dvorak Concerto and its discmate, his Silent Woods (Du Pre/Barenboim/CSO) -- recorded November 11, 1970, Medinah Temple.
The first Capitol/EMI CSO session was June 25, 1969. Ozawa. Borodin: Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances; Kodaly: Dances from Galanta. Recorded in Edman Chapel, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. Not issued, and no other CSO sessions seem to have been held there. The works were done successfully at the sessions of June 30 and July 1, 1969 in Medinah. The rest of the Capitol/EMI sessions took place there, through Giulini's Mahler Symphony 1on March 30, 1971.
The CSO's recording venues after the autumn of 1966 are a sad and slightly complicated story, and this all reflects that. In the summer of 1966 the Orchestral Association undertook what they described as an "updating" of Orchestra Hall. Some things needed it, but the acoustics did not. Nonetheless, the acoustics were severely damaged and the resultant sound was completely dead. All resonance and reverberation were gone. As someone who heard the before-and-after, it was shocking. For everyone. Additionally, what had been one of the finest halls in the country for recording was rendered useless for it. RCA attempted three sessions there after the "renovation:" Nielsen Symphony no. 4 (October 10, 1966) and Helios Overture and Massenet Thais Intermezzo (December 3, 1966, all cond. Martinon) and March 8, 1967 (Schumann Piano Concerto -- Rubinstein/Giulini). The early issues, before artificial reverb was added, are acoustically as dead as the proverbial doornail. An almost shocking change from the formerly great acoustics and resonance of the empty hall. RCA clearly felt they could no longer record the CSO there and had to go elsewhere. The first attempt was at the historic Auditorium Theatre on February 15, 1967 with Morton Gould. All Ives: Orchestral Set no. 2; Three Places in New England; Robert Browning Overture. After that RCA moved to Medinah Temple, first on April 26, 1967 with Jean Martinon. The rest of their sessions were held there through May 16, 1968. They reverted to Orchestra Hall for the Ozawa sessions of July 1 and 16 and August 9 -- the last ones under the RCA contract.
Some of the recordings Carl cited were made in Orchestra Hall before the mid-1966 acoustical disaster, not in Medinah Temple. I'll include some he didn't cite as well:
Morton Gould, Orchestra Hall --
Ives: Symphony 1 -- November 6, 1965
Ives: The Unanswered Question -- January 31, 1966
Ives-Schuman: Variations on "America" -- ditto
Orchestra Hall, all on June 18, 1966:
Morton Gould/Benny Goodman, clarinet
Nielsen: Symphony no. 2
Nielsen: Clarinet Concerto
Fred Fischer-Gould: "Chicago, that Toddlin' Town" (Goodman)
The first Solti/CSO Decca sessions were held in Medinah Temple on March 26, 27, and April 6, 7, 8 1970.
Thanks are due to Mike Gray and Steve Smolian, who obtained this information and sent it to me for a CSO discography that I unfortunately had to abandon preparing.
From: Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]>
To: ARSCLIST <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sun, Nov 4, 2012 9:29 am
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Medinah Temple
Oh, yeah - I didn't know about that performance. If it has too much star,
I'd blame the producer or artist manager rather than Mr. Taylor. I admire
his work. Was he a contemporary of Frank Abbey? He - they - others? - were
early on really into purist stereo, using various coincident and M/S pickups
on Stokowski projects and the Cello Galaxy album.
I read years ago that an engineer discovered the trick for Medinah Temple of
micing way up in the ceiling to pick up a meaty reverberance. That must have
helped to blend together the many spot mics that are evident on most all
projects made there. IIRC, it was credited to a Decca guy working on the
first Solti records around 1969, and everybody else copied it. But, the
first crews in there were RCA, I think, and they also made it work (ie.
Nielsen 2&4, Ives 1, etc). The EMIs I've heard achieve a more homogeneous,
more distant sound, better to my taste than the others.
The Taylor/CSO session I'd most like to hear remastered is the Lutoslawski
Concerto for Orchestra. That is mind-blowing. The Angel LP (S-36045 c/w
Janacek Sinfonietta and a nice piece by R.C. Marsh about the sessions) gives
a hint, but a HMV Concert Classics DMM pressing gets us closer. Worth
seeking out ED 29 0134 1 if that music hasn't already been put out on silver
drink coasters. Gathering from that evidence, the first EMI dates were in
1969. What's the date on the Dvorak?
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 7:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CDJAPAN has remastered Barbirolli
I got the DuPre Dvorak recording from HDTracks:
(I bought it during one of their frequent 15% off sales)
It sounds marginally more clear and "weighty" vs. the CD reissue from the
90's. This recording was
done by Carson Taylor, who did many of the U.S. classical recordings for
EMI/Angel/Capitol in those
days. Taylor put a coicident stereo mic down at cello level and out in front
of it, so the cello is
very forward and on its own, to my ears. I think a cellist would love this
approach, but a listener
wanting to hear the whole musical product may prefer the cello better
blended with the orchestra.
This way, you hear the vibrating strings and wood very clearly, plus the bow
strokes. But that then
diverts your attention somewhat from what the orchestra is doing. In this
recording, it also sounds
like the cello is in a different sound-field from the rest of the orchestra,
because the Medinah
Temple is reverberant and Taylor put most of his orchestra mics at more
distance than the cello
mics. I know this because I have photos taken during the recording session.
-- Tom Fine