ARSC New York Chapter
APRIL 2015 Meeting
7 P. M. Thursday, 4/16/15
at the CUNY Sonic Arts Center
West 140th Street & Convent Avenue, New York
or enter at 138th Street off Convent Avenue
Shepard Hall (the Gothic building) - Recital Hall (Room 95, Basement level)
An elevator is located in the center of the building
The Columbia Recordings of Fritz Reiner and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, 1940-1947
DENNIS D. ROONEY
From January 1940 to November 1947, Columbia recorded the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The
sessions in Pittsburgh, first in Carnegie Music Hall and then in Syria Mosque, were interrupted for
nearly three years by the "Petrillo Ban" (1942-44), which coincided with an orchestra shorn of some
of its best players due to wartime military service. Recordings resumed in early 1945, and
continued at regular intervals each season thereafter. The final Reiner/PSO recording, Strauß's Ein
Heldenleben, like all of its predecessors, was mastered on 16.5-in. lacquer discs rotating at 33-1/3
rpm, the same speed as the Columbia Lp, which was launched only a few months later. By that time,
Reiner had departed Pittsburgh for the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
These Pittsburgh Symphony recordings were the first made under his own name by Reiner (1888-1963)
who rebuilt the orchestra after his arrival in 1938 from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.
Building on the reorganizing work of his predecessor, Otto Klemperer, Reiner profited from the
availability of many émigré players fleeing war and fascism, enabling him to quickly improve the
orchestra's personnel. This program will be part of a survey of all the Pittsburgh Symphony
recordings to be presented at ARSC's National Conference in Pittsburgh in late May, This evening's
program will offer an expanded sampling of the PSO Columbias in the best sounding available source:
original 78rpm shellac, Lp reissues and Masterworks Heritage CD reissues, the latter produced
directly from the original lacquer masters.
Dennis Rooney's collecting career began when Harry Truman was in the White House. His interest in
recordings followed him through subsequent careers in broadcasting, writing and audio production. He
produced many reissues for Sony Classical, the most significant of which was the award-winning
Masterworks Heritage Line. As a producer and consultant to the record industry, he has contributed
to many important CD reissues of historic recordings. As a member of ARSC, he has been a frequent
presenter at conferences and workshops, is Classical Music Judge of the Book Awards Panel, a member
of the Technical Committee since 1996, the Steering Committee of ARSC's New York chapter since 2008,
and reviews books and recordings for the ARSC Journal. He regularly contributes features and reviews
to THE STRAD and is an occasional contributor to BBC Music Magazine, Classic Record Collector,
American Record Guide and MusicalAmerica.com.
Our next program will be on May 21, 2015
Guest speaker, Al Schlachtmeyer, will present excerpts from U.N. Day and Human Rights Day Concerts,
and discuss the work involved in preserving and digitizing the World Body's audio documents. The
program was originally presented at the 2014 ARSC National Conference in Chapel Hill, NC
DIRECTIONS TO THE SONIC ARTS CENTER
Subway: Take the 1 train to 137th Street City College and walk north to 140th St. & Broadway,
then go east to 140th St. & Convent Avenue. Take the A, B, C, or D trains to 145th St, go south on
St. Nicholas to 141st St, (one long block), then west one block to Convent Avenue, and south one
more block to 140th & Convent Avenue.
Bus: M4 and M5 on Broadway; M 100, 101 on Amsterdam Ave. (one block West of Convent Avenue)
The Sonic Arts Center at CCNY offers 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Music with a
concentration in Music and Audio Technology. Their program provides an in-depth curriculum
emphasizing real-world skills with a project-based approach. Students enjoy a well-rounded program,
with emphasis on audio technology, music theory, orchestration, and history to help them compete in
a field that today demands
an ever-growing and highly diverse skill set.
All ARSC NY Chapter meetings are free and open to the public.
Voluntary contributions to help defray our expenses are welcome!
To join ARSC, visit http://www.arsc-audio.org