Gary - here is a link to the video on Youtube my dub of the Rienzi Overture
From: Alex McGehee
Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2021 4:15 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSC List of Notable pre-1923 recordings, just
Nice comments Gary. Maybe others have mentioned that the Brahms Hungarian
Dance No. 5 wasn’t even by Brahms. It was the work of the Hungarian composer
Béla Kéler. I think Brahms thought he had a traditional folksong on his
hands. The Brahms version was written for piano four hands, and god knows
how much of his own orchestral thinking Stokowski put into the Victor
My main objection to its inclusion is that this work was endlessly
programmed for concerts from its publication to the date of this Victor
recording. An old chestnut if ever there was one. It represents lazy
thinking in the classical music repertoire to choose it, if I might say so.
Far worthier would be the near complete version of Haydn’s Symphony No. 94,
recorded in Victor’s Camden, New Jersey studio on the 11th and 12th of Nov.
1912. Yeah, I know it’s a chestnut now too, but a century ago Haydn was
finally emerging from more than a century’s worth of neglect. He’s certainly
a greater composer than Brahms and before someone gets angry,, consider that
appraisal was by Brahms himself.
An even more noteworthy recording would be Victor’s release of Haydn’s
Symphony No. 100, Walter B. Rogers (Victor’s house conductor) and the Victor
Concert Orchestra. UCSB gives the dates as June 5, 1913 and Oct. 28, 1915.
Both symphonies suffer abridgments and are the arrangements of Theodore
Moses Tobani, done primarily for purposes related to the technical
limitations of the acoustical recording process with full orchestral forces.
So with Symphony 100, the slow introduction is jettisoned, but the rest of
the first movement is complete. Twenty bars from the second movement are
cut, but they are somewhat a repetition of the movement's first 20 bars, so
the movement seems as if it is complete to most listeners. The third and
fourth movements are both complete.
Back to the Brahms. I know it sounds really great, but so do these Haydn
recordings and they were done years earlier than the Brahms. They are also
of far greater significance in the early recordings of concert repertoire. I
haven’t found sound files for No. 94, except for its second movement, which
UCSB has. Neither UCSB or the National Jukebox has anything from No. 100,
but the British Library has all of it and it sounds wonderful.
And if I may land one more punch for Haydn, Pol Plançon sounds a lot better
in Air du laboureur ( trans. French) from Haydn’s Jahreszeiten: Schon eilet
froh der Ackermann than he does on the ARSC acoustic list with Couplets du
tambour-major. That’s just my opinion, but you can hear it for yourself on
Pre-holiday cheers to all,
ARSC Membership Committee, chair
> On Nov 9, 2021, at 1:31 PM, Gary A. Galo
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I have a couple of comments about this compilation, and I'm sure other
> members will have some of their own.
> Stokowski's Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5 was not the first recording of a
> full symphony orchestra, not even on Victor, and not even in the United
> States. Karl Muck and the Boston Symphony Orchestra made their first
> records for Victor 3 weeks before Stokowski, because Stokowski initially
> rejected Victor's offer to make records. The first was the 4th movement of
> Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony, and utilized the entire Boston Symphony
> Orchestra. The dates can be confirmed on DAHR. And, Charles Prince
> conducted an orchestra of 90 players for Columbia performing Wagner's
> Rienzi Overture in February of 1917. Again, DAHR can confirm the date and
> the number of musicians involved (the number is also given on the record
> Also, though some might view it as a technicality, Vesti la Giubba is not
> a song, it's an opera aria.
> Gary Galo
> Audio Engineer Emeritus
> The Crane School of Music
> SUNY at Potsdam, NY 13676
> "Great art presupposes the alert mind of the educated listener."
> Arnold Schoenberg
> "A true artist doesn't want to be admired, he wants to be believed."
> Igor Markevitch