Saturday, January 09, 2010

Sunday Classics preview: In which we hear more of tomorrow's featured work in another historical performance


There may be a valuable clue in this picture,
or there may be a trick, or maybe both!

by Ken

With the stipulation that you can't trust everything you see, here is the same symphonic movement we heard last night, with another movement added -- from an even older performance. Unlike last night's conductor, who will not be represented in tomorrow's post, tonight's conductor will be.

First, last night's movement again, in the fastest performance I recall ever hearing:

And now the new movement:

Finally, here's our original movement in a more up-to-date recording. You've probably guessed that it's related somehow to the above one:


The mono performance of the Scherzo and then first movement of the Bruckner Fourth Symphony is by Bruno Walter and the NBC Symphony Orchestra, broadcast Feb. 10, 1940. The stereo performance of the Scherzo is from Bruno Walter's stereo remake with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, made Feb. 13-25, 1960. We hear the stereo first movement in Sunday's post.



At 11:19 PM, Blogger woid said...

I read something many years ago — I think in The New Yorker, maybe in an article about Furtwangler — that's always stuck with me.

It talked about conductors being divided into two schools, by how they attack notes: there are the "vrah" conductors, and the "pah" conductors, epitomized by Toscanini. I've always been a "pah" guy myself, having grown up on listening, over and over again, to the NBC Symphony Beethoven Symphonies boxed set.

I don't know what the piece is, but that's obviously Arturo and the NBCers, complete with TV cameras, apparently at Carnegie (Hall, not Deli). And I'm guessing that's them in the first track, because fast tempos and old "Pah" Toscanini go together.

Wait a minute... are two of the cellists wearing sunglasses??

You have piqued my interest

At 7:23 AM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Very interesting, Woid! I can't tell whether you heard Friday night's preview as well, but as you'll see, your observations will sort out interestingly when all is revealed about all four movement-performances we've heard so far.

Congratulations on correctly identifying last night's photo as the NBC Symphony under Toscanini. I'm afraid, though, that you've fallen into one of the traps I warned about. But again, interestingly so!

All will be revealed in today's 10am PT (1pm ET) post.


At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

Second the sunglasses, maybe guest spots by the blessed recovery group, seems like a LOT of clarinets and oboe'ish kinda reeds?


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