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Shortly after the triumphant concerts in Carnegie Hall in January 1970, in late March and early April London Records set up shop in Chicago’s Medinah Temple for a series of recording sessions. For London, David Harvey was the producer and Gordon Parry was the sound engineer.


Beginning on March 26, 1970, Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra began recording Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, their first recording together. Those first sessions also included Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, along with the Songs of a Wayfarer and selections from Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Yvonne Minton as soloist.

The mood during the third week of recording was captured by Thomas Willis in an article for the Chicago Tribune: “Measure by measure [Solti] delivered a rapid fire barrage of corrections and changes. The staff from London Decca moved at a lope, adjusting equipment, whispering instructions, holding hurried conferences, in the hall. Then Mr. Harvey’s modulated British: ‘One minute please. Take 3.’ The music flowed around the empty seats and filled the cavernous space.” (The complete article is here, courtesy of Proquest via the Chicago Public Library.)

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