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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra family wishes the legendary American pianist Byron Janis a very happy ninety-fifth birthday!

Janis made his professional debut at the age of fifteen in 1943, performing Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Arturo Toscanini. The following year, he was chosen by Vladimir Horowitz as his first student, and at eighteen, he became the youngest artist signed to a contract by RCA Victor Records. On October 29, 1948, Janis made his Carnegie Hall debut, and Olin Downes in the New York Times wrote, “Not for a long time had this writer heard such a talent allied with the musicianship, the feeling, the intelligence and artistic balance shown by the twenty-year-old pianist, Byron Janis. . . . Whatever he touched he made significant and fascinating by the most legitimate and expressive means.”

On March 4, 1954, Janis made his debut with the Chicago Symphony in Orchestra Hall. “Mr. Janis played a performance of the Tchaikovsky concerto uncommonly beautiful for what it was, and uncommonly exciting for what it can be. . . . If you have it, you have it, and Mr. Janis does,” wrote Claudia Cassidy in the Chicago Tribune. “He has temperament and fire and he wants, perhaps more than anything in the world, to play the piano. You can always tell that by the sound. It comes out in the explosions of the double octaves, in the instinctive sensing of the crest of a phrase . . . his Tchaikovsky was big, beautiful and dynamic, yet with all its tensions it sensed the relaxed sweep of the grand style. . . . Reiner and the Orchestra gave superb collaboration, part Russian song, part Russian bear.”

For more than twenty years, Byron Janis was a regular visitor, as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and as a recitalist in Orchestra Hall. A complete list of his appearances is below.

July 10, 1952, Ravinia Festival
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Dimitri Mitropoulos, conductor

March 4 and 5, 1954, Orchestra Hall
TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto in B-flat Minor, Op. 23
Fritz Reiner, conductor

July 27, 1956, Ravinia Festival
BERNSTEIN Symphony No. 2 (The Age of Anxiety)
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

December 6 and 7, 1956, Civic Opera House
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 1
STRAUSS Burlesque for Piano and Orchestra in D Minor
Fritz Reiner, conductor

August 2, 1957, Ravinia Festival
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30
William Steinberg, conductor

August 3, 1957, Ravinia Festival
TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23
William Steinberg, conductor

January 20, 1958, Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor

July 17, 1958, Ravinia Festival
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 1
Walter Hendl, conductor

July 22, 1958, Ravinia Festival
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Igor Markevitch, conductor

February 19 and 20, 1959, Orchestra Hall
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
Fritz Reiner, conductor

February 24, 1959, Orchestra Hall
LISZT Totentanz for Piano and Orchestra
Fritz Reiner, conductor

March 23, 1959, Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
Fritz Reiner, conductor

July 9, 1959, Ravinia Festival
TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23
Walter Hendl, conductor

July 11, 1959, Ravinia Festival
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30
Walter Hendl, conductor

February 4 and 5, 1960, Orchestra Hall
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major
Fritz Reiner, conductor

February 9, 1960, Orchestra Hall
LISZT Concerto for Piano No. 2 in A Major
Fritz Reiner, conductor

July 5, 1960, Ravinia Festival
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
Walter Hendl, conductor

Fritz Reiner and Byron Janis in Orchestra Hall

July 7, 1960, Ravinia Festival
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
Walter Hendl, conductor

July 20, 1961, Ravinia Festival
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 1
Joseph Rosenstock, conductor

July 22, 1961, Ravinia Festival
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major
Joseph Rosenstock, conductor

January 4 and 5, 1962, Orchestra Hall
TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23
Leopold Stokowski, conductor

August 4, 1962, Ravinia Festival
LISZT Concerto for Piano No. 2 in A Major
RACHMANINOV Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
André Cluytens, conductor

November 1, 2, and 3, 1962, Orchestra Hall
November 4, 1962, Edgewater Beach Hotel (WGN Great Music from Chicago television broadcast)
November 5, 1962, Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26
Hans Rosbaud, conductor

July 11, 1963, Ravinia Festival
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30
Walter Hendl, conductor

July 16, 1963, Ravinia Festival
GRIEG Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
Seiji Ozawa, conductor

November 21 and 22, 1963, Orchestra Hall
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
Jean Martinon, conductor

December 31, 1964, January 1 and 2, 1965, Orchestra Hall
January 4, 1965, Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488
Willem van Otterloo, conductor

July 26, 1966, Ravinia Festival
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 1
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
Seiji Ozawa, conductor

July 28, 1966, Ravinia Festival
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30
RACHMANINOV Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
Seiji Ozawa, conductor

April 20 and 21, 1967, Orchestra Hall
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat Major, Op. 10
STRAUSS Burlesque for Piano and Orchestra in D Minor
Irwin Hoffman, conductor

June 27, 1967, Ravinia Festival
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26
Seiji Ozawa, conductor

June 29, 1967, Ravinia Festival
GERSHWIN Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra
Seiji Ozawa, conductor

June 29, 1968, Ravinia Festival
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Seiji Ozawa, conductor

July 6, 1971, Ravinia Festival
STRAUSS Burlesque for Piano and Orchestra in D Minor
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major
Lawrence Foster, conductor

June 29, 1973, Ravinia Festival
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26
James Levine, conductor

August 15, 1974, Ravinia Festival
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Op. 103 (Egyptian)
David Zinman, conductor

Janis also made several recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as follows:

LISZT Totentanz for Piano and Orchestra
Fritz Reiner, conductor
Recorded in Orchestra Hall on February 23, 1959, for RCA

RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 1
Fritz Reiner, conductor
Recorded in Orchestra Hall on March 2, 1957, for RCA

SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
Fritz Reiner, conductor
Recorded in Orchestra Hall on February 21, 1959, for RCA

STRAUSS Burlesque for Piano and Orchestra in D Minor
Fritz Reiner, conductor
Recorded in Orchestra Hall on March 4, 1957, for RCA

Under the auspices of Allied Arts, Janis has appeared as piano recitalist on several occasions, as follows:

March 25, 1956
March 15, 1958
April 9, 1961
April 29, 1962
January 16, 1966
January 29, 1967
December 1, 1968
May 5, 1974
December 16, 1975
February 8, 1976

Happy, happy birthday!

This article also appears here.

Peter Serkin (Kathy Chapman photo)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra family joins the music world in mourning the passing of the remarkable American pianist Peter Serkin, who died earlier today at his home in Red Hook, New York following a long illness. He was seventy-two.

For more than fifty years, Serkin was a frequent soloist with the Orchestra, both at the Ravinia Festival and in Orchestra Hall.

At the age of seventeen, Serkin made his debut with the Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival on June 27, 1965, as soloist in Bartok’s Third Piano Concerto with Seiji Ozawa conducting. He first performed with the Orchestra on subscription concerts in in Orchestra Hall on February 3, 4, and 5, 1994, in Berg’s Chamber Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Thirteen Wind Instruments with Daniel Barenboim conducting.

Most recently, he appeared with the Orchestra in Orchestra Hall on May 16, 18, and 21, 2013, in Takemitsu’s riverrun with Juanjo Mena conducting and at the Ravinia Festival on August 5, 2015, in Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 19 with Pablo Heras-Casado conducting.

Serkin also recorded with the Orchestra for the RCA Red Seal label. With Seiji Ozawa conducting, he recorded Bartok’s Third and First piano concertos in June 1965 and July 1966, respectively, in Orchestra Hall. Also under Ozawa, he recorded Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto with the Orchestra in July 1967 in Medinah Temple.

Numerous tributes have been posted online, including The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among others.

Widely considered as one of the twentieth century’s greatest interpreters of Beethoven—and the first pianist to record that composer’s complete cycle of sonatas—Artur Schnabel is the subject of the latest release from RCA Red Seal Records (a division of Sony Classical). Bringing together all of his sessions for RCA Victor (recorded between June 16 and July 24, 1942), the two-disc set features Schnabel performing Beethoven’s Fourth and Fifth piano concertos—with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under second music director Frederick Stock—and two of the final piano sonatas (nos. 30 in E major and 32 in C minor), along with Schubert’s Four Impromptus, D. 899.

Schnabel had appeared with the Orchestra and George Szell at the Ravinia Festival in July 1942, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 4 (July 11) and no. 5 (July 18) along with Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 24 (July 14) and Brahms’s Piano Concerto no. 2 (July 16). Less than two weeks later, he and the ensemble—this time with Stock—were in Orchestra Hall to record Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto on July 22 and the Fourth on July 24.

Frederick Stock and Artur Schnabel onstage at Orchestra Hall in July 1942 (Chicago Sun-Times photo)

To coincide with the release of the recordings, the pianist was to return to Chicago later that fall for performances of both concertos under Stock. Sadly, the Orchestra’s second music director died unexpectedly on October 20, 1942, just after the start of the fifty-second season. As scheduled, Schnabel performed Beethoven’s Fifth Concerto on November 24 and the Fourth on November 26 and 27, but under the baton of associate conductor Hans Lange.

Victor Records released Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto (eight sides on four 78 rpm discs) also in late November. “It would be easy for Chicagoans to turn sentimental about such an album and to gloss over flaws with affection. But it isn’t necessary—in fact, it would be unpardonable condescension. For the performance is magnificent, with the boldness of authoritative style and the clairvoyance of ideal cooperation. It is recorded with superb accuracy, and with intelligent care for spacing, so the ear isn’t left hanging on a phrase while you turn a record,” wrote Claudia Cassidy in the Chicago Tribune. “I came to the conclusion that the piano never has been more successfully recorded. Schnabel’s tone is there in quality, dimensions, and that brilliance of attack that means absolute security. . . . Mr. Stock’s accompaniment is typical of what Chicago took for granted for many a rich season.”

“In the Emperor, Schnabel italicizes phrase groupings and points up harmonic felicities in a more angular, nuanced, personalized, and arguably eccentric manner than in his earlier and later studio versions,” writes Jed Distler in the liner notes for this latest release. In the Fourth Concerto, the pianist, “offsets his stinging inflections with gorgeously limpid and poetically shaded runs, roulades, and passagework, and the most subtle transitions.”

Portions of this article previously appeared here.

RCA Red Seal Records (a division of Sony Classical) is releasing a set of complete Chicago Symphony Orchestra recordings—some available for the first time on CD—led by Seiji Ozawa, recorded during his tenure as the first music director of the Ravinia Festival from 1964 until 1968.

“With the success of [Fritz] Reiner’s CSO recordings, RCA was eager to continue expanding its catalog with the Orchestra, and the label wasted no time engaging both [Jean] Martinon (who began his tenure as the orchestra’s seventh music director in 1963) and Ozawa,” writes Frank Villella in the liner notes for the set. “Martinon first recorded with the Orchestra for RCA in November 1964, and Ozawa’s first recording—Bartók’s Third Piano Concerto with [seventeen-year-old Peter] Serkin—was made at Orchestra Hall in June 1965.”

Additional highlights from the set include Serkin performing Bartók’s First Piano Concerto and Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto, one of the seven recordings of the Orchestra performing Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth symphonies, and Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, among others.

When Ozawa announced that he would step down as the Festival’s music director, he said that “Ravinia was the first organization to invite me to be its music director. Without the belief you had in me, I do not think I would have any career at this moment. The Chicago Symphony is one of the greatest orchestras I have ever conducted, and I have had no greater glory in music than I have experienced here.”

The set is available for pre-order via the Symphony Store here. It will be available domestically on April 21, 2017.

horowitz-cover

All of a sudden, Vladimir Horowitz is everywhere. Especially in Chicago.

In addition to Deutsche Grammophon releasing Horowitz: Return to Chicago, Sony Classical has issued a set of the pianist’s unreleased live recital recordings, covering thirteen programs recorded at twenty-five concerts in fourteen different venues between 1966 and 1983. And four of those concerts were recorded in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, on May 12, 1968; November 2, 1975; and April 8 and 15, 1979.

Program book cover for November 2, 1975

November 2, 1975, program book cover

These live recordings were made by Columbia Masterworks (1966–1968) and RCA Red Seal (1975–1983), and—with the exception of a few tracks released on compilation albums—the vast majority of the material has never been previously available. The fifty-disc set recently was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Historical Album.

“Vladimir Horowitz’s piano technique is so comprehensive that it diminishes everyone else,” wrote Thomas Willis in the Chicago Tribune, following the November 1975 performance, presented under the auspices of Allied Arts. “When he summons the power and clangor for bravura passages, the other powerhouses by comparison sound like lightweights. But when he relaxes into pellucid cascades of an impressionist Liszt tone poem, other light-fingered specialists seem to have developed fingers of lead. . . . Horowitz is not only in a class by himself, he is apparently indestructible. Ten years after his return to the concert stage, the seventy-one-year-old virtuoso has the endurance, the control, and the coiled-spring presence to make each appearance an unforgettable event. . . . Horowitz today is as much a giant as ever.”

November 2, 1975

November 2, 1975

In addition to the works on the program, the audience—including an extra 150 on the stage—demanded no less than six encores: Schumann’s Träumerei from Kinderszenen; Scarlatti’s Sonata in A major, K. 322; Moszkowski’s Étincelles; Chopin’s Black Key Etude in G-flat major, op. 10, no. 5 and Mazurka in A minor, op. 17, no. 4; and finally Rachmaninov’s Étude-Tableaux in D major, op. 39, no. 9. All are included on the release.

Gould set

RCA Red Seal Records (now a division of Sony Masterworks) has just released the complete Chicago Symphony Orchestra recordings—some available for the first time on CD—led by Morton Gould, a frequent and favorite guest conductor in the 1960s.

“This set of recordings documents an unusual relationship Gould had with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,” writes Alan G. Artner in the set’s liner notes. “[This] collection represents something close to the height of Gould’s work in the recording studio, made with the finest orchestra he conducted, taking chances with a good deal of music just being discovered in that adventurous, bygone time.”

Highlights of the six-CD set include several works by Ives, including The Unanswered Question, Variations on America, Robert Browning Overture, Putnam’s Camp, the first recording of Orchestral Set no. 2, and the Symphony no. 1 (which won the 1966 Grammy Award for Album of the Year—Classical). Also featured are Rimsky-Korsakov’s Antar Symphony, Miaskovsky’s Symphony no. 21, several waltzes by Tchaikovsky, Copland’s Dance Symphony, Gould’s Spirituals for Orchestra, and two works by Nielsen: the Symphony no. 2 and Clarinet Concerto featuring Benny Goodman. A special bonus track is Goodman performing Gould’s arrangement of Fred Fisher’s song Chicago (previously only available on LP, released in conjunction with the CSO’s second Marathon fundraiser in 1977).

In 1985, the Chicago Symphony gave the world premiere of Gould’s Flute Concerto, commissioned for the Orchestra, principal flute Donald Peck, and music director Sir Georg Solti. In the program note, the composer recalled, “Among my most pleasant memories are those years when I was guest conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.”

Martinon RCA set

RCA Red Seal Records (now a division of Sony Masterworks) recently released the complete Chicago Symphony Orchestra recordings—some available for the first time on CD—led by our seventh music director Jean Martinon. (The set has not yet been released in the United States but is available from several European and Japanese distributors.)

“It’s always a very delicate and perilous business for a conductor to take over a renowned orchestra that has just passed through a glorious and legendary era under a charismatic predecessor,” writes Christoph Schlüren in the accompanying booklet, referring to Martinon succeeding Fritz Reiner. “Martinon was not blessed by fate in Chicago. The problem was not that the orchestra failed to appreciate him, nor that the ensemble’s outstanding level dropped under his leadership. The surviving recordings are no less brilliant than Reiner’s. . . . In any event, the standard view that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra did not really get going until Martinon gave way to Georg Solti is true only with regard to its commercial success and resultant worldwide fame, not to the perfection of its playing.”

Clark Brody, Williard Elliot, Donald Peck, Dale Clevenger, Jean Martinon, Ray Still, Adolph  Herseth, Donald Koss, Jay Friedman -

CSO principals Clark Brody (clarinet), Williard Elliot (bassoon), Donald Peck (flute), Dale Clevenger (horn), Martinon, Ray Still (oboe), Adolph Herseth (trumpet), Donald Koss (timpani), and Jay Friedman (trombone) backstage in February 1966 before a performance of Martin’s Concerto for Seven Winds, Timpani, Percussion, and String Orchestra

The set includes a number of works, most notably Martin’s Concerto for Seven Winds, Timpani, Percussion, and String Orchestra (featuring several CSO principal players); Mennin’s Symphony no. 7; Varèse’s Arcana; and Weber’s Clarinet Concertos nos. 1 and 2 with Benny Goodman. Additionally, two very special works are heard: an arrangement of Paganini’s Moto perpetuo as arranged by the CSO’s second music director Frederick Stock (according to Schlüren, “wittily peppered with fragments from the finale of [Beethoven’s] Eroica“) as well as Martinon’s own Symphony no. 4 (Altitudes), commissioned for the Orchestra’s seventy-fifth season. And similar to the previously issued Reiner set, the booklet includes numerous images from the collections of the Rosenthal Archives.

Reiner memorial insert front cover

Reiner memorial insert front cover

Just before the opening of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s seventieth season, our sixth music director Fritz Reiner suffered a heart attack on October 7, 1960. He canceled his remaining appearances for the calendar year to recuperate and was able to return to the CSO podium in March 1961 to lead the season’s final five weeks of concerts. However, his health continued to decline and he was forced to curtail many of his conducting duties, and it was announced on April 20, 1962, that he would become “musical adviser” for the 1962-63 season. Two weeks later on May 3, The Orchestral Association announced that Jean Martinon would become the Orchestra’s seventh music director beginning with the 1963-64 season.

As musical adviser, Reiner was scheduled to conduct seven weeks of subscription concerts in December 1962 and February, March, and April 1963. On April 18, 19, and 20, he led Rossini’s Overture to Semiramide, Brahms’s Second Symphony, and Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with Van Cliburn as soloist (the Beethoven was recorded by RCA on April 22 and 23; see here and here for more information). Reiner was scheduled to close the season on May 2 and 3 with an extensive all-Wagner program (featuring several excerpts from Tristan and Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Die Walküre, and Götterdämmerung); however, the CSO press office announced on Monday, April 29 that “on the advice of his physician, Fritz Reiner must withdraw from this week’s concerts.”

Reiner retreated over the summer and arrived in New York in October to begin rehearsals for a new production of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung at the Metropolitan Opera, scheduled to open on November 14. However, he fell ill with bronchitis on November 11 and withdrew from the production, being replaced by Joseph Rosenstock. Reiner’s condition gradually worsened and he succumbed to pneumonia on November 15, 1963, at the age of 74 (his Chicago Tribune obituary, written by Claudia Cassidy, is here).

On Saturday evening, November 16, Martinon led the Orchestra in Mendelssohn’s Fingal’s Cave Overture, his own Second Violin Concerto with Henryk Szerying, and Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. According to the Sunday, November 17 Chicago Tribune: “Orchestra Hall, filled for a golden decade with the music conducted by Dr. Fritz Reiner, was silent for a minute Saturday night as the audience and musicians bowed heads in tribute to his memory.” Merrill Shepard, the new president of the Association, had signaled the moment of silence.

Program page for November 21 and 22, 1963, announcing scheduled memorial for Fritz Reiner the following week

Program page for November 21 and 22, 1963, announcing scheduled memorial for Fritz Reiner the following week

Funeral services were given on November 18 in New York. Attendees included Reiner’s former student at the Curtis Institute and music director of the New York Philharmonic Leonard Bernstein, tenor Lauritz Melchior, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera Rudolf Bing, impresario Sol Hurok, and Van Cliburn. William Schuman, composer and then-president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, delivered the eulogy, calling Reiner, an “artist who set an example for all his colleagues.”

Martinon had programmed the Thanksgiving week concerts (on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon, November 28 and 29) to include Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Mozart’s Requiem (Margaret Hillis and the Chicago Symphony Chorus had been rehearsing the two works since early September). Reiner’s seventy-fifth birthday—December 19, 1963—was to have been celebrated with him leading the Orchestra in four weeks of subscription concerts in late December and early January. It was only appropriate to designate the Stravinsky and Mozart concerts as memorials to Reiner, and the program page for the November 21 and 22 concerts included an announcement. A four-page program insert was prepared to be used for the following week’s concerts and included tributes from Martinon and Shepard, a chronology of Reiner’s career, and a list of his previous orchestral affiliations.

On Thursday evening November 21, Martinon led Bach’s First Brandenburg Concerto, Henze’s Third Symphony, and Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with Byron Janis. The program was scheduled to be repeated the following afternoon, Friday, November 22, 1963.

Stay tuned for part 2 . . .

Reiner memorial insert, pages two and three

Reiner memorial insert, pages two and three

Reiner memorial insert back cover

Reiner memorial insert back cover

Reiner CSO CD set

RCA Red Seal Records (now a division of Sony Masterworks) has just released—for the first time as a set—the complete Chicago Symphony Orchestra recordings led by our sixth music director, the legendary Fritz Reiner. The sixty-three discs are beautifully presented in replicas of the original album jackets (front and back), spanning the recording of Richard Strauss’s Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome and Also sprach Zarathustra, recorded in March 1954, through Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 4 with Van Cliburn, recorded in April 1963.

The beautifully packaged set includes a detailed booklet with repertoire and recording details, along with an excellent article by Kenneth Morgan (author of Fritz Reiner: Maestro and Martinet).

The set also includes Reiner’s last recording (made in September 1963, barely two months before his death): Haydn’s Symphonies nos. 95 and 101. The ensemble is billed as “Fritz Reiner and his Symphony Orchestra,” which included musicians from “the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Symphony of the Air (formerly NBC Symphony), and others.”

the vault

Theodore Thomas

disclaimer

The opinions expressed here are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

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