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The work most closely identified with Sir Georg Solti’s tenure as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra would arguably be Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

During his final season as music director, Solti and the Orchestra recorded Mahler’s Fifth a second time for London Records. The work was recorded live in concert at the Musikverein in Vienna on November 30, 1990, during the Orchestra’s tour to Russia, Hungary, and Austria.

For London, Michael Haas was the producer, Stanley Goodall was the engineer, and Matthew Hutchinson was the tape editor.

In his Memoirs, Solti wrote: “it was Mahler’s Fifth which I shall always associate with the Chicago Symphony. It was part of our first tour program together, to Carnegie Hall in New York [in January 1970]. We went with a certain trepidation, not knowing how New Yorkers would receive us, as we were still an unknown quantity. When we finished the last movement, the audience stood up and screamed hysterically as if it were a rock concert. The applause seemed endless; they had fallen under the spell of our exceptional performance. I had never experienced such an overwhelming phenomenon in my life and probably never will again.” (Shortly after the concert in New York, the symphony was recorded in Chicago’s Medinah Temple in March 1970.)

In the second edition of Paul Robinson’s Solti, the author stated: “In November 1990, Solti and the CSO toured Europe to great acclaim. In Vienna their program included the Mahler Fifth and the Decca engineers were there to record the event for posterity. It turned out to be an even finer recording than the one they had made in Chicago twenty years before. The virtuosity is on the same high level but there is a depth of feeling, particularly in the Adagietto, that is quite striking. The sound quality is also remarkable, taking advantage of the latest in digital technology. There are numerous subtleties of soft playing only hinted at in the earlier recording. One of Mahler’s most original touches of orchestration is the use of a tam-tam in the second movement. It is marked piano and in most recordings it is simply not audible. But in this one it has an altogether distinctive presence that colors the whole texture of the music. Wonderful! There are times when one misses the expansiveness of expression that is so moving in the [Leonard] Bernstein or [Herbert von] Karajan recordings, but this is nonetheless one of [the] best documentations of Solti and the CSO in their prime together.”

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During his tenure as music director, Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra traveled to Carnegie Hall nearly every season. A complete list of those concerts are below:

January 8, 1970
HAYDN Symphony No. 102 in B-flat Major
BARTÓK Dance Suite
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

January 9, 1970
MAHLER Kindertotenlieder
Helen Watts, contralto
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

December 7, 1970
LEVY Concerto for Piano No. 1
Earl Wild, piano
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 8 in C Minor

December 8, 1970
MAHLER Symphony No. 7 in E Minor

April 27, 1971
WAGNER Das Rheingold
Woglinde Karen Altman, soprano
Wellgunde Huguette Tourangeau, mezzo-soprano
Flosshilde Helen Watts, contralto
Alberich Rolf Kuhne, bass
Wotan David Ward, bass
Fricka Mignon Dunn, mezzo-soprano
Freia Karen Altman, soprano
Fasolt Martti Talvela, bass
Fafner Hans Sotin, bass
Donner Thomas Paul, bass
Froh Kenneth Riegel, tenor
Loge Gerhard Stolze, tenor
Mime John Lanigan, tenor
Erda Helen Watts, contralto

November 17, 1971
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97 (Rhenish)
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra
WAGNER Prelude to Act 1 of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

November 20, 1971
SCHOENBERG Moses and Aron
Moses Hans Hotter, speaker
Aron Richard Lewis, tenor
A Young Girl Karen Altman, soprano
A Young Man Kenneth Riegel, tenor
Another Man Benjamin Matthews, baritone
Priest Donald Gramm, bass-baritone
An Invalid Woman Emilie Miller, mezzo-contralto
Ephraimite Stephen Swanson, baritone
A Naked Youth Kenneth Riegel, tenor
Four Naked Virgins Barbara Pearson and Nancy Clevenger, sopranos; Sharon Powell, mezzo-soprano; Elizabeth Muir-Lewis, alto
Three Elders Alfred Reichel and Jack Abraham, baritones; Eugene Johnson, bass
Six Solo Voices in the Orchestra Barbara Pearson, soprano; Sharon Powell, mezzo-soprano; Elizabeth Muir-Lewis, alto; William Wahman, tenor; Stephen Swanson and Arthur Berg, baritones
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Theatre Chorus
Barbara Born, director

April 19, 1972
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759 (Unfinished)
MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde
Shirley Verrett, mezzo-soprano
Stuart Burrows, tenor

April 22, 1972
CARTER Variations for Orchestra
STRAUSS Don Juan, Op. 20
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14A

December 6, 1972
BERLIOZ The Damnation of Faust, Op. 24
Marguerite Josephine Veasey, contralto
Faust Stuart Burrows, tenor
Mephistopheles Robert Savoie, baritone
Brander Roger Soyer, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Theatre Chorus
Doreen Rao, director

December 9, 1972
MENDELSSOHN Overture to Fingal’s Cave, Op. 26
BARTÓK Concert for Violin, No. 2
Isaac Stern, violin
STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40

May 2, 1973
WAGNER Act 3 of Götterdämmerung
Gutrune Karen Altman, soprano
Brunnhilde Helga Dernesch, soprano
Woglinde Barbara Pearson, soprano
Wellgunde Gwendolyn Jones, mezzo-soprano
Flosshilde Sandra Walker, mezzo-soprano
Siegfried Jess Thomas, tenor
Gunther Donald Gramm, bass
Hagen Martti Talvela, bass
Men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus
Richard Boldrey, assistant director

May 4, 1973
MOZART Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 (Jupiter)
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major

November 14, 1973
WEBER Overture to Oberon
HENZE Heliogabalus Imperator
BEETHOVEN Symphony No.3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 (Eroica)

November 17, 1973
BACH Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068
MAHLER Symphony No. 6 in A Minor

May 1, 1974
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120
BARTÓK Bluebeard’s Castle
Judith Tatiana Troyanos, mezzo-soprano
Bluebeard Zoltán Kelemen, baritone

May 4, 1974
MOZART Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 (Haffner)
ELGAR Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 (Enigma)
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring

December 17, 1974
BACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, BWV 1047
Samuel Magad, violin
Ralph Zeitlin, recorder
Ray Still, oboe
Adolph Herseth, trumpet
SCHOENBERG Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64

December 18, 1974
STRAUSS Salome
Salome Birgit Nilsson, soprano
Herodias Ruth Hesse, mezzo-soprano
Herod Antipas Ragnar Ulfung, tenor
Jokanaan Norman Bailey, baritone
Slave Sarah Beatty, soprano
The Page of Herodias Sandra Walker, mezzo-soprano
Narraboth George Shirley, tenor
Cappadocian Gershon Silins, bass
Two Nazarenes Cory Winter, tenor; Franz Mazura, bass-baritone
Four Jews Philip Creech, Jerry Jennings, John Lanigan, and William Wahman, tenors; Eugene Johnson, bass
Two Soldiers Curtis Dickson and Thomas Paul, basses

December 20, 1974
MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
MAHLER Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Julia Hamari, mezzo-soprano
ELGAR Symphony No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 63

December 21, 1974
MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
MAHLER Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Julia Hamari, mezzo-soprano
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64

April 29, 1975
STRAVINSKY Symphony in C
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major

April 30, 1975
VERDI Requiem
Leontyne Price, soprano
Yvonne Minton, mezzo-soprano
Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Gwynne Howell, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

May 2, 1975
HAYDN Symphony No. 101 in D Major (The Clock)
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major
Tamás Vásáry, piano
STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30

May 10, 1976
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36
STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Op. 28

May 12, 1976
MENDELSSOHN Selections from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595
Alicia de Larrocha, piano
DEBUSSY La mer

May 14, 1976
WAGNER Der fliegende Höllander
The Dutchman Norman Bailey, bass-baritone
Senta Janis Martin, soprano
Daland Martti Talvelabass
Erik René Kollo, tenor
The Steersman Werner Krenntenor
Mary Isola Jonesmezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

November 8, 1976
MOZART Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K. 546
VERDI Four Sacred Pieces
Jo Ann Pickens, soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
WALTON Belshazzar’s Feast
David Ward, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

November 10, 1976
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 70
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 (Pathétique)

November 12, 1976
RAVEL Le tombeau de Couperin
DEBUSSY Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun
RAVEL La valse
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

May 9, 1977
HAYDN Symphony No. 103 in E-flat Major
WAGNER Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73

May 11, 1977
MOZART Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 (Jupiter)
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

May 13, 1977
BEETHOVEN Missa solemnis, Op. 123
Lucia Popp, soprano
Yvonne Minton, mezzo-soprano
Mallory Walker, tenor
Gwynne Howell, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

Solti was scheduled to conduct four concerts at Carnegie Hall in October and November 1977; however after suffering a fall in Chicago, he was forced to cancel the first two appearances. The October 31 performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony was conducted by Chorus Director Margaret Hillis, and the November 1 program (identical to the November 2 concert) was led by Associate Conductor Henry Mazer.

November 2, 1977
ROSSINI Overture to The Barber of Seville
STRAVINSKY Jeu de cartes
STRAUSS Four Last Songs
Lucia Popp, soprano
STRAUSS Don Juan, Op. 20

November 4, 1977
TIPPETT Symphony No. 4
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major

May 8, 1978
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15
Alfred Brendel, piano
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98

May 9, 1978
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

May 10, 1978
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15
Alfred Brendel, piano
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

May 12, 1978
BRAHMS Tragic Overture, Op. 81
BRAHMS A German Requiem, Op. 45
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano
Bernd Weikl, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

May 14 & 15, 1979
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 6 in A Major

May 16 & 18, 1979
MUSSORGSKY/Rimsky-Korsakov Prelude to Khovanshchina
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 1, Op. 10
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D. 944 (Great)

May 19, 1979
BEETHOVEN Fidelio, Op. 72
Leonore Hildegard Behrens, soprano
Marzelline Sona Ghazarian, soprano
Florestan Peter Hofmann, tenor
Jaquino David Kübler, tenor
Don Pizarro Theo Adam, baritone
Rocco Hans Sotin, bass
Don Fernando Gwynne Howell, bass
Two Prisoners Robert Johnson, tenor and Philip Kraus, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, chorus director

April 28 & 30, 1980
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 (Pastorale)
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring

April 29, 1980
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56 (Scottish)
WAGNER “Dich, teure Halle” from Tannhäuser
Leontyne Price, soprano
WAGNER Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
Leontyne Price, soprano
MUSSORGSKY/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition

May 2 & 3, 1980
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection)
Isobel Buchanan, soprano
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

April 27 & 29, 1981
MAHLER Symphony No. 9 in D Major

April 28, 1981
BRUCKNER Symphony No.4 in E-flat Major (Romantic)
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra

May 1 & 2, 1981
BERLIOZ The Damnation of Faust, Op. 24
Marguerite Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano
Faust Kenneth Riegel, tenor (May 1); Peyo Garazzi, tenor (May 2)
Mephistopheles José van Dam, baritone
Brander Malcolm King, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Doreen Rao, director

April 18, 1983
WAGNER Das Rheingold
Wotan Siegmund Nimsgern, bass-baritone
Alberich Hermann Becht, baritone
Fricka Gabriele Schnaut, mezzo-soprano
Loge Siegfried Jerusalem, tenor
Mime Robert Tear, tenor
Erda Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano
Fafner Malcolm Smith, bass
Fasolt Gwynne Howell, bass
Freia Mary Jane Johnson, soprano
Donner John Cheek, bass-baritone
Froh Dennis Bailey, tenor
Woglinde Michelle Harman-Gulick, soprano
Wellgunde Elizabeth Hynes, soprano
Flosshilde Emily Golden, mezzo-soprano

April 19, 1983
MOZART Overture to The Magic Flute, K. 620
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (From the New World)

April 29, 1985
VERDI Falstaff
Sir John Falstaff Guillermo Sarabia, baritone
Ford Wolfgang Brendel, baritone
Fenton Yordi Ramiro, tenor
Dr. Caius Heinz Zednik, tenor
Bardolph Francis Egerton, tenor
Pistol Aage Haugland, bass
Mistress Alice Ford Katia Ricciarelli, soprano
Nannetta Kathleen Battle, soprano
Mistress Quickly Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Mistress Meg Page Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director

April 30, 1985
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 9, Op. 70
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 9 in D Minor (Unfinished)

May 1, 1985
BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op 56a
LUTOSŁAWSKI Symphony No. 3
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

May 3, 1985
MAHLER Symphony No. 7 in E Minor

May 4, 1985
BERG Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6
BERG Concerto for Violin
Salvatore Accardo, violin
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64

May 18, 1987
MAHLER Symphony No. 9

May 19, 1987
STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring

May 20, 1987
HAYDN Symphony No. 103 in E-flat Major (Drumroll)
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major

February 10, 1989
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D. 485
SCHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 65

February 11, 1989
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
BARTÓK Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98

April 15 & 18, 1991
TIPPETT Byzantium
Faye Robinson, soprano
MAHLER Symphony No. 5


April 16 & 19, 1991

VERDI Otello
Otello Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Desdemona Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano
Iago Leo Nucci, baritone
Emilia Elzbieta Ardam, mezzo-soprano
Cassio Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor
Roderigo John Keyes, tenor
Montano Alan Opie, baritone
Lodovico Dimitri Kavrakos, bass
A Herald Richard Cohn, baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, director
Terry Edwards, guest chorus master
Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus
Elena Doria, director

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Sir Georg Solti shared the podium with Daniel Barenboim, leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s second trip to Asia in March and April 1986, including stops in Japan (Anjo, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, and Toyota) and Hong Kong.

March 26, 1986 – Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan
March 28, 1986 – Shimin Kaikan, Nagoya, Japan
March 30, 1986 – The Symphony Hall, Osaka, Japan
April 4, 1986 – Aisin-Warner Harmony Hall, Anjo, Japan
April 8, 1986 – City Hall Concert Hall, Hong Kong
MOZART Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 (Haffner)
MAHLER Symphony No. 5
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
(The Tokyo performance on March 26 was videotaped for television broadcast and released by Sony Classical.)

March 27, 1986 – Hitomi Memorial Hall, Showa Women’s College, Tokyo, Japan
March 29, 1986 – The Symphony Hall, Osaka, Japan
April 9, 1986 – City Hall Concert Hall, Hong Kong
HAYDN Symphony No. 95 in C Minor
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major
Sir Georg Solti, conductor

Orchestra members’ tour trunks backstage

March 31, 1986 – Musashino Shimin Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan
April 2, 1986 – Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan
April 12, 1986 – City Hall Concert Hall, Hong Kong
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 (Pathétique)
WAGNER Excerpts from Götterdämmerung
Daniel Barenboim, conductor

April 3, 1986 – Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan
April 5, 1986 – Toyota City Cultural Hall, Toyota, Japan
April 11, 1986 – City Hall Concert Hall, Hong Kong
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759 (Unfinished)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 (Eroica)
Daniel Barenboim, conductor

April 7, 1986 – Hong Kong Coliseum, Hong Kong
TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture, Op. 49
TCHAIKOVSKY Romeo and Juliet
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36
Sir Georg Solti, conductor

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Sir Georg Solti led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s third trip to Europe in August and September 1978, including stops in Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Scotland, and Switzerland.

August 30, 1978 – Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg, Austria
September 10, 1978 – Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany
September 19, 1978 – Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Belgium
DEBUSSY La mer
DEBUSSY Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D Major

August 31, 1978 – Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg, Austria
September 4, 1978 – Royal Albert Hall, London, England
TIPPETT Symphony No. 4
TCHAIKOWSKY Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 (Pathétique)

September 1, 1978 – Maison de Congrès, Montreux, Switzerland
DEBUSSY La mer
DEBUSSY Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98

September 2, 1978 – Grosser Kunsthaussaal, Lucerne, Switzerland
September 8, 1978 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98

The September 18 concert in Munich was “Ausverkauft (Sold out)”

September 5, 1978 – Royal Albert Hall, London, England
September 11, 1978 – Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany
September 16, 1978 – Liderhalle, Stuttgart, Germany
September 18, 1978 – Kongress-Hall im Deutschen Museum, Munich, Germany
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major
(The London performance of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony on September 5 was videotaped for television broadcast and recently released on DVD as part of Sir Georg Solti: The Maestro by London Records.)

September 7, 1978 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
September 20, 1978 – Palais de Congres, Paris, France
BEETHOVEN Symphony No.1 in C Major, Op. 21
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D Major

September 13, 1978 – Kuppelsaal der Stadthalle, Hannover, Germany
MOZART Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 (Jupiter)
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 in E Major

Sir Georg and Lady Valerie Solti arrive with members of the Orchestra in Hamburg

September 15, 1978 – Grosse Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany
MOZART Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 (Jupiter)
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D Major

September 22, 1978 – Royal Festival Hall, London, England
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D Major

Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra were in Lucerne, Switzerland, on September 11, 2001, scheduled to perform Mahler’s Seventh Symphony that evening at the Kultur- und Kongresszentrum, only a few brief hours after the terrorist attacks in the U.S.

At the beginning of the concert, Barenboim addressed the Lucerne audience: “The events of today are so shocking that no words can express what every one of us feels. . . . when words are inadequate, music can express the feelings that we all have. I must express my special gratitude to my colleagues because I can only imagine what a group of American musicians — far away from home — are feeling right now. Several of my colleagues have asked that we begin the concert tonight with the American National Anthem, and that is what we will do, for tonight we are all of us Americans.”

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In a recent, beautifully crafted article in The Guardian, Ed Vulliamy wrote, “Solti’s shattering Mahler Ninth at the Royal Festival Hall with the Chicago orchestra in 1981 left anyone who heard it dazed with wonderment.”

Sir Georg Solti first led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony on subscription concerts at Orchestra Hall in April 1981 and then later that year during a European tour, culminating on September 19, 1981, with that performance at the Royal Festival Hall in London. He and the Orchestra next performed it on a musicians’ pension fund concert on April 28, 1982, and recorded it the following week in Orchestra Hall.

Richard Osborne’s review in Gramophone magazine, disagreeing somewhat with Vulliamy, noted: “When Solti conducted Mahler’s Ninth Symphony in London in the autumn of 1981 the critic of The Financial Times observed: ‘Solti obviously knew how this music should go but not why.’ Such a reading would be an evident act of self-parody, for it is to this very theme—the modern world’s nightmarish preoccupation with sensation, spiralling, self-referring and impossible to assuage—that Mahler so fearlessly addresses himself in the symphony’s third movement, the Rondo Burleske. It’s clear, though, from the present recording, made in Orchestra Hall, Chicago in May 1982, that Solti’s sense of the music is a good deal more rooted than it appeared to be amid the unsettling razzmatazz of an end-of-tour London performance.

“The new performance has a measure of repose about it as well as much splendour. The second movement is robust and resilient as Mahler directs. There is defiance and obstinacy in the third movement, an awful power which illuminates the music rather than the orchestra’s known expertise.” (Osborne’s review goes on to favor Herbert von Karajan‘s 1980 recording with the Berlin Philharmonic (on Deutsche Grammophon), perhaps because he was already working on his excellent biography of the conductor.)

James Mallinson produced the recording, and James Lock was the engineer for London Records. The recording won the 1983 Grammy Awards for Best Orchestral Recording, Best Engineered Recording—Classical, and Best Classical Album from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus dominated that year at the Grammy Awards, also winning for Best Choral Performance (other than opera) for Haydn’s The Creation. Solti also won for Best Opera Recording for Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Music Director Sir Georg Solti and Music Director Designate Daniel Barenboim shared conducting duties on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s third trip to Japan in April 1990.

April 11, 1990 – Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan
April 18, 1990 – Symphony Hall, Osaka, Japan
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 8 in C Minor
Sir Georg Solti, conductor

April 12, 1990 – Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan
MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 65
Sir Georg Solti, conductor

April 14, 1990 – Kanagawa Kenmin Hall, Yokohama, Japan
April 15, 1990 – Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan
April 17, 1990 – Shimin Kaikan, Kurashiki, Japan
BEETHOVEN Overture to Egmont, Op. 84
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67
MUSSORGSKY/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition
Sir Georg Solti, conductor

April 20, 1990 – Shimin Kaikan, Nagoya, Japan
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Daniel Barenboim, conductor

April 21, 1990 – Symphony Hall, Osaka, Japan
April 23, 1990 – Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Daniel Barenboim, conductor

April 22, 1990 – Izumity Hall 21, Sendai, Japan
April 26, 1990 – Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98
Daniel Barenboim, conductor

April 25, 1990 – Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan
STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Op. 28
TAKEMITSU Visions
RAVEL Rapsodie espagnole
RAVEL Pavane pour une infante défunte
RAVEL Alborada del gracioso
RAVEL Boléro
Daniel Barenboim, conductor

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Music Director Georg Solti and Principal Guest Conductor Carlo Maria Giulini shared conducting duties during the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first overseas tour to Europe in 1971.

The Orchestra was on the road for nearly six weeks, leaving Chicago on August 26 and not returning until October 6, and the tour included twenty-five concerts in fifteen venues in nine countries, with sixteen different works performed. No other CSO international tour since has included more concerts or a wider variety of programming.

Reviews from the tour were numerous, and a small sample are linked here, from Edinburgh, Brussels, Frankfurt, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, and Paris.

The concert schedule was as follows:

September 4, 1971 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Georg Solti, conductor
MENDELSSOHN Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 21
CARTER Variations for Orchestra
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

September 5, 1971 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Georg Solti, conductor
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K. 466
Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

September 6, 1971 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
BERLIOZ Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 17
MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
STRAVINSKY Suite from The Firebird

September 7, 1971 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
BRAHMS Tragic Overture, Op. 81
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 16
Rafael Orozco, piano
HAYDN Symphony No. 94 in G Major (Surprise)
RAVEL Rapsodie espagnole

September 9, 1971 – Opera House, Ghent, Belgium
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D Major

September 10, 1971 – Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Belgium
Georg Solti, conductor
CARTER Variations for Orchestra
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

September 13, 1971 – Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki, Finland
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
HAYDN Symphony No. 94 in G Major (Surprise)
STRAVINSKY Suite from The Firebird
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D Major

September 14, 1971 – Konserthuset, Göteborg, Sweden
Georg Solti, conductor
MENDELSSOHN Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 21
CARTER Variations for Orchestra
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

September 15, 1971 – Folkets Hus, Stockholm, Sweden
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D Major

September 16, 1971 – Folkets Hus, Stockholm, Sweden
Georg Solti, conductor
MENDELSSOHN Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 21
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

When the musicians returned to Chicago at the end of the tour they received a hero’s welcome with a tickertape parade down State and LaSalle streets on October 14, 1971

September 18, 1971 – Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
September 22, 1971 – Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany
Georg Solti, conductor
MENDELSSOHN Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 21
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 (Pathétique)

September 19, 1971 – Kuppelsaal der Stadthalle, Hannover, Germany
September 25, 1971 – Grosser Musikvereinsaal, Vienna, Austria
Georg Solti, conductor
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

September 21, 1971 – Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
STRAVINSKY Suite from The Firebird
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

September 23, 1971 – Grosse Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany
September 27, 28, and 29, 1971 – La Scala, Milan, Italy
October 1, 1971 – Kongress-Hall im Deutschen Museum, Munich, Germany
October 2, 1971 – Palais de Chaillot, Paris, France
October 4, 1971 – Royal Festival Hall, London, England
Georg Solti, conductor
MENDELSSOHN Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 21
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

September 26, 1971 – Grosser Musikvereinsaal, Vienna, Austria
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
BERLIOZ Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 17
HAYDN Symphony No. 94 in G Major (Surprise)
STRAVINSKY Suite from The Firebird

October 3, 1971 – Palais de Chaillot, Paris, France
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
HAYDN Symphony No. 94 in G Major (Surprise)
BRAHMS Tragic Overture, Op. 81
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

October 5, 1971 – Royal Festival Hall, London, England
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
RAVEL Rapsodie espagnole
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

NOTE: post updated on August 22 to clean up link to concert reviews.

____________________________________________________

Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra recorded Bruckner’s ten symphonies between January 1979 and October 1995 for London Records.

Symphony No. 0 in D Minor
Michael Woolcock, producer
Michael Mailes and Simon Eadon, engineers
Recorded at Orchestra Hall
October 1995

Symphony No. 1 in C Minor (Linz version, 1865-66)
Michael Woolcock, producer
John Dunkerley and Andrew Groves, engineers
Recorded at Orchestra Hall
February 1995

Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (ed. Nowak)
Michael Haas, producer
John Pellowe, engineer
Recorded at Medinah Temple
October 1991

Symphony No. 3 in D Minor (1877 version, ed. Nowak)
Michael Haas, producer
Colin Moorfoot, engineer
Recorded at Orchestra Hall
November 1992

Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Major (ed. Nowak)
James Mallinson, producer
James Lock, engineer
Recorded at Orchestra Hall
January 1981

Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major
James Mallinson, producer
James Lock, engineer
Recorded at Medinah Temple
January 1980

Symphony No. 6 in A Major
Ray Minshull, producer
Colin Moorfoot, James Lock, and Kenneth Wilkinson, engineers
Recorded at Medinah Temple
January and June 1979
The recording of the Sixth Symphony won the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Classical Orchestral Recording from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Symphony No. 7 in E Major
Michael Haas, producer
Simon Eadon, engineer
Recorded at Medinah Temple
October 1986

Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (1890 version, ed. Nowak)
Michael Haas, producer
Colin Moorfoot and James Lock, engineers
Recorded at Great Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonia (now the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia)
November 1990

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor
Michael Haas, producer
Colin Moorfoot, engineer
Recorded at Orchestra Hall
September and October 1985

____________________________________________________

Royal Albert Hall, London, England – August 28, 1989

Sir Georg Solti led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s sixth trip to Europe in August and September 1989, including stops in Austria, Denmark, England, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. And for the first two concerts of the tour, the Chicago Symphony Chorus joined the Orchestra for the first time on an overseas tour.

August 28, 1989 – Royal Albert Hall, London, England
August 30, 1989 – Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg, Austria
BERLIOZ The Damnation of Faust
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano
Keith Lewis, tenor
José van Dam, bass-baritone
Peter Rose, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Margaret Hillis, chorus director
Westminster Cathedral Choir
James O’Donnell, chorus director

August 31, 1989 – Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg, Austria
September 3, 1989 – Kunsthaus, Lucerne, Switzerland
September 8, 1989 – Grosse Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany
September 15, 1989 – Salle Pleyel, Paris, France
September 16, 1989 – Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
September 18, 1989 – Royal Albert Hall, London, England
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D. 485
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 65

Stockholm

September 4, 1989 – Kunsthaus, Lucerne, Switzerland
September 5, 1989 – Philharmonie am Gasteig, Munich, Germany
September 7, 1989 – Tonhalle, Düsseldorf, Germany
September 9, 1989 – Tivoli, Copenhagen, Denmark
September 11, 1989 – Göteborgs Konserthus, Göteborg, Sweden
September 12, 1989 – Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden
ROSSINI Overture to The Barber of Seville
BARTÓK Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 (Eroica)

The August 28 performance of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust was recorded for television broadcast and later released on VHS and DVD. Kenneth Corden was the executive producer and the film was directed by Rodney Greenberg. A couple of clips from the program are below.


The attached YouTube videos are not the property of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association. We just thought they were interesting.

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