Beethoven : Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
Bruno Walter conducting the Columbia Symphony Orchestra (1958)
Columbia MS 6012
Speakers Corner Records : LP 180 gram
Brand New and Sealed Record
Contents & Details
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) composed his Symphony No. 4 during the summer of 1806 and completed it in roughly a month, while also working on the Fourth Piano Concerto and revising his opera Fidelio, Symphony No.5 was composed between 1804 and 1808.
Like Beethoven's Eroica (heroic) and Pastorale (rural), Symphony No. 5 was named "Schicksals-Sinfonie" (symphony of destiny). Since World War II, it is referred to as the "Victory Symphony", "V" beeing the Roman Numeral character for the number five.
Schoenberg, Zemlinsky, Korngold, Bruno Walter knew them all : musicians who sought refuge from the henchmen of the Nazi Party in the New World and found artistic fulfilment there. And they all knew him and his meteoric rise to success at all the great houses in Europe. Formed by working with Gustav Mahler in Hamburg, under whose wing he rose from répétiteur to Chorus Director and then to Kapellmeister, Walter took on further posts as Chief Conductor in Vienna, Munich and Leipzig where the talented artist matured to become a true maestro.
Just when the aged Walter was wanting to retire into private life, Columbia motivated him to record several symphonic works at a time when stereo recording, with its previously undreamt technical possibilities, was just dawning. Even without any knowledge of the still existent recordings of the rehearsals of the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, the final recording reflects the lifelong experience and meticulousness of the great conductor. In a taut and relaxed manner, and certainly not mellowed with age, Walter brings the scores to glow. The players weave a web that holds the formal symphonic components together with sophistication and richly contrasted, whereby the conductor’s love for tonal detail manifests itself in easily identifiable instruments.
Recorded in January and February 1958 at the American Legion Hall, Hollywood.
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas. More information under http://www.pure-analogue.com