Maestros, Part I

June 29, 2015, 7:00 pm

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The first in a multiple-part series featuring legendary conductors who shaped American music-making in the mid-20th century. With Europe in turmoil, opportunities abounded in the Americas, and many great conductors arrived from abroad and stayed to build orchestras, from the ground up, with their unique voices. This week’s conductors are Serge Koussevitzky, Eugene Ormandy, Fritz Reiner, Pierre Monteux, and George Szell. From Boston to San Francisco you can still hear the influence of these five conductors in all of the orchestras that they directed, and their stories are still loved by musicians young and old.


Episode 1

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky,c.
RCA LM 2909/Naxos 8.111283
Roy Harris: Symphony #3 In 1 Movement
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Koussevitzky,c.
EMI 751182
Handel: Semele, “O Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me?”
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Koussevitzky,c.
Dorothy Maynor, ms.
Gemm 9492
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #5 In E Minor, Op. 64
III. Valse: Allegro Moderato
IV. Andante Maestoso, Allegro Vivace
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Koussevitzky,c.
EMI 751182

Episode 2

Rachmaninov: Symphony #2 In E Minor, Op. 27
III. Adagio
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy,c.
EMI 75128
13:00 (mvt.1 excerpt:20)
Max Bruch: Kol Nidrei, Op. 47
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy,c.
Gregor Piatigorsky, cello
Sony Classical 62876
Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116
IV. Intermezzo interrotto – Allegretto
V. Finale – Pesante – Presto
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy,c.
Sony 94726
Manuel de Falla: El Sombrero de tres picos
III. Danza final (The Final Dance)
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy,c.
Sony Classical Essential Classics Catalog 89291
Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures At an Exhibition:
IX. La Cabane de Baba-Yaga Sur Des Pattes de Poule (The Hut of Baba-Yaga On Chicken’s Legs).
X. La Grande Porte de Kiev (The Great Gate of Kiev).
The Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy,c.
Sony 417202

Episode 3

R. Strauss: Don Juan, Op. 20
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner, c.
Recorded in 1954
RCA 68170
15:59 (00:34 excerpt)
Bartók: Music For Strings, Percussion & Celesta, SZ 106
– 2. Allegro, III. Adagio IV. Allegro Molto
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Reiner, c.
Recorded in 1958
RCA 61504
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Op. 35
IV. Festival At Baghdad, The Sea, Shipwreck
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Reiner, c.
Recorded in 1960
RCA 60875

Episode 4

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25 “Classical” I. Allegro, II. Larghetto, III. Non troppo allegro, IV. Molto vivace
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Monteux,c.
Music & Arts Programs Of America Catalog 1182
Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka – Tableau 3: The Moor’s Room, Dance of the Ballerina, Waltz
Tableau 4: The Shrovetide Fair – Dance of the Nursemaids
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Monteux,c.
RCA 61898
Debussy: Images III, Iberia 2. Les parfums de la nuit 3. Le matin d’un jour de fête
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Monteux,c.
Recorded 1951
RCA 61900
12:10 (1:12 excerpt)

Episode 5

Mozart: Symphony #35 In D, K 385,”Haffner” 4. Presto
Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell, c.
Recorded in 1961
Sony 38472
Beethoven: Symphony #3 In E Flat, Op. 55,”Eroica” III. Scherzo: Allegro Vivace
Cleveland Orchestra/Szell, c.
Recorded in 1958
Sony 89832
Prokofiev: No.5, IV. Allegro giocoso
Cleveland Orchestra/Szell, c.
Recorded in 1959
Sony Classical Masterworks 63124
Mozart: Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor, K 466 3. Allegro Assai
Cleveland Orchestra/Szell, c.
Rudolf Serkin, pn.
CBS Great Performances 37236
Richard Strauss:Don Quixote, Op.35 (excerpt)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Szell, c.
Pierre Fournier, vc.
Music & Arts Programs Of America No.291
Schumann: Symphony #3 In E Flat, Op. 97, “Rhenish” 1. Lebhaft
Cleveland Orchestra/Szell, c.
Recorded in 1958
Sony Classical Masterworks 62349
Dvořák: Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, B 172 #7 In C Minor
Cleveland Orchestra/Szell, c.
Sony Classical Essential Classics 89845